Editor’s note: The British Library has sent out the following tweet, in response to this article:
BL Press Office
@JewishPress @DanielPipes these sites were blocked in error by our wifi filter and were unblocked yesterday – apologies for the mistake.
Prominent counter-jihadis like Geert Wilders, Michael Savage, and Robert Spencer have the distinction of being banned from entry into the United Kingdom – and, now, Her Majesty’s Government, in its wisdom, has also banned 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:
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 antisemitic sites, all accessed in the past few days:
• Exposing the Holocaust Hoax Archive: the name tells it all • Gilad Atzmon: the personal website of a toxically antisemitic Jew • Jew Knowledge: contains learned inquiries into Jewish control of Hollywood, Jewish connections to 9/11, and the like • Muslim Public Affairs Committee, UK: an antisemitic 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: 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: 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. Its trustees openly incite hatred against Jews, women, et al. • Muslimah’s Renaissance: 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.
About the Author: Daniel Pipes is a world-renowned Middle East and Islam expert. He is President of the Middle East Forum. His articles appear in many newspapers. He received his A.B. (1971) and Ph.D. (1978) from Harvard University and has taught at Harvard, Pepperdine, the U.S. Naval War College, and the University of Chicago. He is a board member of the U.S. Institute of Peace and other institutions. His website is DanielPipes.org.
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