Alms for Jihad

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alms for Jihad: Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World
Cover of the first edition of Alms for Jihad
Author J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins
Country United States
Language English
Genre Current affairs
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publication date
April 2006
Pages 368
ISBN 978-0-521-85730-7
OCLC 94948942
361.7/5/091767 22
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.


  1. Introduction;
  2. The third pillar of Islam: zakat;
  3. Saudi Arabia and its Islamic charities;
  4. The banks;
  5. Afghanistan beginnings;
  6. Islamic charities and the revolutionary Sudan;
  7. Islam at war in the Balkans;
  8. Russia and the Central Asian Crescent;
  9. From Afghanistan to Southeast Asia;
  10. The Holy Land;
  11. The Islamization of Europe;
  12. Islamic charities in North America;
  13. Conclusion.


In August 2007, the publisher, Cambridge University Press, attempted to have the work removed from circulation and pulped under pressure from a libel action lawsuit filed against them in the British legal system by wealthy Saudi businessman 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:

Within hours, Alms for Jihad became one of the 100 most sought after titles on and eBay in the United States. Cambridge University Press (CUP) 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."[1]

The decision did not have the support of the book's authors. They urged Cambridge to contest the lawsuit and were preparing a detailed rebuttal to the claims made by the Bin Mahfouz family. CUP was criticized by some who claimed its action was incompatible with freedom of speech and with freedom of the press and that it indicated that English libel laws were excessively strict.[2][3] 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."[4] This episode of "Libel Tourism" was fought in the United States and ultimately led to the passing of the Libel Terrorism Protection Act (also known as "Rachel's Law") by New York State on April 29, 2008.

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.[5] Nathan Vardi published an article in Forbes magazine titled "Sins of the Father?" on March 18, 2002, with the heading: "Khalid bin Mahfouz, a Saudi billionaire, spent the 1990s engaged in financial folly and funding what the U.S. government calls a front for Al-Qaeda. Now a new generation tries to escape the shadow."[6]

On December 1, 2015 in an article titled, "Banned by Lawfare Jihad, A Book You MUST Read: Alms for Jihad" by Christopher W. Holton stated the following: "Alms for Jihad contains the most detailed, exhaustive investigation into the role that Islamic charities and NGOs have played in financing and supporting violent Jihad and terrorist organizations, including Al Qaeda."[7]

See also[edit]

References and sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Cambridge contacts US libraries over Alms for Jihad", American Libraries Magazine: August 17, 2007.
  2. ^ Bonus Books criticises CUP, The Bookseller, March 8, 2007
  3. ^ A University Press Stands Up -- and Wins, Inside Higher Ed, August 16, 2007
  4. ^ Rachel Donadio (2007-10-07). "Libel Without Borders". New York Times. 
  5. ^ Kevin Taylor, Why CUP acted responsibly September 8, 2007.
  6. ^ Nathan Vardi, Sins of the Father? Forbes: March, 18, 2002.
  7. ^ Christopher W. Holton, Banned by Lawfare Jihad, A Book You MUST Read: Alms for Jihad December 1, 2015.
  • 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. 

External links[edit]