Daniel Pipes: Receives apology from "Muslim Weekly"

Historians in the News

The Muslim Weekly, a London-based publication, issued an apology today to Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, concerning a defamatory article it published in February 2007.

That article repeated a false allegation made by Tariq Ramadan that Daniel Pipes had lied to a conference hosted by London mayor Ken Livingstone in January 2007. (For details of what did occur, see the article by Mr. Pipes,"Is Tariq Ramadan Lying [about Magdi Allam]?")

Upon receipt of a libel complaint from Mr. Pipes, the Muslim Weekly accepted that Mr. Pipes spoke accurately at the conference and that he did not lie. The Muslim Weekly apologized to Mr. Pipes for the distress caused by the article. The Muslim Weekly's retraction, published both in print and online in the Feb. 29, 2008 issue, reads in full as follows:

On February 9, 2007, the Muslim Weekly published an article,"World civilisation conference: Professor Tariq Ramadan on Islamic Threat," under the byline of Dr. Mozammel Haque, concerning a speech given by Professor Ramadan on 20 January 2007. We reported that he accused Professor Daniel Pipes, an American specialist on the Middle East, of lying in his speech to the same conference about the religion of an Egyptian Muslim. We now understand that Professor Pipes spoke accurately and that he did not lie. We retract what we wrote about him and apologise to Professor Pipes for any distress caused by our article.

Reacting to this apology, Mr. Pipes said:"I am delighted that Muslim Weekly recognizes there is no truth whatsoever in Tariq Ramadan's allegations concerning my statement at the World Civilization Conference, and that it has forthrightly set the record straight."

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Sally Gee - 3/5/2008

So Mr Pipes shopped around and made use of the legally lax and highly punitive English libel courts to extract an apology from The Muslim Weekly for a report it made of a public speech made by Professor Tariq Ramadan. The Muslim Weekly then retracts what it said about Mr Pipes. Interesting.

But what does Professor Tariq Ramadan think of this? Has he retracted and apologisd. If not, is Mr Pipes going to threaten him with an action for defamation in the English courts? I think he should if he is serious about maintaining his reputation for academic integrity.