The Sunday Express newspaper yesterday published an apology and retracted its statement that the King Fahad Academy in London has been infiltrated by fanatics and was teaching an extreme version of Islam.
(Please see the report on the paper’s website http://www.sundayexpress.co.uk/posts/view/340442/The-King-Fahad-Academy
Following the allegations made in June 2011, Saudi lawyer and member of the academy’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Saud Al-Ammari, filed a lawsuit against the newspaper in the English High Court. Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, Saudi ambassador to the UK and chairman of the Board of Trustees, championed the academy’s cause.
Legal counsel for the King Fahad Academy said in a statement at the high court in London, “The King Fahad Academy does not teach an extreme form of Islam, nor does it teach its students anti-Semitism or any form of racism and it has not been infiltrated by Islamic fanatics.”
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News, Al-Ammari said the academy won the difficult case against the English daily in the beginning of this month, despite the paper’s influence.
“It was a crushing blow to the British paper because our complaint was genuine and our demand was just, and we have received all what we have demanded for the serious mistake committed by the paper,” the lawyer said about the court settlement.
“The paper has withdrawn the report containing false information from its website. It has also paid the expenses incurred by the academy for the legal battle,” Al-Ammari said, adding that the academy would donate the compensation received from the paper to a charity.
Dr. Al-Ammari added: “The instructions of Ambassador Prince Mohammed are clear: Zero tolerance for anyone defaming Islam or the Kingdom. Winning this case for the Kingdom and this ruling would serve as a deterrent.”
The Express’ lawyer told the court that the newspaper apologizes to the King Fahad Academy and its director Dr. Sumaya Alyusuf for the articles it had published. “The defendant expresses deep sorrow for the worries caused by the published articles and the articles have been withdrawn from the paper’s website.”
The Saudi lawyer, who works for the Saudi Embassy in the UK, commended the British judicial system. “This case reflects the fairness of the British judicial system and reaffirms that the UK is a country of law,” Al-Ammari said, adding that he had previously won four court battles including one against another British newspaper.
The King Fahad Academy was founded in 1985 as an international school aiming to provide education of the highest standard, equally acceptable to both Saudi and British authorities, for the children of Saudi diplomats, Arab Muslims and the local communities in London. The academy is run by an educational trust, which was set up on the directives of the late King Fahd, with funding from Saudi Arabia. It is committed to helping all students realize their full potential and become well-balanced, productive citizens who take pride in their religious and cultural identity as Muslims.
“One of the school’s core values is to promote intercultural understanding and respect in line with the tolerant teachings of the Islamic faith,” an official statement said.
The school teaches an international curriculum and provides both the international GCSE system as well as the International Baccalaureate. Arabic and Islamic studies form a major part of the curriculum offered by the academy.
The King Fahad Academy looks forward to concentrating on its main task of providing a well-rounded education for its students. Dr. Sumaya said in a statement, “I am very pleased that the newspaper has withdrawn and apologized for these allegations.” She added: “The school can now concentrate on its mission to provide a world class international education to students through a well-balanced curriculum.”
The Sunday Express published the following apology yesterday: “On 12 June, 2011 we published an article entitled “Spies in Schools to Hunt Fanatics.” In the course of the article, we said that the King Fahad Academy, Acton taught an extremist form of Islam and some readers may have understood it to suggest that the Academy had been infiltrated by dangerous Islamic fanatics. The King Fahad Academy does not teach an extreme form of Islam nor does it teach its students anti-Semitism or any form of racism and it has not been infiltrated by Islamic fanatics. The Academy teaches an international curriculum in English and has been approved by Ofsted. We are happy to clarify the position and we apologize to the King Fahad Academy and its director Dr. Sumaya Alyusuf.”
From : Arabnews