Politics & Policy

Banned in the British Library

You can check out Hamas’s websites, but not the Middle East Forum’s.

A number of prominent counter-jihadis, such as Geert Wilders, have the distinction of being banned from entry into the United Kingdom — and, now, Her Majesty’s Government, in its wisdom, appears to have banned on some public computers two websites connected to me.

It’s not quite the same, admittedly, and I am working to get this ban removed, but I also wear it as a perverse badge of honor given that government’s shameful record vis-à-vis Islamism.

Say you’re in the British Library, the national depository library and a government institution, roughly equivalent to the Library of Congress in the United States or the Bibliothèque nationale in France. Say you want to read what David Brog writes about declining Evangelical support for Israel in the latest Middle East Quarterly. You type in MEForum.org and get the following result:

Or perhaps you wish to learn why I distinguish between Islam and Islamism, or why I worry about Islamist aggression in Britain, so you type in DanielPipes.org only to find this:

The distinction between the two sites particularly charms me. The British Library categorizes MEForum.org as “Religion, Intolerance” and DanielPipes.org as “Religion, Adult Sites, Intolerance, Blogs.” (It’s probably titles like “Arabian Sex Tourism” that won me the X-rating.) Oddly, both sites are blocked for the same reason: “Intolerance.”

Should you, however, be in the British Library and wish to develop hatred toward Jews, no problem! Here are some anti-Semitic sites, all accessed today:

Exposing the Holocaust Hoax Archive: The name tells it all.

Gilad Atzmon: the personal website of a toxically anti-Semitic Jew.

Jew Knowledge: The site contains learned inquiries into Jewish control of Hollywood, Jewish connections to 9/11, and the like.

Muslim Public Affairs Committee, U.K.: an anti-Semitic jihadi group.

The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion: The “warrant for genocide” is available in multiple versions.

Then, if you need firing up to go murder people on jihad, the British Library makes rich pickings available to you:

Al Muntada: This site runs some of the worst hate preachers in Europe and stands accused in Nigeria of funding Boko Haram.

Anjem Choudary: Possibly the most extreme of British Islamists, he praised the perpetrators of the 9/11 and 7/7 attacks.

FiSyria: It promotes the Sunni jihad against the Assad regime in Syria.

Friends of Al-Aqsa: a pro-Hamas British group.

Hizb ut-Tahrir: an international movement seeking to replace existing countries with a global caliphate.

Islamic Education and Research Academy: a Qatari-funded Salafi group that includes a number of openly pro-terror operatives. Its trustees openly incite hatred against Jews, women, et al.

Muslimah’s Renaissance: an anti-Semitic, anti-Shia group.

Al-Qassam: the military wing of Hamas, widely categorized as a terrorist organization.

Palestinian Forum of Britain: a Hamas front.

Palestine Return Centre: another Hamas front.

Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine: deemed a terrorist group by both the European Union and the U.S. government.

And then, perhaps the worst of all:

Tawhed: al-Qaeda’s Arabic-language ideological website, which promotes writings by Osama Bin Laden and Ayman az-Zawahiri

There could be a technical explanation for this bizarre situation. The British Library issued a press release in December 2013, “Web filtering on the British Library’s WiFi service,” explaining that

in our public areas where there are regular visits by school children, we filter certain online content, such as pornography and gambling websites. We have recently introduced a new WiFi service. It’s early days in the implementation of this service and we are aware that the new filter has been blocking certain sites erroneously. We are actively working to resolve this issue.

Might this be the problem? I have written the library and requested that it unblock the sites. Now, let’s see if the censorship was “erroneous” or intentional.

In contrast, the British Library has not yet excluded me from the U.K.’s unified catalogue of books; so, the same organization that bans my website permits my books. That makes as much sense as the rest of the British government’s policies on such issues.

 Daniel Pipes is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2014 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Access to the Middle East Forum website and Pipes’s website have been restored at the British Library. For more on this, and the author’s unresolved questions, see here.


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