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Daily Mail apologises and pays damages to a Muslim family

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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 19th December 2016 21:15
The Daily Mail delivered a Christmas present to remember today with news that the newspaper’s infamous columnist, Katie Hopkins, has been forced to apologise to a Muslim family for two defamatory columns in which she accused them of being “extremists with links to Al Qaeda”; claimed their planned family visit to Disneyland last December was “a lie,” argued “US Homeland Security were right to prevent them from boarding their flight” and suggested that the plaintiff Mohammed Tariq Mahmood’s son, Hamza Mahmood, was “responsible for a Facebook page which allegedly contained extremist material.”

Ms Hopkins looks to have finally earned her just desserts with the family successfully suing the newspaper and securing an apology and £150,000 in damages.

A press release from law firm Carter Ruck explains the libellous claims and the efforts by the Mahmood brothers to clear their names in the face of atrocious allegations made by Hopkins and published by the Daily Mail.

In uncharacteristically sheepish fashion, Ms Hopkins tweeted her apology to the Mahmood family at 2am, perhaps hoping it would go unnoticed.

It would hardly pass without comment given the lengths the Daily Mail has gone to to defend the bile spewed by Hopkins and resident Islamophobe, Richard Littlejohn.

When Richard Littlejohn published a column decrying a family day out at Legoland Windsororganised by the Muslim charity, Muslim Research and Development Foundation, the newspaper responded to an open letter from Muslim leaders to claim the column was “a spoof” and that “freedom of expression is one of the pillars of British democracy, and for that reason our columnists are not censored or told that certain subjects are off-limits.”

Indeed, so free of censors are columnists at the Daily Mail that despite Hopkins’ twice being referred to the police for incitement to racial hatred, in March and April 2015 for a Twitter exchange with Simon Danzcuk MP and a column published by The Sun in which she referred to migrants as “cockroaches” respectively, the newspaper hired her in September of that year. No doubt to show its commitment to freedom of speech.

While the newspaper may pride itself for exercising no censorship (or decency and common sense), libel is something it cannot evade.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Tariq and Zahid Mahmood said:

“We are very pleased that, after a great deal of dragging of their heels, the Mail and Ms Hopkins have now accepted that what they published was completely false. Even to this day the US authorities have not explained the reason why we were not permitted to travel; we assume it was an error or even a case of mistaken identity. However, matters are not helped when such sensationalist and, frankly, Islamophobic articles such as this are published, and which caused us all a great deal of distress and anxiety. We are very pleased that the record has been set straight.”
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