He may have left the Telegraph behind a while back, but Andrew “Transcription Error” Gilligan is still costing the group serious sums of money in the form of legal bills. The latest of his packs of lies to come unstuck is the result of an attempt to get at Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. As so often with Gilligan, it’s the Scary Muslims (tm) once more.
As the Guardian has told, the Tel “has paid ‘substantial damages’ to the general secretary of Finsbury Park mosque after it falsely portrayed him as a supporter of violent lslamist extremism as part of a botched attempt to criticise the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn”.
There was more. “In March 2016 the newspaper published an article headlined: ‘Corbyn and the mosque leader who blames the UK for Isil.’ The story tried to connect the Labour leader to extremist views allegedly held by Mohammed Kozbar … [he] successfully argued that the article was defamatory and the Sunday Telegraph has now … paid damages understood to be in the region of £30,000 to settle the case. This does not include the newspaper’s costs”. And who was the author of the piece?
“The piece, by the journalist Andrew Gilligan, claimed the mosque administrator supported the use of violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict and blamed the UK government for the rise of Islamic State”. And Kozbar’s lawyer had harsh words for Gilligan.
“Jonathan Coad of Keystone Law, who took up the case after Kozbar was unsatisfied with a ruling by the press regulator Ipso, said: ‘While there are many responsible elements of the press, the demonising of Muslims in some parts of it is immensely destructive … These legal proceedings should never have been necessary. The article should not have been published.” Like most of Gilligan’s copy, then.
As Zelo Street regulars may recall, this is not the first time Gilligan has gone after followers of The Prophet a little too enthusiastically: last year, the Tel had to pay £20,000 in damages to Haras Ahmed for smearing him as an “Islamist activist”. As with Mohammed Kozbar, Gilligan kept on claiming he was right. He was not.
And he’s still at it, telling anyone who will listen “As part of its long retreat from journalism, the Telegraph now settles any legal claim, no matter how brazen. I am happy to say that Mohammed Kozbar is the secretary of a mosque linked to Hamas - and if he wants to sue me, he knows where to come” and telling one unbeliever “You might care to look at my next tweet - or the extensive work done by many others on this terrorist-linked mosque”.
The reality is that “linking” a mosque, or an individual, to terrorism in general, or groups like Hamas in particular, is that it means Sweet Jack. A hack like Gilligan links the two, and - hey presto! - they are “linked”. It does not mean there is any other connection between them. That, put simply, is why Gilligan protests too much.
The BBC was right to dispense with his services. So was the Tel. Andrew Gilligan’s obsession with Scary Muslims (tm) has fatally clouded his already shaky journalism, leaving a succession of legal bills in his wake. And there may be more to come.