A controversial Muslim lobby group pressured a leading conservative magazine to remove its Internet sale of two books about the Islamic prophet Muhammad, calling the titles “virulently anti-Muslim” and “Islamophobic.”
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 Review’s 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 magazine’s 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.
In its lobby campaign, CAIR complained that the promo National Review posted for “The Life and Religion of Mohammed” said the book exposes “the ugly truth about the founder of the world’s most violent religion.”
The promo touts the book as a “guide into the dark mind of Mohammed.” It says the author “explains why Mohammed couldn’t possibly be a true prophet, and reveals the true sources of his ‘revelations.’”
The author of the book, according to the review, writes, “Mohammed posed as the apostle of God … while his life is marked by innumerable marriages; and great licentiousness, deeds of rapine, warfare, conquests, unmerciful butcheries, all the time invoking God’s holy name to sanction his evil deeds. … Mohammed again and again justified his rapine and licentiousness with new ‘divine revelations.’”
The other book, “The Sword of the Prophet,” is described as, “What Muslims, multiculturalists, and the media hope you never find out about Islam.” The magazine’s review claims the book “gives us the unvarnished, ‘politically incorrect’ truth about Islam — including the shocking facts about its founder, Mohammed; its rise through bloody conquest; its sanctioning of theft, deceit, lust and murder.”
Awad sent a letter to Boeing CEO James A. Bell, saying, “I would therefore respectfully request that Boeing address the concerns of Muslims worldwide by withdrawing its advertising support from a magazine that actively promotes anti-Muslim hate.”
CAIR explained that Boeing had a full back-page ad in the latest issue of National Review and recently accounced delivery of the first two Boeing 777-300ER airplanes to Emirates Airlines, the official carrier of the Muslim Gulf state, United Arab Emirates.
Scholar and author of books about Islam and terrorism, Robert Spencer, said in a column for FrontPage Magazine that he wrote the ad for “The Life and Religion of Mohammed.”
“CAIR’s campaign was revealing of what CAIR wants Americans to know — and not to know — about Islam and Muhammad,” Spencer said.
He believes CAIR “did succeed in intimidating NR into withdrawing the book, along with Serge Trifkovic’s ‘Sword of the Prophet.’”
Spencer wrote on his weblog Jihad Watch, however, that after a discussion with National Review editor Rich Lowry, he “can see how this might not be a straight capitulation.”
“It is important sometimes to choose one’s battles, and although NR and I might not always agree about which battles to fight and which ones to let go by, I respect the good work they have done in raising awareness of jihad terror, and am confident they will do more in the future,” Spencer said.
Spencer pointed out he did not write the ad copy for “The Life and Religion of Mohammed” for National Review. He said he received no remuneration from sales of the book by National Review or anyone else.
“My stand on this issue was not motivated by anything but annoyance at the fact that CAIR is trying to demonize truth-tellers about Islam,” he said.
Spencer noted that CAIR’s Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper fumed about “The Life and Religion of Mohammed,” saying “this anti-Muslim screed is the literary equivalent of ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ and should not be promoted by a publication that has any sense of decency. The National Review must clarify its position on Islamophobic hate speech and offer a public apology for promoting a book that so viciously attacks the faith of one-fifth of the world’s population.” Hooper added that “anti-Muslim rhetoric often leads to discrimination and even violence.”
But Spencer contends the book is not “anti-Muslim hate literature,” noting it was written more than 80 years ago by Fr. J. L. Menezes, a Roman Catholic priest who served as a missionary in India.
“I have read it, and there is nothing inflammatory or inciteful in it; in fact, it is suffused with a pastoral love for Muslims,” Spencer said.
Spencer argued: “The author, as a Christian priest, obviously did not accept Muhammad’s claim to be a prophet. If it is Islamophobic hate literature for a book to explain ‘why Mohammed couldn’t possibly be a true prophet,’ then the Christian faith itself is Islamophobic and hateful.”
The book doesn’t say anything false about Muhammad, Spencer maintains, noting that everything reported about his life comes from Muslim sources.
“CAIR may differ with Fr. Menezes’s assessment of this material, but it can’t very well deny its existence,” Spencer said. “Muslim apologists try to justify Muhammad’s marriages, battles, and killings in various ways, but it would be the height of chutzpah to deny they took place at all. Would CAIR, in contrast, paint for us a picture of Muhammad the Rotarian?”
Spencer added, “Now that CAIR has succeeded in intimidating NR into silence and getting them to drop this book, it will be a victory for those who don’t want Americans to know the uncomfortable details about Muhammad that are in the book. Unfortunately, however, jihad terrorists around the world today know these elements of the life of Muhammad quite well, and are imitating them. Ignorance of them on the part of Americans will only make us more vulnerable.”
As WorldNetDaily reported, CAIR recently succeeded in convincing Fox television to air a disclaimer along with an episode of the series “24,” which breaks current entertainment-media convention by depicting terrorists as Muslims.
CAIR said it sent representatives to meet Jan. 12 with network officials because it was concerned that the series’ portrayal of a Muslims family as a terrorist “sleeper cell” may “cast a shadow of suspicion over ordinary American Muslims and could increase Islamophobic stereotyping and bias.”