Australia’s Grand Mufti is suing the Australian Daily Telegraph over its coverage of him after the terrorist attacks in Paris last November.
“A statement of claim was filed in the New South Wales supreme court on Friday alleging the News Corp tabloid had suggested Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed was ‘an apologist for the terrorist attacks in Paris,’ a supporter of ‘violent Islamic holy war’ and had deliberately refused to attend a vigil after the attacks, among other claims,” the Guardian reported.
According to the Guardian, the Australian National Imam’s Council said it complained to News Corp. and sought corrections, but the newspaper would not address the complaints.
The Telegraph declined to comment, saying to iMediaEthics, “We don’t comment on legal matters.”
The Grand Mufti’s lawyer sent iMediaEthics a copy of the complaint. The suit said it was defamatory to call him “The Unwise Mufti” and to suggest he was “an apologist for the terrorist attacks on Paris,” “turns a blind eye to terrorism,” “deliberately failed to attend a requiem mass for the victims of the Paris terrorism attacks,” and so on.
iMediaEthics wrote in November about the Telegraph‘s coverage because it depicted the Grand Mufti as a monkey on its front page. The front-page photos of Grand Mufti Dr. Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, were captioned “Sees no problem, Hears no concerns, Speaks no English.” (Mohamed is Egyptian and doesn’t speak English.) The headline was “The Unwise Mufti.”
The Telegraph had criticized the Grand Mufti at the time for his response to the attacks in Paris, claiming he tried “to shift blame for the attacks to everything from ‘racism to Islamophobia.’”
UPDATE: 4/25/2016 9:28 PM EST With information from the Grand Mufti’s lawyer