Advocacy group MEND has accused Fiaz Mughal, the director of the Islamophobia monitoring organisation Tell MAMA, of abusing parliamentary privilege to make a series of libelous allegations.
On December 13, Mughal told the Home Affairs Select Committee that his organisation had been subject to attacks that it was too Jew-friendly, for being friends of Zionists because its chair is Jewish, or for being in the pay of Mossad.
Mughal went on to argue “those groups also have some sway in this House, and it is extremely troubling,” before adding “we have to tackle that group head-on as well, and make very clear that their conspiracy, their anti-Semitism, their hatred towards other communities and that their unipolar view of life actually will be challenged.”
When asked to identify by name the groups he was alluding to, Mughal said: “Well I can give you some groups. MEND for example, I can give you other groups like CAGE for example.”
But in a detailed response to the committee MEND said that it would have sued Mr Mughal for slander had he made the allegations outside of parliament.
MEND said it had never made comments against Tell MAMA for being too Jew-friendly, for being the friends of Zionists or for being in the pay of Mossad.
MEND’s response said: “The suggestion MEND is a ‘group’ which ‘purports to tackle Islamophobia’ is patently slanderous and carries the danger not just of undermining our work with grassroots communities but also of diminishing the voluntary efforts of the thousands of British citizens, Muslim and non-Muslim, who volunteer in our local working groups or support our work in local communities…
“It is inconceivable that we, as an organisation committed to fostering partnerships and collaborations with other groups in society to tackle all forms or hatred, would indulge in pernicious victimisation of Jewish people. The accusation is an abominable slur and were it not for the power of absolute privilege which constrains our ability to meet this outrageous claim with firm legal action, we would engage it forthwith.
“It is a travesty that the Committee must address in order to ensure its evidence hearings are not brought into disrepute nor privilege abused with profligate falsehoods and fabrications uttered by individuals invited to present authoritative, well researched evidence.