The anti-Islam Q Society and Australian Liberty Alliance campaigner Kirralie Smith have apologised to the director of a Halal certification company, settling defamation proceedings out of court.
Mohamed El-Mouelhy, Chairman of the Halal Certification Authority, claimed that a video now removed from YouTube implied that he was “part of a conspiracy to destroy Western civilisation from within” and “reasonably suspected of providing financial support to terrorist organisations”.
Those behind the video have apologised for the imputations.
“The Q Society, its board members and Kirralie Smith apologise to Mr El-Mouehly for the hurt caused to him as a result of the publications,” they said in a joint statement to the NSW Supreme Court.
“In light of the above apology Mr El-Mouehly withdraws the comments he made about the Q Society, its board members and Kirralie Smith.”
Mr El-Mouelhy told SBS News no money was included in the settlement.
“We are free in this country to express our opinions politely and clearly,” he said.
Ms Smith on Tuesday said that the settlement was the "best outcome" in a statement.
"I am relieved and extremely happy to report that we have settled the defamation matter out of court.
"This has saved all parties a great deal of expense and time and is by far the best outcome," she said.
The apology comes after a two-year legal battle.
Mr El-Mouelhy says the fees charged by Halal certification companies are insignificant when compared to the amount of money the industry earns from exports to Islamic countries.
He objects to anti-Halal campaigners' characterisation of the fees as a ‘tax’.
“A tax is something that the government can do, not something I can do,” he said.
Concerns over Sharia in Australia were also overblown, Mr El-Mouelhy said.
“You cannot say the word Sharia and law in the same sentence – it is a way of life, not a law,” he said.
“It means to treat your parents well, that is Sharia, to pray your debts is Sharia, to pray five times a day is Sharia.”
Mr El-Mouehly stressed that Australian laws are determined by politicians, not Muslims.
“There is no Sharia law in this country, all laws in this country are passed by parliament, not by Muslims,” he said.
“Australia is a multicultural country, and will continue to be so.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re white yellow or pink, you will be able to live in this county in harmony.”