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In the light of that old controversy about the role of America’s librarians as defenders of freedom (unless the readers in question are in Cuba), this is an intriguing story from the UK:

Public libraries are stocking hundreds of Islamic books by advocates of “holy war”, with many glorifying acts of terrorism, a new report claims. Council taxpayers’ money has been spent on the books, with one library stocking works by the convicted preachers Abu Hamza and Abdullah al-Faisal. An investigation by a leading think-tank found extremist literature at six libraries, three in the London area, two in the Midlands and one in the North. It raises fears that public libraries could inadvertently fuel the radicalisation of young Muslims.

“Inadvertently”? I wonder.Now there are obvious free speech issues here (although they are complicated by the question of taxpayer funding), which are worth debating on another occasion, but what is revealing is the way that these books seem to be free from the usual scrutiny of Britain’s usually ubiquitous ’offensiveness’ police. Here we have one quote from one of the books:”The kafirs [non-believers] are the henchmen of the Shaitaan [devil]” adding later: “The only language the kafirs respect is jihad [holy war].”And here is another from a book unlikely to be serialized on Lifetime, the genially-named Women Who Deserve To Go To Hell:“We have no intention to accuse women when we say that they will be in a majority in hell.”Blimey


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