Amazon’s 21st Century Book Banning

Amazon Bans Tommy Robinson’s Book, ‘Mohammed’s Koran’ [the story is here]

It’s the British government and the BBC, rather than CAIR, that are likely behind this, but Amazon has just dropped the book Mohammed’s Koran by the renowned British activist Tommy Robinson and Peter McLoughlin — and apparently only because its censors dislike Robinson. In the last two weeks, Robinson spectacularly embarrassed the BBC by exposing the bias and dishonesty of its reporter John Sweeney. The retaliation has been swift and severe: Robinson has been banned from YouTube and Facebook, and now his book has been withdrawn from sale.

Amazon has a right to refuse to sell any book or product it pleases. That’s true of any private company.

However, the issue isn’t one of rights. The issue is one of integrity.

Amazon started out as, and still claims to be, a bookseller. Booksellers sell books. They don’t evaluate the books’ content, whether for reasons of personal vendetta or ideology. They simply sell books.

Should a bookseller offer Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf for sale? Legally, it’s the bookseller’s right to choose. But morally, by a standard of integrity, they should. Selling such an evil book does not condone the content of the book nor the later actions of its author. You really have no business calling yourself a bookseller of all books — as opposed to a niche market — unless you’re prepared to sell anything that’s a serious book. Ditto for The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, by the way, two books that could not be more different in their positions and style.

The case of Tommy Robinson’s book is different from Hitler’s Mein Kampf, and hugely ironic. Tommy Robinson is an advocate for separation of church and state and the liberty of individuals against the tyranny of Islam. He walks the talk and has paid for it legally under the savagely pro-Muslim British government. Islamic regimes persecute Jews, and Robinson’s writings and actions are, of course, deeply offensive to Muslims. So what? Why should that concern a bookseller? Why should it concern a bookseller if Robinson questions the Muslim faith? People question Christian faith all the time. People challenge atheism too. Why is that the concern of a bookseller?

It’s not Amazon’s place to take sides. But even if Amazon wished to take sides — why in the world would Amazon worry about the feelings of Muslims who operate terrorist regimes like Iran over the feelings of people who want to read Tommy Robinson’s story? What will happen to the free market that helped create Amazon if Amazon starts to act like we’re no longer a country with a First Amendment?

It’s madness. But we live in truly insane times.

Amazon is not a government. It’s still a private company. But in our present era, private companies are psychologically grooming us for dictatorship. They’re operating their companies the way a dictatorship, if it ever took hold in America, would operate. Is that what we want? The time to speak up is now — before it’s too late.


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