Having failed to intimidate me, the Quilliam foundation have now written to my webhost in the Netherlands, threatening to sue them in England (English law claims effective universal jurisdiction on libel). They are demanding that my webhost pays damages to the Directors of the Quilliam Foundation.
You will recall that Alisher Usmanov got this website temporarily closed down by threatening my then webhosts. I hope Quilliam will find my current webhosts made of sterner stuff, but repetition or mirroring of the Quilliam Foundation posts would be helpful at this stage. Here they are:
Plus this one. of course.
I do not libel. All the money spent by the likes of Alisher Usmanov and Tim Spicer on lawyers’ letters to threaten me, my publishers and my webhosts has never resulted in anybody going to court against me, despite the fact I have always maintained the truth of what I have written and never bowed to threats to remove it. It is all still on here because it is all true.
I have written this to my webhosts:
There are loads of posts on my blog about this, and all my correspondence with them.
At the time I pubklished my blog post, they had NOT filed their accounts
They filed their accounts six days AFTER I blogged that they had not filed them
At the time I blogged, their accounts were overdue and they did not have an extension ?” they applied for the extension THE DAY AFTER my blog that they had not filed their accounts ?” six days later they filed accounts
I have not at any stage accused the directors of stealing money. I have said that too much money goes into rewarding the Directors. Perfectly fair comment on a taxpayer funded organization ?” and a comment made by hundreds of others, repeatedly (google the Quilliam Foundation)
This is legal bullying. Having failed to intimidate me, they are trying to intimidate you
My own view is that, unless bloggers are prepared to stand up to this kind of intimidation, the internet is in deep trouble. The bad news is that English law claims the right to prosecute anyone anywhere in the world for posting to the internet as it can be read in England. This is a disgrace, and several US states have passed or are passing laws to protect their citizens from it. It is not impossible they would get your arse into an English court if they really wanted to make themselves infamous.
I am refusing to back down because I am quite confident that they are bluffing, and if they did go to court they would lose. I have in my five years of blogging received about sixty letters like the one you just got, and nobody has ever taken me to court, let alone won. It is called “chilling” ?” people are so terrified of UK libel law they usually back down when they get such a letter.
I cannot pretend it is one hundred per cent risk free to call their bluff. But if we give in the first time a wealthy institution pays a lawyer 500 dollars to write a letter, what is the purpose of our internet activity?
There is an interesting article in today’s Independent by Johann Hari about former “Islamic extremists.” Hari too notes the extraordinarily wealthy lifestyle of the Quilliam directors.
The most famous former Islamist fanatic in Britain is Maajid Nawaz ?” a high-cheekboned 31-year-old who walks with a self-confident strut. I make an appointment with him through his personal assistant, and he strides into the hotel lobby where we have arranged to meet in an immaculate and expensive suit. He seems to blend perfectly into the multi-ethnic overclass who use expensive hotels like this as their base…
We are served tea by the kind of effusive waitress who works in high-end London hotels. Maajid does not acknowledge her.
I get the impression Johann didn’t like Nawaz very much.