Muslim wins libel payout over Qadiani sect claim

The Muslim Weekly has agreed to pay a ‘substantial’ sum in damages to after it wrongly stated that a leading UK Muslim was a member of the the Qadiani religious sect.

Dr Taj Hargey is chairman of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford, and sued over a story headlined “Muslim Scholars pull out of Qadiani conference” – which appeared in The Muslim Weekly newspaper on 19 May.

His lawyer David Price said in the High Court today: “The article alleged that the claimant holds himself out as the chairman of the MECO and a practising Muslim, when he is in fact a Qadiani and therefore a non-Muslim; a matter that he seeks to conceal.

“The article went on to allege that in consequence, the claimant was misleading the public by holding himself out as the chairman of a Muslim organisation and arranging events in that capacity, notwithstanding his true non-Muslim beliefs.

“The article also alleged that the claimant was sacked from his post teaching Islamic Studies at the University of Cape Town, as a result of the fact that he is a closet Qadiani.

“The truth is that, contrary to the article, the claimant is not a Qadiani. He has always been a devout and observant Muslim, who believes in the finality of the prophet Muhammad and who attends the Mosque regularly and has been on a Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.

“The claimant was not dismissed from his post at the University of Cape Town. He left the University on his own accord at the end of his fixed term appointment contract.”

Price said that the newspaper has agreed to pay a substantial sum in damages plus legal costs.

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