Unless there is an order from a U.S. court, the British settlement is unenforceable in the United States, and libraries are under no legal obligation to return or destroy the book. Libraries are considered to hold title to the individual copy or copies, and it is the library's property to do with as it pleases. Given the intense interest in the book, and the desire of readers to learn about the controversy first hand, we recommend that U.S. libraries keep the book available for their users.
This entire situation brings up the question whether publishers actually have the right to ask libraries to return books. There have been other examples in the past where authors have been caught plagerizing. James Frey's A Million Pieces and Kaavya Viswanathan's How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life come to mind, however, those are examples of fiction titles as opposed to the non-fiction Alms for Jihad. In this particular case, there still seems to be a lot of disagreement as to whether the author was wrong about Mahfouz. These things are always open to interpretation and that case, a book should still be available at a library for readers to discern their own opinion. Any thoughts?