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The potential dangers of Islamic charities

The potential dangers of Islamic charities



The head of the Charity Commission recently made a startling admission.  Islamic charities, he said, were the “most deadly” problem the Commission faces.  William Shawcross said it was “ludicrous” that people with convictions for terrorism were perfectly free to set up charities, and were not automatically disqualified.

He is right of course, but there are other areas worth examining concerning Islamists running charities.  For example – the Islamic Sharia Council.

The Islamic Sharia Council has been described elsewhere on this site.   It is the home of the largest network of sharia councils in Britain, and runs a de facto family law court system.  It has been caught red handed dishing out false and dangerous information to women seeking advice on violent marriages. 

Among its leading figures are known jihadis and Islamists.  Suhaib Hasan, for example, praises stoning and has expressed his desire for “jihad against the non-Muslims”. 

To receive charity status, an organisation must show itself to be acting for the public benefit.  It must also fall within the descriptions of ‘charitable purpose’ as defined in the Charities Act, and it is here we encounter our problem.  One of the ‘charitable purposes’ available to an organisation that wishes to gain charity status is “the advancement of religion”, and therefore the advancement of Islam.

As a result, the Islamic Sharia Council can argue that in applying sharia laws and norms upon families in Britain, it is indeed advancing religion and as such is free to do so.

Another body identified on this site, which also enjoys charity status by virtue of the fact that it advances religion, is Green Lane Mosque.  You can read a description of our concerns regarding Green Lane Mosque , but it is fair to say that many of the messages which have been broadcast in that mosque, are anything but charitable.  Extremist preachers have been frequent; as has incitement to violence against women. 

A further registered charity of concern to Sharia Watch is the East London Mosque.  This is a mosque which also stands accused of hosting extremist orators and links to the Islamist Islamic Forum of Europe have been frequently shown.

The jihadism preached in British mosques and other institutions is not however what Mr Shawcross was referring to.  His concerns centred around charities “sending cash to extremist groups in Syria” and no doubt elsewhere.  Allegations of Islamic charities in Britain sending money to Hamas for example have been on-going for several years.  Hamas, let us remind ourselves, believes in sharia law, the subjugation of women, and the killing of Jews.  Indeed, just last week, it was revealed in the Spectator that a children’s show on Hamas TV had encouraged children to “kill all Jews”.  Sending money to Hamas is therefore deeply problematic (for those who don’t believe in killing all Jews at least). 

Back in 2006, a Panorama investigation alleged that Interpal, a charity dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinians, was funding groups that endorsed terrorism in the Middle East.  Although the Charity Commission reported at the time that it could not confirm that Interpal had issued funds to Hamas or other terrorist groups, it would not give the charity a “clean bill of health”. 

In a recent article, Michael Curtis wrote:

Lloyds Bank’s attitude [regarding Interpal] was clear-cut. It decided in 2009 that it would not provide services for Interpal which had an account with the Islamic Bank of Britain.

The [Charity] Commission might have reached a similar conclusion if it had considered the activities of two individuals in Britain. Zaid Yemeni (Zaid Hassan), the representative of Interpal in Birmingham, who has met with a Hamas leader in Gaza who called on God to annihilate Jews and not leave any one of them alive.

Ibrahm Dar (Abu Hana), the Bradford representative of Interpal, is an open admirer of  Anwar Al-Awlaki, a major al-Qaeda leader whose main ambition is blow up U.S. planes.

William Shawcross has said that the law needs to change and yes, that would be welcome.  Maybe that change needs to be that every group which holds religion as its banner is not automatically deemed to be doing good; it is time to look instead at the individuals involved, and exactly what ideas and causes they are trying to advance.