BBC2 Newsnight sued for libel by Hanif Malik over “The BBC’s Children in Need charity and the 7/7 bombers”.
BBC 2 Newsnight had a lead story in August this year “The BBC’s Children in Need charity and the 7/7 bombers”.
Leeds community leader Hanif Malik claims that the BBc2 programme , that through a charitable body he led, he was responsible for fraudulently and improperly diverting money provided by Children in Need for educating disadvantaged children to Islamic extremists.
He has instituted libel proceedings in the High Court against the BBC and is asking for damages of £100,000 from the BBC. (Press Gazette today)
The writ, claims that the Newsnight story also alleged that the money was used to produce radical Islamist propaganda and to give financial support to some of the men later responsible for the terrorist bombings in London on 7 July 2005.
Malik claims that his character and reputation had been seriously damaged, and that he had suffered considerable distress, embarrassment, anxiety, and injury to his feelings. He also wants aggravated damages, saying the allegations were extremely serious and highly damaging, given his high profile in Leeds, and his prominent role in multi-faith and community initiatives before and after the bombings.
He accused the BBC of failing to carry out any proper checks before broadcasting the allegations. he maintains that one of the principal BBC sources is unreliable.
Malik says that the BBC failed to give him any chance to reply to the allegations. Apparently BBC journalist Richard Watson (he received a second Royal Television Society award - this time for his investigation into the Officially infiltrated MI5 /6/ SAS radical Islamist group Al Muhajiroun) left a message saying he would like to ask questions about funding.
Malik said there was nothing to suggest the story concerned Leeds Community School or terrorism, and he saw no reason to respond to the message, and he did not do so.
Neither Watson nor anyone else from the BBC made any attempt to put the allegations to him, he claimed.
Malik argued that there was no urgency to publish the story, and that the BBC had no reason for not carrying out proper checks or giving him a proper opportunity to respond before the story was broadcast.
He is also seeking an injunction banning repetition of the allegations against him.
Richard Watson has his own page on the BBC2 Newsnight website where you can see selections of his reports - curiously omitting “The BBC’s Children in Need charity and the 7/7 bombers”.
The page has some fascinating external links - well it did just now..
The Charity Commission show Hanif Malik is a Trustee of 1043485 -
ISLAMIA EDUCATIONAL TRUST LEEDS - 1081006 FAITH TOGETHER IN LEEDS 11
1110303 THE ORPHAN CHILD Details of Faith Together can be found on the Communities and Local Government website.
Prospect magazine -"Taking sport seriously"
This is not the first time these sort of allegations have been made , when Prospect magazine made similiar claims they published an apology in December 2007 which you can find here ....
HANIF MALIK: AN APOLOGY
In issue 135 we published an article entitled "The Making of a Terrorist" by Shiv Malik. A letter by Martin Gilbertson commenting on certain aspects of this article was published under the title "My brother the bomber 2" in Issue 136. Both the article and the letter made reference to Hanif Malik, a prominent community leader in Beeston and the former director of the Hamara Healthy Living Centre. The article and the letter made a number of serious allegations about Mr Malik. These included allegations in both publications that he promoted the spread of radical Islamist ideas and in the letter that he allocated public funding in a discriminatory way, controlled a gang of Muslim youths known as the "Mullah Boys" and had dishonestly concealed the closeness of his relationship with the 7/7 bombers.
We accept that there is no truth whatever in any of the allegations made. Mr Malik is a respected community leader who has repeatedly expressed his shock at the 7/7 bombings and has been prominent in a number of local multi-faith initiatives. He has never been a supporter of radical Islamism. We are happy to take this opportunity to put the record straight and to apologise unreservedly to Mr Malik for the upset and distress which was caused. We have agreed to pay him substantial damages for libel along with his legal costs. The article and the letter have been removed from our website. (See review of article at Yahya Birt Director of City Circle )
Those not too familiar with the 7/7 story might not remember how Mr Gilbertson - from Blackpool, but a longtime resident of Yorkshire - who was / is a former Hell's Angel and Motorhead roadie and was said to be now working towards a university thesis on the radicalisation of Islam in Leeds.
But it was his IT expertise that was sought out by the men who ran four entwined institutions in Beeston frequented by two of the July 7 bombers - the Iqra Islamic bookshop, the Leeds Community School, the "al-Qaida gym" and the Hamara Youth Access Point (YAP), an offshoot of a mainstream Muslim community centre nearby.... read more about this fascinating man ... Guradian June 24th 2006
Poor Journalism 13th Oct 2005 exposed has some fascinating information about the fascinating journalist Shiv Malik ..
Shiv Malik is a Leeds graduate who has worked on recent articles for the Independent on Sunday and New Statesman. His claims to fame are "outing" Dilpazier Aslam, the Guardian trainee, and also calling a lot of other employers to inform them that they are employing members of Hizb ut-Tahrir. He has also written disparaging articles about other Islamic groups including Young Muslims
and Islamic Society of Britain.
A story in the Independent on 15th July 2005 just after the 7/7 bombings shows that Hanif Malik was recognisable as a community leader / spokesperson.
The BBC are of course a highly reputable, extremely well funded international news organisation who employ lots of MI5 contacts, MI6 contacts, fact checkers, solicitors, Editors, sub-Editors, Researchers, gofers, ladies with clip boards etc., and cannot possibly have made a mistake or been stupid enough to believe these stories. Can they ?
Unless of course they had another agenda?