Alms for Jihad
Cover of the first edition of Alms for Jihad
|Author||J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|LC Class||HV435 .B87 2006|
Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World is a 2006 book co-written by American authors J. Millard Burr, a former USAID relief coordinator in Sudan and Historian Robert O. Collins which discusses the role of Islamic charities in financing terrorism.
- The third pillar of Islam: zakat;
- Saudi Arabia and its Islamic charities;
- The banks;
- Afghanistan beginnings;
- Islamic charities and the revolutionary Sudan;
- Islam at war in the Balkans;
- The Central Asian crescent and Russia;
- From Afghanistan to Southeast Asia;
- The Holy Land;
- The Islamization of Europe;
- Islamic charities in North America.
In August 2007, the publisher, Cambridge University Press, removed the work from circulation under pressure from a libel action lawsuit filed against them in the British legal system by wealthy Saudi Khalid Salim A. Bin Mahfouz because the book accused him of funding al-Qaeda. Mahfouz had previously also forced the censorship of four other books:
- June 2006: "The Forbidden Truth" / "La Vérité Interdite" by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié
- April 2006: Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It, by Rachel Ehrenfeld
- July 2004: "Terrorism financing: roots and trends of Saudi terrorism financing; prepared by JCB Consulting"
Within hours, Alms for Jihad became one of the 100 most sought after titles on Amazon.com and eBay in the United States. Cambridge University Press sent a letter to libraries asking them to remove copies from circulation. CUP subsequently sent out copies of an "errata" sheet. The American Library Association issued a recommendation to libraries still holding Alms for Jihad: "Given the intense interest in the book, and the desire of readers to learn about the controversy first hand, we recommend that U.S. libraries keep the book available for their users."
The decision did not have the support of the book's authors and was criticised by some who claimed it was incompatible with freedom of speech and with freedom of the press and that it indicated that English libel laws were excessively strict. In a New York Times Book Review (7 October 2007), United States Congressman Frank R. Wolf described Cambridge's settlement as "basically a book burning."
CUP pointed out that, at that time, it had already sold most of its copies of the book. Kevin Taylor, intellectual property director at Cambridge University Press, stated that the book cited sources, "whose falsity had been established to the satisfaction of the English courts" in previous cases.
References and sources
- J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins (2006). Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-85730-9.