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Muslim cleric wins defamation case against Australian media group

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Australia’s Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohammed

Australia’s grand mufti has won a case against a media group that had published insulting articles against him.

Ibrahim Abu Mohammed settled the dispute with News Corp in his favor in the New South Wales Supreme Court on Friday, according to media reports.

The terms of the settlement were not released. But the Australian National Imams Council in a statement welcomed the settlement.

Mohamed “has dedicated his life to the pursuit of knowledge, justice, and peace, and is proud to continue to represent the religious views of the vast majority of Australian Muslims,” read the statement.

Mohammed took legal action against Sydney’s Daily Telegraph early last year after the media group published two defamatory articles against the cleric and depicted him as a monkey on the paper’s front page on November 18 that year.

The two articles suggested that the cleric supported extremist groups and was “an apologist for the terrorist attacks in Paris” by the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which had occurred on November 13, 2015.

The terrorist attacks in the French capital had left at least 130 people dead and hundreds more injured.

The articles caused outrage in Australia’s Muslim community, prompting Mohamed to file the legal complaint.

Mohamed, who had issued a statement before the defamatory articles condemning the loss of innocent lives in the Paris attacks and expressing his deepest condolences to the families and friends of the victims, said the articles had damaged his public image.

Along with other high-profile Islamic leaders, Mohamed had also issued a new year’s message in condemnation of Daesh. In the message, the scholars had warned young people against joining Daesh.

The Takfiri terrorist organization is mainly concentrated in parts of Iraq and Syria. The group carries out terrorist attacks in many other countries, however.

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