London – The Times newspaper has agreed to unreservedly apologise  and pay damages in the sum of £30,000 in addition to legal costs to CAGE its Outreach Director Moazzam Begg following an inaccurate story in June this year.
This story is in line with the well know strategy of The Times in using Islamophobic tropes to target and malign Muslim activists.
CAGE will be dedicating the damages paid to expose state sponsored Islamophobia and those complicit with it in the press. The Murdoch press empire has actively supported of xenophobic elements, and undermined principles of open society and accountability. We will continue to shine a light on war criminals and torture apologists and press barons who fan the flames of hate.
Moazzam Begg, CAGE Outreach Director said:
“Over the years, Muslims in Britain have become accustomed to reading sensationalist and defamatory headlines in popular newspapers. The aim of these stories appear to be two-fold. Firstly, to perpetuate a narrative that demonises Muslims who seek justice and accountability from the state and, secondly, to make huge profits in the process. On this occasion, after being forced to recognise its unacceptable behaviour, The Times has apologised and offered compensation for the injury caused to us in the line of our work.”
“This will not be the last time The Times uses its pages to generate more hostility towards Muslim activists. We can only hope that this settlement serves as a reminder to others that the truth is not negotiable.”
“In the meantime, this decision will assist CAGE with its important work in exposing war criminals and torture apologists – alongside their facilitators within the media.”
Zillur Rahman of Rahman Lowe Solicitors, who represented CAGE and Moazzam Begg, said:
“We are delighted by this outcome for our clients. £30,000 is a substantial sum of damages for an article that was online for less than 24 hours. It exemplifies the gravity of the allegations and provides the vindication to which CAGE and Mr Begg are entitled. It also demonstrates that the media cannot publish defamatory articles and assume that removing them from their websites and publishing inadequate corrections will permit them to avoid liability for these libels.”
 This is the full wording of the apology as published in the Times’s print copy and their website:
We incorrectly suggested (News, 25 June) that the advocacy organisation CAGE and its Outreach Director, Moazzam Begg, were supporting the individual suspected of the Reading knife attacks of June 20, 2020, and that they were excusing his actions by reference to failings by the police and others. We also wrongly stated that they refused to comment on their involvement with the suspect. In fact, while they commented on police and media reaction to the attack, they had no involvement with the suspect. We apologise to CAGE and Mr Begg for these errors and for the distress caused, and we have agreed to pay them damages and legal costs.
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)