Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Where is the ALA?

A couple days ago I linked to an article reporting on how a wealthy Muslim sheik has used his money and abused the courts to silence Cambridge University Press. Today the New York Post reports that although “The prestigious publisher - the world's oldest publishing house - had carefully vetted the book before publishing it last year. Yet now it has asked more than 200 libraries worldwide to pull the work off their shelves.”

The article went on to report that since March 2002 Sheik bin Mahfouz has “sued or threatened suit in England at least 36 times against those who've linked him to terrorism, including many American authors and publications.” (emphasis mine).

No one can stand up to bin Mahfouz’ money so everyone but one has settled.

Thirty-six times since 2002!? I find it fascinating that although this is certainly one of the most significant threats to freedom of the press in my lifetime, as far as I can tell, the American Library Association—that great defender of freedom of the press and opponent to all kinds of censorship—has been absolutely silent!

I searched the “Library, Information Science and Technology Abstracts” (LISTA) for “Cambridge University Press” and found 206 articles—not one of them, as far as I could tell, dealt with this issue. Then I searched for “bin Mahfouz” and found a grand total of two articles on this topic, both of them in Bookseller.

Is the American Library Association really interested in combating censorship or have they been so paralyzed by political correctness and multiculturalism that they fight mainly against the Christian Right's attempts to keep pornography out of the hands of minors?

1 comment:

professor ed said...

Dennis: are you kidding! ALA knows that if they choose to get involved in this censorship matter that our dues structure could potentially go sky high! I, for one, applaud our esteemed, venerable, compassionate organization for placing concern for our annual dues ahead of selected censorship cases.