Yesterday afternoon I received a letter (marked ‘Not for Publication’ – so I won’t reproduce it here) from a firm of lawyers saying that they were acting for Mrs Akeela Ahmed the former CEO of the Muslim Youth Helpline who resigned on Monday following the publication of alleged correspondence from her and her husband, Nafeez Ahmed, which appeared to show that they had asked the police and counter-terrorism officers to investigate some past and present workers at the MYH for alleged extremism and homophobia.
Mrs Akeela Ahmed’s lawyers said that they were writing to me in connection with my blog posting from Monday which contained a link to the Whistleblower’s Blog. They appear to want me to do two things:
1. Deactivate my blog post about Mrs Akeela Ahmed. Her lawyers say that they have already asked Google (who own Blogger – the site where the Whistleblower’s blog was published) to remove the blog.
2. They objected to my comment on the resignation of Mrs Akeela Ahmed. I had said in the comments section of the blog posting (see 10th June 2012, 8.13pm) that the resignation was ‘Probably inevitable given the leaking of the shocking letters to the police and counter-terrorism command.’ They argued that the letters themselves were not ‘shocking’ but that it was the conduct of the alleged harassers of Mrs Akeela Ahmed that was shocking. Mrs Akeela Ahmed’s lawyers also objected to my description of the letters as being ‘leaked’; they said they were not leaked but ‘illegally hacked’.
I have forwarded the letter to a legal firm I respect for their comments on the letter from Mrs Akeela Ahmed’s lawyers.
For now, my thoughts are as follows:
a) I simply commented on and linked to a post that was in the public domain. If Mrs Akeela Ahmed does not like the contents of the Whistleblower’s Blog then she should devote her energies into trying to get it legally removed or amended. My understanding is that Google do not remove blogs just because they receive letters from lawyers. They usually demand a court order at the very least. If the lawyers are successful in getting Google to remove the blog then the link from my blog will automatically not work any longer.
b) I think my description of the leaked letters as ‘shocking’ was quite reasonable, and probably understated. The letters were very shocking. Are Mrs Akeela Ahmed’s lawyers really saying that I should refrain from saying what I really think about the letters urging the investigation and prosecution of some workers at the MYH? As for the letters having been obtained through ‘illegal hacking’ – I really don’t know if they were obtained through those means or not.
I am not sure if Mrs Akeela Ahmed’s lawyers are going to continue to send me letters seeking to escalate matters. I think I have been quite reasonable and fair. But I will await advice from my own lawyers first.