Mail Online pays out £150k to Mahmood family over Katie Hopkins Islamic extremist claims

Mail Online has paid £150,000 in libel damages to a family after columnist Katie Hopkins wrongly claimed three of its members were Islamic extremists in two separate articles.

The first of Hopkins’ columns, published on 23 December last year, suggested brothers Mohammed Tariq Mahmood Mohammed Zahid Mahmood had links to Al Qaeda.

Hopkins suggested the pair had lied about wanting to go to Disneyland on a visit to the USA and that Homeland Security were right to prevent them from  boarding their flight.

The article was titled: “Just because Britain’s border security is a Mickey Mouse operation you can’t blame America for not letting this lot travel to Disneyland – I wouldn’t either”.

In a second piece a few days later on 29 December, Hopkins suggested that Hamza Mahmood, son of Tariq, was responsible for a Facebook page allegedly containing “extremist material”.

The article included a picture of the Mahmood family home, which Hopkins described as a “known hotbed of extremism”.

Its headline read: “A brave Muslim tried to warn us this week about the extremists taking over his community. What a tragedy it is that our PC politicians would rather not know”.

Both articles were denounced as “sensationalist” and “Islamaphobic” by the Mahmood family.

An apology published online by the Mail Online earlier today said: “We are happy to make clear that Tariq Mahmood and Zahid Mahmood are not extremists, nor do they have links to Al Qaeda.

“They were travelling to the USA with their families to see one of their brothers for a holiday in California and they had indeed planned to visit Disneyland as part of their trip…

“Hamza Mahmood has pointed out that he is not responsible for the Facebook page, which was linked to him as a result of an error involving his email address.

“We are happy to make clear that there is no suggestion that either Hamza nor Taeeba or Hafsa Mahmood (Hamza’s mother and sister) have any links to extremism.

“We and Katie Hopkins apologise to the Mahmood family for the distress and embarrassment caused and have agreed to pay them substantial damages and their legal costs.”

A lawyer for the Mahmood family said the allegations against them had been “false and deeply distressing” and were made in “typically sensationalist terms”.

Mail Online also agreed to pay the Mahmood family’s legal costs after they brought a libel complaint against the Mail and Hopkins.

“Neither was able to put forward any defence or other justification for these appalling libels,” a statement from Carter Ruck, the family’s lawyers, said.

Hopkins tweeted a link to the apology at 2am today to her 667,000 followers.

Katie Hopkins tweets out the Mahmood family apology at 2am
Katie Hopkins tweets out the Mahmood family apology at 2am

In a statement, the Mahmood family 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.”

Comments

8 thoughts on “Mail Online pays out £150k to Mahmood family over Katie Hopkins Islamic extremist claims”

  1. I have just written a comment about Islamophobia and headscarves…

    I have no particular prejudice against headscarves and I see no reason why the wearing of them adds to Islamophobia. The fact is Islamophobia is a very sensible position to adopt for any reasonable person with a brain to think with for reasons far more important than women choosing to wear a headscarf.
    Islam is presented as a fairly benign religion and sometimes a force for good wherever Muslims are in a minority or when they want something from the none-believers. This is what their religion tells them to do, but when Muslims are in the majority and/or have power they tend to move to the right and change their attitude.

    The Quran has a light side and a very dark side and much that is ambiguous enough to be completely open to interpretation. Unlike Jesus Christ who was an angry young man who later mellowed, Mohammed was the reverse and seemed to become maladjusted and cruel in later life.
    Muslims seem free to choose which Islam they follow with the result it is far from being the perfect religion they claim and half the Muslims seem to hate the other half with a passion and would see them dead if they could. In this respect alone Islam is the most flawed and undesirable of the flawed and undesirable religions.

    The Quran instructs Muslims to inveigle themselves into none-believer society and to take every opportunity to further the cause of Islam and to gain power – and they do and when successful the tone changes. The none-Muslim population of Bosnia had become so sick of being treated like crap by the Muslims in the power sharing agreement they decided to engage in ethnic cleansing…

    To Muslims the religion comes before humanity. They don’t recognise a common humanity and none-believers have a status similar to food animals (or pets) and they are instructed to make agreements with us only for expediency or strategic purposes and to break such agreements as soon as possible. The religion tells Muslims to kill a significant proportion of the none-believers and to enslave the remainder.

    Slavery and sex-slavery is not just something fanatical lunatics like IS indulge in, enslavement at the hands of Muslims is life as usual in many parts of the Muslim world including parts of India.

    Islamophobia is a very good, healthy and wise state of being until a mind-reading machine is invented and is the only sensible approach when dealing with people who believe themselves superior…

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