Cinnamon Stillwell

I’m the West Coast Representative for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum that focuses on Middle East studies. I was a political columnist for SFGate.com (San Francisco Chronicle online) from 2004-2008. I've written for the American Thinker, Frontpage Magazine, Family Security Matters, Accuracy In Media, Newsbusters, Israel National News, The Jewish Policy Center, J-The Jewish News Weekly of N. CA, Intellectual Conservative and many others. More info at CinnamonStillwell.com.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Libel Tourism: Where Terrorism and Censorship Meet

My new SFGate column looks at the worrisome trend of "libel tourism," as well as several promising developments that have arisen in response:
It has become popular for those with competing political agendas to allege threats to free speech, whether real or imagined. Yet, there is a very real threat to free speech that has received little attention in the public sphere. It's called libel tourism and it has become a major component in the ideological arm of the war on terrorism.

At question is the publication of books and other writings that seek to shed light on the financing of Islamic terrorism. Increasingly, American authors who dare enter this territory are finding themselves at risk of being sued for libel in the much more plaintiff-friendly British court system in what amounts to an attempt to censor their work on an international level.

The latest case of libel tourism to rear its ugly head involves the book "Alms for Jihad", which was published by Cambridge University Press in 2006. Co-written by former State Department analyst and USAID relief coordinator for Sudan J. Millard Burr and UC Santa Barbara professor emeritus of history Robert O. Collins, "Alms for Jihad" delves into the tangled web of international terrorist financing and, chiefly, the misuse of Muslim charities for such purposes.
Continue reading "Libel Tourism: Where Terrorism and Censorship Meet"

Update: Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, whose case I cover in my column, was a guest last night on Atlas Radio, and the show has been archived. Host and blogger extraordinaire Atlas Shrugs discusses it here.

Update II: Rick Richman discusses the interview and the subject of libel tourism at Jewish Current Issues.