Skip to comments.Caving In to Jihad: National Review, CAIR, and My Book
Posted on 04/08/2005 12:23:17 PM PDT by quidnunc
Stalins purged comrades were routinely airbrushed from photographs and replaced with vases, chairs, or shrubs. Last week I had an inkling of how it feels: a flattering review of my book The Sword of the Prophet was abruptly removed from the National Review Online bookstore, under pressure from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
I first became aware of the problem when Robert Spencers article CAIRs War on National Review was published on March 30 by FrontpageMagazine. Apparently CAIR had launched a campaign against National Review, seeking the removal of my book and The Life and Religion of Mohammed by the late Fr. J.L. Menezes, a Roman Catholic priest, from sale by the NR Book Service. CAIRs Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper accompanied the demand with the warning that The National Review must clarify its position on Islamophobic hate speech and offer a public apology, and warned that anti-Muslim rhetoric could lead to violence.
Not quite believing that NR had actually caved in I performed a Google search for trifkovic nrbookservice sword of the prophet, and got what looked like the right link:
What Serge Trifkovic argues in The Sword of the Prophet, however, is that the raw stuff from which Islam is made is particularly dangerous and unpromising [www.nrbookservice.com/bookpage.asp?prod_cd=C6077.]
But when I clicked on the link all I got was a blank page with the following message: Record not found for product code C6077-This is probably a function of the database not having pricing information or other data about this book. About the only thing you can do now is go back or contact customer support.
It looked like a first-class scandal was staring me in the face. The plot thickened the following day, March 31, when WorldNetDaily revealed that CAIRs success in imposing its will on NR may have been due to the pressure the Muslims exerted on one of its advertisers, Boeing:
The Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations which has seen three of its former employees indicted on federal terrorism charges said National Reviews decision to stop selling The Life and Religion of Mohammed and The Sword of the Prophet came after hundreds of concerned Muslims contacted the magazine and the Boeing Co., one of the magazines advertisers. We would like to thank all those who took the time to contact both National Review and Boeing to defend Islam and the Prophet Muhammad from defamation, said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.
The fact that Boeing announced delivery of the first two Boeing 777-300ER airplanes to the Emirates on March 28-with more sales in the pipeline provided what looked like a revealing context to the story. (A correspondent of mine, whose good taste is not always on par with his wit, duly remarked that the protesters should promise not to fly Boeings into buildings if their demands are met.)
On April 3, I learned from Robert Spencers Jihadwatch that my book was back on NRs site [http://www.nrbookservice.com/BookPage.asp?prod_cd=C6077] but that by Fr. Menezes was not. This does not change the substance of the problem: A nasty hate group, CAIR, tainted with terrorist links and steeped in the ideology of jihad, has succeeded in forcing a prominent American institution to practice self-censorship. Once the precedent is established, and the model accepted as legitimate, it will only whet Islamist appetites and encourage their hope that the end-result will be a crescent on the Capitol a generation or two from now.
I hardly ever post articles from Chronicles, but since Serge Trifkovic, being primarily concerned with foreign affairs, is nowhere near as demented as the other paleocons at the publication, and because National Review has acted in a particularly poltroonish manner, I made an exception in this case.
THE BOOK BUSINESS [Rich Lowry ]
Some folks have e-mailed in asking about a book brouhaha going on in some parts of the blogosphere involving us. Here is what happened: A National Review Book Service e-mail blast for the book "The Life And Religion of Mohammed" by Rev. J.L Menezes was sent out a couple of weeks ago to the magazine's (opted-in) e-mail list. The ad copy in the e-mail, which invoked the dark mind of Mohammed among other things, was written by author Robert Spencer. But it went out under the name of a member of NRs publishing staff, who should have, but didnt review it. The book service is a joint project with a publisher who has been responsible for what books to feature in this service and how best to publicize them.
So, National Review didnt sit down and say, Hey, lets have a public fight over Mohammed and aggressively market books about him, then reverse course. In contrast, Robert Spencer and some others on the right feel very strongly that it is important to discredit Mohammed and Islam as such in order to win the war on terror. Thats certainly their prerogative, but it is not the tack NR has taken, even as we have vigorously attacked Islamic terrorism and supported the war against it. CAIR has been agitating for us to apologize for weeks, but we obviously arent going to apologize for a position that isnt our own. We are, of course, more than happy to defend our own actual positions against CAIR, or any other noxious grievance group.
Rich Lowery is weaseling to a fare-thee-well.
As I posted last week, Fred Astaire and Bojangles Robinson put together couldn't dance as deftly as Rich Lowry does here.
I'm not defending Rich Lowry or National Review on this issue. I am presenting what Lowry stated. The article is disingenuous because it ignores the official NR response. Refute it, etc. but don't pretend NR was silent on the issue.
I have read Sword of the prophet, but not "The Life And Religion of Mohammed" by Rev. J.L Menezes. I plan to go to the National Review site and see if I can order both books, although I have had my copy of The Sword of the Prophet for years. If I can't, I can leave them a piece of my mind, and perhaps a hint of the various ways prostitution can be practiced.
Plus I will repeat the wonderful conjecture, if Boeing is so concerned about selling aircraft to our enemies, :
"... duly remarked that the protesters [ muslims] should promise not to fly Boeings into buildings if their demands are met."
I am assuming that Boeing does not need those sales that badly.
A simple "No comment" from NR would have been more homest.
Speaking of honesty, was it honest of the article's author to pretend NR didn't provide a response?
Shouldn't the only issue be whether the information about Muhammed and Islam presented in the books is factually accurate? I have just lost all respect fo NR.