A leading Muslim charity is under investigation amidst allegations that it promoted intolerance towards the Jewish community and called for adulterers and gay people to be stoned to death, according to the Telegraph. The Charity Commission is said to have become concerned after the University of London banned the group from its campuses after it learned from campaigners that the charity had gender segregation at their meetings.
The Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), which claims it works with two major British charities, lists among its advisers two preachers banned from the UK for extremist views. It claims to have worked closely with Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital and AgeUK.
British charities are required to adhere to very strict guidelines laid out by the Charity Commission in areas such as political campaigning and corporate governance. The body has the power to remove charitable status from a group, and regularly uses its powers to do so.
The commission is looking into the actions of the charity because of a series “regulatory issues” over how it picks speakers and organises events. Amongst issues that are thought to concern the commission is the status of Bilal Philips and Dr Zakir Naik, who advise the charity despite been banned from entering the UK.
The investigation itself has been likened to a police investigation and coincides with a devastating report into the charity by Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), an organisation that exposes Islamic extremism.
CEMB claim that the charity described gay people as “vile” and “evil” in posting on their website in 2006. The report also claims that the founder and chairman of the charity Abdurraheem Green suggested that women who commit adultery should be subjected to a “slow and painful death by stoning”. This is in addition to an earlier video showing his racial abusing a Jewish man in Hyde Park. When he saw the man he said, “Why don’t you take the Yahoudi [Jew] over there, far away so his stench doesn’t disturb us?”
In a statement, the Charity Commission said: “The regulator is investigating concerns about the charity’s governance. The inquiry was opened following a records inspection at the charity’s premises in January 2014. The regulator says that it identified a number of regulatory issues connected to the charity’s approach and policies for organising events and inviting external speakers and its associated records and documents.”
The charity defended its position in a statement saying: “iERA considers to have willingly complied with the statutory case demands and already clearly articulated any discrepancies to the commission. Although iERA does not see the reason for a formal investigation they are fully supporting and assisting the Charity Commission’s formal inquiry.”
Both Great Ormond Street Hospital and AgeUK denied any formal involvement with IERA, but the hospital did admit that some IERA supporters were participating in a fun run for it.
The investigation will, once again, raise concerns that radical Muslims are using front groups to spread hate. It comes after the Muslim Council of Britains leadership were exposed for holding unsavoury views. Its former Chairman Iqbal Sacranie, who was knighted by Tony Blair’s government, said that death was too good for Salman Rushdie.
The Muslim leader has also denounced homosexuality and gay marriage.