3/14/2008

Alms for Jihad

Im Jahr 2006 erschien das Buch Alms for Jihad, in dem J. Millard Burr und Robert O. Collins beschreiben, wie sich die dschihadistische Bewegung über islamische "Wohlfahrtsverbände" finanziert. Im August 2007 wurde das Buch vom Markt genommen, weil der saudische Millionär Khalid bin Mahfouz - der selbst bei Wikipedia als Financier von Al Qaeda beschrieben wird - dem Verlag mit einer Verleumdungsklage drohte. Natürlich beschreiben Burr und Collins die Rolle, die das saudische Königshaus im finanziellen Netzwerk islamischer Terrororganisationen spielt, ein Zusammenhang in dem nan nur schwer an Mahfouz' Namen vorbeikommt.

Mark Steyn schrieb damals über Alms for Jihad:
...let us turn to a fascinating book called "Alms for Jihad: Charity And Terrorism in the Islamic World," by J. Millard Burr, a former USAID relief coordinator, and the scholar Robert O Collins. Can't find it in your local Barnes & Noble? Never mind, let's go to Amazon. Everything's available there. And sure enough, you'll come through to the "Alms for Jihad" page and find a smattering of approving reviews from respectably torpid publications: "The most comprehensive look at the web of Islamic charities that have financed conflicts all around the world," according to Canada's Globe And Mail, which is like the New York Times but without the jokes.

Unfortunately, if you then try to buy "Alms for Jihad," you discover that the book is "Currently unavailable. We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock." Hang on, it was only published last year. At Amazon, items are either shipped within 24 hours or, if a little more specialized, within four to six weeks, but not many books from 2006 are entirely unavailable with no restock in sight.

Well, let us cross the ocean, thousands of miles from the Amazon warehouse, to the High Court in London. Last week, the Cambridge University Press agreed to recall all unsold copies of "Alms for Jihad" and pulp them. In addition, it has asked hundreds of libraries around the world to remove the volume from their shelves. This highly unusual action was accompanied by a letter to Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, in care of his English lawyers, explaining their reasons:

"Throughout the book there are serious and defamatory allegations about yourself and your family, alleging support for terrorism through your businesses, family and charities, and directly.

"As a result of what we now know, we accept and acknowledge that all of those allegations about you and your family, businesses and charities are entirely and manifestly false."
Auch ich habe mich damals geärgert, dass das Buch bei Amazon nicht mehr erhältlich ist. Nun gibt es eine pdf-Version von Alms for Jihad, die man illegaler Weise aus dem Netz herunterladen kann. Das e-Book findet sich entweder über den Jawa Report oder über FreeSpeec.com.

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