Bonus Books criticises CUP

<p>Jeffrey A Stern, president and publisher of Los Angeles-based Bonus Books, has criticised Cambridge University Press&#39;s decision to destroy all unsold copies of their 2006 <em>book Alms for Jihad</em> by American authors Robert Collins and J Millard Burr, in response to a libel action brought against them in British courts by Saudi billionaire Khalid Salim A Bin Mahfouz. <br /><br />&quot;I find it utterly appalling that any publisher&mdash;let alone one with the history and perceived credibility of Cambridge University Press&mdash;would allow themselves to be bullied into making such a decision,&quot; Stern said. </p><p>&quot;Clearly they must have supported the material before they agreed to a publishing deal with Collins and Burr. It&#39;s only now, after being slapped with a suit in the UK by the likes of Bin Mahfouz, that they have suddenly decided to concede to demands to pull the book. What&#39;s worse, they have not only agreed to pay damages but they have even gone so far as to issue a formal apology on their website, completely discrediting their authors as having made &lsquo;defamatory allegations&rsquo; to which there was &#39;no truth whatsoever&#39;.&quot; <br /><br />Collins, a professor emeritus of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and Burr, a retired employee of the US State Department, who were not personally named in the libel action, have refused to endorse their publisher&#39;s settlement.<br /><br />&quot;What happened to freedom of the press?&quot; Stern said. &quot;We&#39;re talking about two very credible American writers here. The very idea that these authors could be silenced in the US by a British court is not only outrageous and fraught with frightening journalistic implications, it&#39;s simply un-American.&quot;<br /><br />As part of Stern&#39;s statement, Bonus Books also looks at the case of Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of <em>Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It</em>, who was also subject of a libel action, filed in British courts by Bin Mahfouz.</p>