Mr John Blake,
Metro Publishing Ltd,
3 Bramber Court,
2 Bramber Road,
2nd July 2003
Re: The Beheading & Other True Stories, by Bob Crew
We are writing concerning your publication of the above-named book earlier this month.
On its front cover, the book is purported to be a "shocking investigation into the barbarism of modern-day Saudi Arabia". Perhaps to try and illustrate this graphically, you have published a photograph on the back cover that claims to show "crowds gathering at a public stoning in Saudi Arabia". In actuality, though, the photograph is nothing of the sort. It is, in fact, a photo taken during the holy Muslim season of Hajj of pilgrims throwing pebbles at a stone pillar in an action that is said to symbolically represent the rejection of the temptations of Satan. This is plainly an unacceptable and insulting error and one that should have been spotted by even the most cursory of editorial checks.
To compound the offence, another gross mistake is made opposite page 120, where a photograph is alleged to show "a public hanging in Saudi Arabia".
A closer inspection of the photograph reveals that it is actually a hanging scene taken from the movie "Lion of the Desert" showing the hero, the esteemed Libyan resistance leader, Umar al-Mukhtar (played by Anthony Quinn), being executed by the Italian occupation forces in the early 1930s.
To add to the farcical nature of your book's claim, you can easily spot the Italian flag fluttering atop two of the military vehicles in the photograph.
These are extremely serious errors indeed, and only highlight the desperate lengths which your photo editors seem to have gone to in order to try and blacken the image of the Divine code of Shari'ah, the Islamic system of law.
The constant and tiresome derogatory references throughout the book to Islamic criminal punishments as being �extremist� (page 2), �medieval� (page 3), �barbaric and brutal� (page 5), �inhumane� (page 13), �vile� (page 26), �soul-destroying� (page 33), �disgusting� (page 42), �savage� (page 53), �cruel� (page 64), etc, betray the author�s own sad and prejudiced mind and his fundamental ignorance of the lofty aim and purpose of the Shari�ah in Islam.
We cannot but conclude that your publication � at this particular juncture - of Bob Crew�s woefully inaccurate and evidently spiteful book, is clearly designed to inflame feelings against the Islamic faith, its basic tenets, and its increasingly numerous followers.
We would urge you to immediately withdraw all copies of this book which ridiculously describes itself in its title as consisting of �true stories�.
Its continued availability in shops, despite its glaring and hugely embarrassing errors, will be deeply offensive to many Muslims, and indeed, to all who have any respect for the actual truth.
Mr Inayat Bunglawala,
The Muslim Council of Britain