Muslims of America, Christian Action Network square off in NY libel suit over book on terror

moaALBANY, N.Y. — A Muslim group is accusing a Christian organization of defamation for publishing a book that accuses the Muslim collective of holding terrorist training in its enclaves.

The Christian Action Network refuses to back down, challenging Muslims of America Inc. to prove the allegations wrong in an upstate New York court.

The Muslim group has a community in Hancock, near Binghamton, N.Y., and others around the U.S. It calls the network’s accusations deliberate and damaging lies.

Attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud said the Muslim group is seeking retractions and $18 million in damages, and a halt to further publication of network founder Martin Mawyer’s 2012 book, “Twilight in America: the Untold Story of Terrorist Training Camps Inside America.”

The group’s residential communities are peaceful, Amatul-Wadud said.

In court papers, Muslims of America said it was founded around 1985 as a New York religious corporation whose principal place of worship is Hancock, where it bought 60 acres of rural property to provide a safe haven for inner city families. It now also has communities in Georgia, Michigan, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Canada and Trinidad.

Channel 4 announces return of Undercover Mosque

Three months after Dispatches: Undercover Mosque won a police apology and libel damages, Channel 4 has announced it is returning to the subject in Undercover Mosque: The Return. Earlier this year West Midlands police and the Crown Prosecution Service paid out a six-figure sum to Channel 4 and Undercover Mosque Hardcash, the independent producer responsible for the documentary, after falsely accusing the programme of misleading viewers. The documentary, an undercover investigation into extremism in mainstream British mosques, featured preachers calling for homosexuals to be killed, espousing male supremacy, condemning non-Muslims and predicting jihad. Last August, West Midlands police referred the critically acclaimed programme to media regulator Ofcom and, in conjunction with the CPS, issued a statement saying the words of three preachers featured had been “heavily edited” so their meaning was “completely distorted”. However, Ofcom cleared Channel 4 and Hardcash of any TV fakery and ruled they “dealt with the subject matter responsibly and in context”. The two companies subsequently launched their libel action. Tara Conlan reports. It has now emerged that the same Hardcash production team have revisited the subject to “see whether extremist beliefs continue to be promoted in certain key British Muslim institutions”.

Sir Salman Rushdie wages questions over new book – libel, or freedom of expression?

Salman Rushdie is threatening to sue publisher John Blake Publishing Ltd. over a book by a former bodyguard that he says portrays him as mean, nasty, tight-fisted, arrogant, and extremely unpleasant. Rushdie’s lawyer Mark Stephens wrote a letter to the publisher, demanding that the book – called On Her Majesty’s Service – be withdrawn from publication. Rushdie has been accused of trying to stop freedom expression, which would be a curious move contrary to what he has long advocated. However, Rushdie has asserted that he is not trying to prevent his former bodyguard – Ron Evens – from publishing the book, but that if the publication goes as planned, there will be consequences and there will be a libel action, citing a difference between free-speech and libel.

Yusuf Islam accepts libel award

Yusuf Islam, the singer-songwriter formerly known as Cat Stevens, accepted substantial libel damages and an apology for articles that claimed he was sexist and bigoted, lawyers said. London’s High Court was told the World Entertainment News Network news agency and an entertainment web site, contactmusic.com, agreed to pay “substantial damages” for allegations made about him at an awards ceremony in Germany. The articles, published in March last year, falsely claimed he had refused to speak to or even acknowledge any women who were not veiled and was not prepared to speak to women other than through an intermediary, Islam’s lawyer said. Adam Tudor said his client was caused “considerable embarrassment and distress” at the allegations, which had created an “utterly false impression of his attitude to women” and cast aspersions on his faith. “In fact, Mr Islam has never had any difficulties working with women, whether for religious or for any other reasons. Women feature among some of the most influential people in his professional team,” he added.

“All of the damages secured by Mr Islam will be paid to his charity, Small Kindness. The defendants have also agreed to pay Mr Islam’s legal costs.” A spokeswoman for law firm Carter-Ruck told AFP that no details of the exact award would be made public.

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Yusuf Islam accepts libel award

Yusuf Islam, the singer-songwriter formerly known as Cat Stevens, accepted substantial libel damages and an apology for articles that claimed he was sexist and bigoted, lawyers said. London’s High Court was told the World Entertainment News Network news agency and an entertainment web site, contactmusic.com, agreed to pay “substantial damages” for allegations made about him at an awards ceremony in Germany. The articles, published in March last year, falsely claimed he had refused to speak to or even acknowledge any women who were not veiled and was not prepared to speak to women other than through an intermediary, Islam’s lawyer said. Adam Tudor said his client was caused “considerable embarrassment and distress” at the allegations, which had created an “utterly false impression of his attitude to women” and cast aspersions on his faith. “In fact, Mr Islam has never had any difficulties working with women, whether for religious or for any other reasons. Women feature among some of the most influential people in his professional team,” he added. “All of the damages secured by Mr Islam will be paid to his charity, Small Kindness. The defendants have also agreed to pay Mr Islam’s legal costs.” A spokeswoman for law firm Carter-Ruck told AFP that no details of the exact award would be made public.

Most outspoken on Islamic Extremism

Dewsbury Labour MP Shahid Malik has told the High Court that he had spoken out against Islamic extremism more than anyone else in the country. The international development minister is suing for libel damages over a “bullying” press campaign which he says branded him a racist whose divisive style was to blame for the rise of the BNP in the area.http://themuslimweekly.com/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=BAA9F82DA62E057F151EA75A&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News