The telegraph has issued an apology to Mr Nasim Ashraf and Mrs Hafizan Zaman for the defamation article published by them over the alleged ‘Trojan Horse plot’
Mr Ashraf and Mrs Zaman were successfully presented by Rahman Lowe Solicitors and Doughty Street Chambers.
The Telegraph has also agreed to pay for any libel damages and legal costs.
The ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal began from a letter being sent to Birmingham City Council, claiming that schools were being targeted by “Islamists” to make them align more on Islamic principles.
The defamatory article was published on 20 February 2017. It was indicated that Mr Ashraf and Mrs Zaman were responsible for a ‘Trojan Horse’ plot involving an Islamist campaign of intimidation to take over Clarksfield Primary School in Oldham, with the aim of imposing an aggressive and separatist agenda on the students.
The article – no longer available on The Telegraph’s website – was written by Henry Bodkin and ran with the headline: “Second Islamist ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal feared after Oldham headteacher reports death threats.
The Telegraph has set the record straight by publishing a statement recognising that the allegations are false and wholly unfounded.
Mr Ashraf and Mrs Zaman are extremely pleased with the outcome. Mr Ashraf said:
“We are very pleased that the Telegraph has apologised for what it accepts are completely false allegations. It is important that journalists report responsibly and not become “churnalists”, churning out any baseless accusation. In today’s times, as falsehood is spread quickly on the internet and accepted as true, this responsibility must be exercised with even greater care”.
“Hafizan and I have done nothing but positively contribute in a society, which regrettably, finds many reasons to divide communities and it was therefore surprising to us that we had been targeted in this way”.
“Whilst we are pleased and relieved that we have been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Telegraph, our struggle for justice shall continue until we have been vindicated by other media outlets who have also churned out similar defamatory allegations against us“.
The Telegraph apology in full:
“An article published on 20th February 2017 may have suggested that Mr Nasim Ashraf and Mrs Hafizan Zaman were responsible for a ‘Trojan Horse’ plot involving an Islamist campaign of intimidation to take over Clarksfield Primary School in Oldham with the aim of imposing an aggressive and separatist agenda on the students. We accept that such allegations are unfounded.
“We apologise to Mr Ashraf and Mrs Zaman for any distress caused and have agreed to pay them damages and costs.”