Stephen Pollard's polemics have landed the Spectator magazine in trouble.
And who is this gentleman?
He is the one who once said: "Americans have bled to free Iraq, and we won't hesitate now to use overwhelming force to stop a few cowards from ruining what our own dead helped to achieve..."
Can anyone with such views hold positions of influence? You bet!
President of the Centre for the New Europe, a Brussels-based think tank. Previously senior Fellow and director of its health policy programme. He is also a columnist with The Times and writes for a number of other newspapers, including the Daily Mail. He is Chairman of the European Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism. From 1998-2000 he was a columnist and Chief Leader Writer on the Daily Express. From 1995-98 he was Head of Research at the Social Market Foundation, and from 1992-95 Research Director at the Fabian Society.
On 15 July 2008, the Spectator website published an article by this worthy gentleman entitled žDemos and GenocideÓ.
That article unfairly and falsely referred to Islam Expo as a racist, fascist and genocidal organisation.
Could he have been responsible for advising Hazel Blears not to allow any government minister from participating in Islam Expo 2008?
And what about his libellous claims about Islam Expo?
In reality Islam Expo hosts exhibitions which explore a wide range of issues relating to Islam and Muslims and which seek not only to educate visitors about the positive and progressive aspects of this religion, but also to provide a neutral and all-inclusive platform in which people of all races, religions and viewpoints can gather to discuss topics relating to Islam without fear of reprisal or restriction.
The Directors and organisers of Islam Expo had worked, and continue to work, hard to establish a good reputation for providing a venue where people can attend our events and debate openly, building an understanding and mutual tolerance. These events are also attended by a wide range of leading academics, politicians and journalists.
Islam Expo was therefore justifiably outraged and dismayed to learn that they had been referred to in this way. As neither Mr Pollard nor the Spectator agreed to Islam Expo's initial request for an apology, its directors had no option but to seek vindication via litigation.
They are now pleased to report that the Spectator and Mr Pollard have now agreed to publish an apology on the Spectator website in the following terms:
žIslam Expo : Stephen Pollard and the Spectator apologise for the unintended and false suggestion in a blog published on 15 July 2008 that Islam Expo Limited is a fascist party dedicated to genocide which organised a conference with a racist and genocidal programme. We accept that Islam ExpoŪs purpose is to provide a neutral and broad-based platform for debate on issues relating to Muslims and IslamÓ.
In addition, the Spectator and Mr Pollard have undertaken never to repeat the allegations complained of and agreed to pay damages to compensate Islam Expo for the damage done to our reputation by the article. They have also agreed to pay our legal costs.
Acting for Islam Expo were Farooq Bajwa and Co Solicitors; barristers were Adrienne Page QC and Richard Munden.
Let us hope the message has been recieved by Mad Mel.