British Muslim group to sue Conservative Partys favourite think tank

August 15th, 2008 - 1:12 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Aug 15 (ANI): Right-wing think-tank Policy Exchange which has close links to Conservative Party leader David Camerons inner circle, is facing legal action for accusing British mosques of distributing extremist literature.

The Independent has learnt that the Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre in west London has hired the law firm Carter Ruck to sue the think-tank for defamation.

An initial complaint will be made very soon, The Independent quoted a source close to the case, as saying.

Al-Manaar claims that Policy Exchange fabricated several receipts used as evidence of purchase.

The North London Central Mosque in Finsbury Park, from which the jailed radical preacher Abu Hamza gave sermons, is also understood to be pursuing libel action against the think-tank through the solicitors” firm Dean and Dean.

Last October the BBCs Newsnight had been due to run an exclusive report on the findings of an article written for Policy Exchange by Denis MacEoin entitled The Hijacking of British Islam.

MacEoin argued that extremist literature was widely available in British mosques and shops adjoining them, that the Saudi Arabian government funded much of it, and that the Finsbury Park mosque was a major perpetrator of such distribution.

But when Richard Watson, the reporter covering the story, and Peter Barron, then editor of Newsnight, examined the report in detail, they found that five receipts used as incriminating evidence looked fake.

Policy Exchange undertook an internal inquiry into the receipts last December, but adjourned it because the Muslim researchers they employed went into hiding for fear of violent reprisals.

Since then, the Al-Manaar Centre has carried out its own investigation, as a result of which it has retained Carter Ruck which is understood to be drawing up a complaint against Policy Exchange. (ANI)

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