By Rachel Ehrenfeld
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is no stranger to the Islamic agenda. As the Quartet's special envoy to the Middle East, Blair’s recent statement—“If these people could have killed 30,000 or 300,000 [on 9/11], they would have”—should serve as a wake up call.
While Blair recognizes that "Islam's roots are deep, its tentacles are long,” he failed to mention the role that Britain's libel laws play in helping radical Muslims shield their activities. Soon after the attacks on the U.S. on 9/11, wealthy financiers of al Qaeda, especially from Saudi Arabia, began using Britain’s plaintiff friendly libel laws and judges to muzzle the media from exposing national security threats, especially the names of al Qaeda’s financiers. Their laws have made England’s libel bar rich, and turned London into the Mecca of libel tourism.
While Blair recognizes that "Islam's roots are deep, its tentacles are long,” he failed to mention the role that Britain's libel laws play in helping radical Muslims shield their activities.
Libel tourism in the U.K. chilled the media’s commitment to shed light on matters of national security, depriving the public of important information and preventing critical debate. It causes investigative journalists and authors to stay away from reporting on terror financiers, and publishers to shun controversial subjects and authors.
Libel tourism also led to the international suppression of vital information on medicine, technological development, personal health, and public safety, and even the entertainment and film industry, in print and on the Internet.
British libel law has drawn national and international censure. Analyzing English libel law in 2008, the United Nations Human Rights Committee concluded that it has “discourage[d] critical media reporting on matters of serious public interest, adversely affecting the ability of scholars and journalists to publish their work, including through the phenomenon known as ‘libel tourism.’”
The current state of British libel law instigated the U.S. legislation to protect Americans' free expression from all foreign libel judgments. The Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act of 2010, was signed into law last month by President Obama. The SPEECH Act lifted the veil of secrecy that British laws and courts helped pull over Saudi and Gulf terror financiers. American investigative reporters and researchers are now protected from frivolous expensive foreign libel suits, and are free to expose the funders and supporters of the spread of the radical Islamic agenda.
The SPEECH Act lifted the veil of secrecy that British laws and courts helped pull over Saudi and Gulf terror financiers.
Considering Blair’s warning that Islamic ideology has penetrated “into even parts of mainstream opinion,” investigative reporting is needed to expose the perpetrators, their means and the level of penetration.
The SPEECH Act is the first bipartisan legislation that unanimously passed the 111th Congress. It was enacted to guarantee that the enemies of freedom fail to silence our free speech. The U.S. media is now free to resume its role in effort to foil further attacks on Americans at home and abroad and to prevent the growing threat of the Islamic agenda.
Rachel Ehrenfeld, Ph.D. is an expert on terrorist financing and the shadowy movement of funds through international banking, governments, business and charities to fund terrorism. She is the author of Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed – and How to Stop It (BonusBooks, 2003, 2005); Evil Money (HarperCollins, 1992, SPI, 1994) and Narco-Terrorism: How Governments Around the World Used the Drug Trade to Finance and Further Terrorist Activities (Basic Books, 1990, 1992).
Picture via Flickr, user sjgibbs80.