It has been argued, and I agree, that we are living during a period of cultural revolution; a time when the insidious political-correctness movement has finally morphed into outright book banning on the part of what has become the largest book retailer on the planet, Amazon.
Shortly after 9/11, I searched Amazon for books to explain the motivation of the attack. I found Robert Spencer’s Onward Muslim Soldiers, Ibn Warraq’s Why I am Not a Muslim, and Bat Ye’or’s Islam and Dhimmitude. Soon thereafter, I located Jihad Watch and began working for Robert Spencer to support his efforts to elucidate what seemed to be Islamic insanity rampaging all over the world.
Now I know it is not insanity, but the result of human beings believing in a false and evil religion which caused them to place obedience to the dead doctrine of Islam over their belief in, and experience of, Truth, Beauty and Goodness – the true spiritual values which guide, or should guide, human destiny.
My 2011 book, Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion, was my first attempt to analyze religion and to explain why Islam is in error. Ironically, it was Amazon which allowed me to launch an independent publishing company, New English Review Press. Because of the strong sales of Allah is Dead, we were able to go on to publish over three dozen more books on many topics — political, cultural and literary.
On February 9, almost ten years to the day after Allah was first published, I received a notice that this book had been removed from sale on Amazon, then a week later, I received notice that the meticulously researched 2016 book, Easy Meat: Inside Britain’s Grooming Gang Scandal by Peter McLoughlin, had likewise been removed – book, e-book, audiobook – everything, just gone.
My first reaction was to pull our advertising on Amazon – what a racket! They are the retailer and advertiser in one – that is one area future trust-busters might well examine. Theodore Dalrymple then suggested we appeal, if for no other reason than to make Amazon give us an explanation.
Well, we never did get an explanation, but Amazon did relent and restored the e-books this week. We are told the hardcovers and audiobook will likewise be restored soon. I don’t know why these books were targeted for removal in the first place after having been offered for sale over many years. I can only presume the books were searched for anything that could be construed as “hate speech” and having found none, Amazon could not justify keeping them off their shelves. But do they need a justification? Could they be sued successfully for the harm caused? Possibly.
The zeal for suppressing ideas is an ancient impulse which has taken hold in many of our once venerable institutions, now filled with zealous little McCarthy-ites who seem to want to blacklist half the population. But as we all know, truth does not fear a challenge, so this great fear of ideas must mean these social justice warriors are pushing something rather less than true and so it is truth that is causing their consternation – not untruth, as they claim.
For there to be progress, our civilization depends on the robust debate of ideas. Once ideas are suppressed, confusion results and where confusion reigns, all manner of evil can flourish. History is filled with the stories of those who stood firm in the face of intimidation for the sake of truth. Many have lain down their lives rather than capitulate to untruth. If we resolve to be as firm, this battle against the current cultural revolution will be won.
After all, if they can cancel Dr. Seuss, is anyone safe?
EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.