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by Roger Kimball
This spring, Encounter Books is publishing "Willful Blindness: a Memoir of the Jihad," by Andrew McCarthy, who helped prosecute the "blind sheik" Omar Abdel-Rahman and other jihadists.
I recently received a message from someone who helps distribute our books in Britain: "Can you please let us know if there are any references to Saudis and terrorist[s] in the book. We are just concerned that this book could potentially create libel lawsuits as it could offend Saudis living in England … "
So books offensive to Saudis are verboten? Not if I have anything to say about it. But note the preemptive cringe: the very threat of legal action has made the publishing world skittish, not to say craven. Welcome to the world of libel tourism. When the American researcher Rachel Ehrenfeld published "Funding Evil: How Terrorism Is Financed — and How to Stop It," she suddenly found herself slapped with a libel suit — but not in America. A Saudi banker, Khalid bin Mahfouz, brought the suit in England. Even though the book was not distributed in Great Britain, a British judge ruled that Ms. Ehrenfeld must apologize and pay Mr. Mahfouz £110,000.
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