Tell Mama founder to sue pro-Zionist activist for libel

Founder of Tell MAMA, Fiyaz Mughal

The founder of an anti-Muslim hate monitoring organization has threatened to file a lawsuit against a pro-Israeli activist over claims that she defamed him on Twitter.

Director of Tell Mama, Fiyaz Mughal, threatened legal action against Ambrosine Chetrit after she allegedly criticized his organization. In turn he accused her of siding with the English Defence League.

Mrs Chetrit, a music publicist with over 23,000 Twitter followers, said: “I am not anti-Muslim, I am not an EDL supporter, I just want to be able to say that I support Israel without the abuse that I received.”

The tweets which were sent in September 2012 and February this year allegedly stated that Mrs Chetrit compared Tell Mama to the Stasi and accused the group of “trying to close down pro-Israel accounts” on Twitter. Mr Mughal’s lawyer, Dr Farooq Bajwa, said she had also implied that Tell Mama encouraged anti-semitism.

Jewish community

Tell Mama was initially set up to assist Muslims in Britain report Islamophobic discrimination, and to monitor incidents similar to the Community Security Trust’s (CST) recording of anti-semitism. Pro-Israeli activist Sir Trevor Chinn is one of the organization’s patrons, and CST works very closely with Tell Mama.

Mr Mughal has referred to the Jewish community as Tell Mama’s “greatest ally”.

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In reference to the case he said: “It has nothing to do with people’s views on Israel. It has nothing to do with people’s views on Islamic radicalism. It’s a question of defending our reputation in relation to what she has said.”

Mrs Chetrit’s lawyer, Mark Lewis, said the tweets did not refer to Mr Mughal and were not defamatory.

Further controversy over a letter that was sent to Mrs Chetrit’s home address which she did not publicize resulted in Mr Lewis reporting Mr Mughal and Dr Bajwa to the police. The letter demanded an apology and damages from Mrs Chetrit.

Tell Mama legal battles

Tell Mama has been recently accused by the right-wing press for using its government funding to threaten members of the public with libel actions for criticisms on Twitter.

Former race adviser to the previous Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, Atma Singh, received a legal letter from Tell Mama after tweeting that it “gives a platform to Islamists” last year. Four other people are believed to have received similar legal letters demanding apologies and demanding financial damages.

In response to all these allegations Mr Mughal said: “We will defend the right of all people to express their identities and their support for countries and groups freely. However, we have the right to defend the integrity of our work when people broadcast [on Twitter] comments that are simply untrue and highly damaging about us.”

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