A former Royal Air Force expert won a defamation lawsuit against the Mail on Sunday. Dr. Joel Howard, a defense and securities expert, sued the newspaper over a 2011 article in which he was called the “Ayatollah of the RAF”.
A native New Zealander, Hayward converted to Islam several years ago during his tenure as head of the Royal Air Force pilot training college. According to the Mail’s article, after his conversion, Hayward allegedly instructed students to go “softly-softly” when writing about Islamic terrorists.
Offended by the statement, Hayward decided to sue the Mail on Sunday. He also left his position at the RAF and took a job at Khalifa University in the United Arab Emirates, where, he says, the atmosphere is much more friendly to Muslim converts.
It took two years, but the court reached a decision this week. The ruling body sided with Hayward, ordering the Mail to pay damages. According to Hayward, the award amount wouldn’t land him on a “rich list” but he hopes it will make the Mail “think twice.”
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