An Australian journalist has sent a legal letter to the Daily Mail, former Labor leader Mark Latham, and Canada's The Rebel Media over claims he encouraged terrorists.
BuzzFeed News has learnt the political editor of Junkee, Osman Faruqi, sent the letters after the Daily Mail wrote about an August 2 episode of YouTube show Mark Latham's Outsiders, which opened with Latham editorialising about "anti-white racism".
During the show, which is hosted by Canada's The Rebel Media, Latham took issue with a Twitter conversation between Faruqi and Muslim writer Yassmin Abdel-Magied.
The tweets (below) between Faruqi and Abdel-Mageid were in response to two Greens senators resigning after finding out they were dual citizens.
On the show, Latham said:
Anyone out there on the left of politics in particular that is fermenting hatred of white people, the rise of anti-white racism in Australia, and also those fermenting the idea of an Islamic master race in Australia, they are aiding and abetting Islamic terrorism. They are giving encouragement and succour to the terrorist fanatics who want to kill innocent people in this country.
So we need to change for the better the Australian political environment and stamp out any suggestion of racism and generating hatred towards white people. There was an instance of this earlier in the week, a guy called Osman Faruqi, here's the tweet that he put out. He was referring to the circumstance where in the Greens, the two senators Ludlam and Waters had been rubbed out under the constitution.
His mate Yassmin Abdel-Magied, we know her well, was asking what's going on and Osman replies, "the white people are getting effed Yas, it's happening". He's talking about white people in the Green party. This guy was a Green party staffer, he writes and leads up the Junkee website, a left wing website and that's his attitude, "the white people are getting effed Yas, it's happening". He's celebrating anti-white racism in Australia and Abdel-Magied now in London, thankfully, replies with a smart alec comment about going back to where they came from. This type of anti-white racism is totally unacceptable.
Hours after the show, the Daily Mail did a story about Latham's comments that included a sub-heading that read, "They are giving encouragement to terrorist fanatics who kill innocent people".
In the article, the Daily Mail threw to Latham's comments with the sentence, "Mr Latham compared Ms Abdel-Magied and Mr Farqui to terrorists."
After the Daily Mail published the article, Faruqi tweeted the section of the piece.
Soon after, the Daily Mail made several changes to the headline and removed parts of the text, without including a correction or editor's note. The story has been shared thousands of times.
A line that read "Daily Mail Australia is not suggesting Ms Abdel-Magied or Mr Farqui are responsible for Mark Latham's claims" was also added to the story.
Josh Bornstein from Maurice Blackburn lawyers is acting on behalf of the journalist and sent defamation concerns notices to Latham, The Rebel Media, and the Daily Mail earlier this week.
A concerns letter is the first step in Australian defamation proceedings, which gives parties the chance to resolve the dispute before taking it to court.
Faruqi's letter raised concerns that Latham, The Rebel Media, and the Daily Mail had suggested he advocated the establishment of an Islamic master race in Australia and encouraged Islamic terrorists to kill innocent people.
Bornstein told BuzzFeed News in a statement: "This is a very serious case of highly defamatory statements and our client to determined to pursue the matter to obtain a proper outcome.”
Latham left his job as a columnist for the Australian Financial Review in 2016 after BuzzFeed News revealed he was running a Twitter account that attacked prominent women in the Australian media.
He was also sacked earlier this year from Sky News after questioning the sexuality of a 16-year-old boy involved in a viral International Women's Day video.
BuzzFeed News has sought comment from Latham, The Rebel Media, and the Daily Mail, but has not had a response.
Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Mark Di Stefano at email@example.com.
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