Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Passing of a Courageous Man | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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In the aftermath of the agonizing 9/11 attacks, a number of Saudi Arabian and Arab businessmen found themselves in the crosshairs of some western writers and media institutions. One of those to face accusation was Saudi Arabian banker and businessman Khalid Bin Mahfouz, who passed away on Sunday after suffering a sudden heart attack.

Only a few months ago I wrote an article entitled “Bin Mahfouz and the Travesty of Justice” in which I praised the bravery of this man who did not shrink or whither in the face of false accusations by some writers and media institutes in the West who attempted to link him to Al Qaeda financing and other illegal banking operations. Bin Mahfouz took it upon himself to defend his position, and he spent the last years of his life legally prosecuting all those who wronged him in the Western media. He won his [libel] cases against them one by one, and received a number of successive court rulings in his favor vindicating him once and for all, and exposing the false claims of his accusers.

In Britain, Bin Mahfouz obtained a court ruling against Michael Griffin, the author of the book “Reaping the Whirlwind” as well as a court ruling against the book’s publishers, Pluto Press. Bin Mahfouz also later received a ruling in the British courts against American writer Rachel Ehrenfeld, the author of the book “Funding Evil” and its publishers Bonus Books. This ruling compelled the publishers to pay 10,000 pounds damages to Bin Mahfouz. Moreover, the court ordered these publishers to pay the 30,000 pound legal fees, and forbade them for repeating these slanderous claims.

Khalid Bin Mahfouz was not satisfied with the London court ruling against American writer Rachel Ehrenfeld, and so took her to court in her own country. Ehrenfeld’s fear that Bin Mahfouz would win a legal action against her caused her to launch a media campaign calling for the US courts to throw out the case under the pretext of protecting the freedom of speech.

This is how Khalid Bin Mahfouz defeated his opponents who wrongfully attacked him. Bin Mahfouz died triumphantly, knowing that he had proven his innocence and vindicated himself. Bin Mahfouz was also a renowned philanthropist, and I will never forget what a hospital manger once told me about Bin Mahfouz. He said “We intended to implement a hospital-related project that would receive its funding from the private sector. I thought we would need donations from a number of businessmen to fund the project, but then I bumped into Khalid Bin Mahfouz by chance and began talking to him about the project, he got out his checkbook and presented me with the entire required donation.”

May Khalid Bin Mahfouz rest in peace, and may his courage in standing up to his opponents serve as an example for all those seeking to prove their innocence and expose the false claims of their rivals.