Wednesday, 24 October 2007

An alarming article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel

How the Saudis stifle free speech in the West.

October 21, 2007

Laina Farhat-Holzman: Fighting jihad by following the money
Almost immediately after the attack of Sept. 11, 2001, the United States began to "follow the money" — to see who was financing jihad and how it was being transmitted. This started a long process that is still ongoing, but it has encountered many roadblocks.

One of these roadblocks is a Saudi billionaire, Khalid bin Mahfouz, who has either sued or threatened to sue 36 writers who have fingered him as a major financier of Islamist mayhem. He has taken them on in British courts because England has libel laws that favor individual rights over public rights. Mahfouz has been able to spike the sale and availability of a number of books that would otherwise expose the charitable foundations and his own Saudi bank supporting al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations. When he sues an author, the British courts demand punitive damages, an apology, and the destruction of all copies of the books.

This apparently happened to J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins, who wrote a scholarly compendium, "Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World," published by Cambridge University Press in 2006. They yielded to the court and most copies of their book vanished. Amazon and Barnes & Noble both list the book as "unavailable" I started last summer to try to track down a copy of it in local bookstores and then through a library search, and finally received a library copy from my local university.

It seems that for months, copies were vanishing from university stacks or were checked out and "lost," but with diligence there are copies around that were bought before the British courts spiked them. But persistence is needed.

This particular book [out of 36 or so others on this topic, also difficult to find], is a roadmap of Muslim charities, who runs them and where the money is going. It names names and tracks this money to Afghanistan, Sudan, the Balkans, Russia and Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Holy Land, Europe [for Islamization] and North America. The book is scholarly, detailed, and by no means sensational. It should be available in more than the few copies kicking whole article....

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