The Daily Mail has published an apology to Australian imam Yahya Ibrahim after the newspaper mistook him for an al Qaeda leader.
The Mail – which is often accused of having an Islamophobic agenda by many British Muslims – published a picture of the famous Islamic preacher in an article about al Qaeda’s Inspire magazine following the Boston bombings last year. It appears that the newspaper mistook him for the alleged author of the magazine with whom he shares a name.
The Daily Mail apology read:
Ustadh Yahya is blessed now to be living in Perth, Western Australia with his wife and three wonderful children – Shireen, Omar and Adam. He is a regular lecturer to Muslim and non-Muslim audiences their and around the world. He travels in Australasia, Africa, South East Asia, Europe and Canada to deliver lectures on Islam and Muslims to a variety of audiences.
He is committed to spreading a message to Muslims that empowers them spiritually and helps them integrate into the broader community. He is born in the west, raised in the west and lives in the west. A message of anti-militancy, religious tolerance, and moral universality are a part of his outlook.
“On 30 April 2013 between approximately 4am and midnight we published an image of Yahya Ibrahim, Islamic chaplain at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, within a story about the unidentified editor of Al-Qaeda’s online magazine Inspire, who had adopted the pen-name of “Yahya Ibrahim”.
“Due to our error, those who read the article during this period may have understood Mr Ibrahim to have been the editor of Inspire when he in fact had no connection with Al-Qaeda or the Boston Bombers. Our story stated that the magazine showed the Boston bombers how to build explosives and that it was considered a powerful propaganda tool, able to push potential jihadists to conduct violent action. We apologise to Mr Ibrahim for our error and are happy to set the record straight.
Reacting to the apology on his Facebook page Yahya Ibrahim said: “Alhamdulillah today the Daily Mail in UK has put out a retraction regarding false claims they published about me including a photo of me and have agreed to pay substantial damages. In the next few days another retraction from the Daily Telegraph UK is anticipated, Insha’Allah.”
Yahya Ibrahim is Canadian by birth and education, but now lives in Australia with his wife and three children. He is a regular lecturer to Muslim and non-Muslim audiences there and around the world.
Ibrahim says he is committed to spreading a message to Muslims that empowers them spiritually and helps them integrate into the broader community. He describes his outlook as one which emphasises “anti-militancy, religious tolerance, and moral universality.”