Victims' Rights Caucus

Speeches

DESTROY THE BOOKS

Jul 16 2008

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Mr. Speaker, the elite Cambridge University Press of the United Kingdom is destroying controversial books, reminiscent of the Berlin book burnings of 1933.

   In an effort not to offend wealthy Saudi banker Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, the timid publisher cowered in fear and is pulping and destroying all known copies of its book ``Alms for Jihad'' that alleges the Saudi banker's ties to charities that fund terrorist organizations. The writers of the book stand by their work, however.

   Mr. Speaker, here is the real problem. In the United Kingdom more and more frivolous libel suits are brought against writers and publishers by people with connections to terrorist groups because the United Kingdom court system is weighed in favor of suppression of controversial free speech in the marketplace of ideas. So many publishers like Cambridge are intimidated and are afraid to publish controversial topics. After all, the British court system is just too sophisticated to allow books to be printed that might offend someone.

   The writers of ``Alms for Jihad'' should publish their book in the United States because we thrive on controversial speech, whether alleged terrorist sympathizers like it or not.

   And that's just the way it is.

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