• Lawfare

    Mohammed Kozbar of the Finsbury Park Mosque and Lawfare Silencing

    Low Lawfare Using lawfare to silence critics is a very low tactic. It can also be effective. A media outlet facing a defamation claim may simply settle to avoid a costly court process, even if the story in question is accurate and fair. This appears to be just what happened last week in the case of the Telegraph Media Group and Mohammed Kozbar, the chairman of the Finsbury Park Mosque. Kozbar claimed an article published in the Sunday Telegraph in 2016 was defamatory. The newspaper rejected the claims. It remained somewhat defiant to the end, as can be seen in last week’s court statement: The Defendant’s newspaper and website still…

  • Lawfare

    Haras Ahmed and Prevent Watch: the facts

    This is a cross-post from Andrew Gilligan I wrote in the Sunday Telegraph in January last year about something called Prevent Watch, an organisation of Islamist activists linked to the terror-sympathising group Cage (famously supportive of “Jihadi John”) who promote inflammatory stories about the Government’s anti-terrorism policy, Prevent. I discovered that not only were many of the stories false or exaggerated, but that several of the people presented as ordinary victims in them were in fact activists in Prevent Watch. Among these activists was a lady called Ifhat Smith, also known as Ifhat Shaheen or Ifhat Shaheen-Smith, who won copious newsprint and airtime with a claim that her schoolboy son…

  • Lawfare

    Salman Butt of Islam21C versus Downing Street

    If you want to challenge Islamist extremists, one of the hazards you will face is aggravating lawfare. Some will aim very high indeed. Take Salman Butt, Chief Editor of the Islamist website Islam21C. In 2015, Downing Street named him as one of six people “on record as expressing views contrary to British values” when it launched new “Prevent” anti-extremist guidance for universities. Stung, Butt went to court to challenge the guidance and the operations of the Home Office’s Extremism Analysis Unit (EAU). This Wednesday, he lost. There is some spin, but it is weak and unconvincing. One line in the full judgment struck me. It is presumably based on submissions…

  • Lawfare,  Media

    Prurient Interest of the Public

    I’m seeing lots of stupid headlines, like this one in The Guardian today: “Injunction ruling enables celebrities to hide sex lives, says top lawyer” Is anyone asking why celebrities should not – like any other person – be able to keep their sex lives private? What concern is it of anyone’s how Mr X or Ms Y express themselves sexually simply because they have achieved some notability in entertainment, sports or politics? We’re used to philosophical matters being dumbed down, but “The Public Interest” does NOT mean simply “things the public are interested in knowing”. It means “things that are in the interests of the public to know”. Surely even…

  • Lawfare

    Steve Bell v Arthur Kemp: Takedown Notice Race

    Harry’s Place announces an exciting competition – a Takedown Notice Race. Back in February, Arthur Kemp, the British National Party’s former foreign affairs spokesman and webmaster devoted considerable amounts of his time to having this picture removed from the internet: Arthur Kemp is a Nazi, yet for some reason appears ashamed of having been photographed with Nazi memorabilia. Therefore, to suppress this evidence, he came up with a wholly implausible and nonsensical story about his wife having somehow faked the photograph. He then issued a series of so-called “takedown notices” to ISPs, claiming copyright in the photograph. The allegation that the photograph had been faked is most unlikely to be true…

  • Hamas,  Interpal,  Lawfare

    Interpal and Hamas: Breakfast With Ismail

    The British charity Interpal tends to react furiously when it is linked to Hamas. So what’s this then? Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas participates in the breakfast with the martyrs’ families and orphans in Gaza and the ceremony was held in Ramadan food iftar Interpal Foundation charity. August 11, 2011 Was Interpal embarrassed? Oh no. Zaid Hassan (also known as Zaid Yemeni), Interpal’s Birmingham representative, was so pleased that he posted the picture on Facebook. Perhaps Carter-Ruck should have a word with him. The High Court heard that Interpal does not support Hamas and would not enjoy its charitable status in this country if it did support Hamas. Interpal…

  • Environmentalism,  Lawfare,  Libel,  West Africa

    Private Eye Wins the Trafigura Challenge

    I am pleased to learn, by way of Richard Wilson (no, not that one… or that other one either), that Private Eye has become the first British-based media outlet to report fully on allegations of what Trafigura got up to before their lawyers attempted to do what even Oliver Cromwell did not: subvert Parliamentary privilege through the asking of questions in the House of Commons. It will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone reading that this relates to the dumping of toxic waste on the Ivorian coast by Trafigura-chartered, Panamanian-registered Probo Koala in July 2006, resulting in a Camelford style local disaster. Previously, the ship had left the Port…

  • Lawfare

    “Muslim Brotherhood” Finsbury Park Mosque Libel Against Against Policy Exchange Fails

    So, the Finsbury Park Mosque libel action against Policy Exchange has ended in ignominious defeat for the Muslim Brotherhood aligned institution. Already embattled, as a result of the accusations of misconduct levelled at it by former Trustee and Labour MP, Khalid Mahmood, the Mosque is on the ropes. Policy Exchange is pleased to report that the libel action brought by the North London Central Mosque (NLCM) against it over its report The Hijacking of British Islam has now ended, following the dismissal of NLCM’s appeal against the order of Mr Justice Eady. NLCM has paid a substantial contribution towards Policy Exchange’s costs … In October 2010 NLCM discontinued its appeal and…

  • Islamism,  Lawfare

    Lawfare in the UK : Who Is Behind It This Time?

    This is a cross-post from Shiraz Maher Britain’s pernicious libel laws are in the spotlight again: recently the Spectator, a weekly publication focusing on politics, culture and the arts, settled an ongoing dispute with IslamExpo following legal threats. The organizers objected to an article by Stephen Pollard (editor of the Jewish Chronicle) which drew attention to the nature, background and politics of IslamExpo’s organizers. Documents registered with Companies House – a legal requirement for all incorporated companies in England and Wales – reveal that Mohammed Sawalha, Azzam Tamimi, Ismail Patel and Anas al-Tikriti are the registered directors and/or company secretaries. It is worth, therefore, exploring these individuals in more detail.…

  • Law Reform,  Lawfare,  Libel

    A sporting chance for victims of Lawfare

    When newspapers reported that Robert Dee, a British tennis player was “the worst professional tennis player in the world” after the sportsman had set a record for  54 straight-set losses on the international professional circuit he threatened to sue for libel. Like dominoes, iconic mastheads of British journalism toppled, issuing apologies and retractions. The Daily Mail wrote a cheque for £15,000; the Daily Express coughed up £5,000, and the BBC £12,500. Easy money. Swapping racquet for racket, and losing streak for windfall, the cheeky Dee crowed about his new-found success and is even posting copies of the incoming cheques on his website. But then The Daily Telegraph refused to back down and the issue went to court.…