From: Islamic Human Rights Commission
12 September 2018
PRESS RELEASE – UK: IHRC petitions regulator to act against Zionist charity’s “vindictive” campaign
IHRC has lodged a formal complaint with the Charity Commission about the continued harassment of one of its directors in what it claims is a vindictive campaign to silence anti-Israeli and anti-Zionist voices.
The move comes after the Campaign for Anti-Semitism (CAA) launched a judicial review of a decision last month by the Crown Prosecution Service to throw out an attempted private prosecution against Nazim Ali on the grounds that chants he made during last June’s Al-Quds demonstration caused alarm or distress to Zionists taking part in a counter demonstration.
IHRC had hoped that would be the end of the matter but the CAA seems intent on pursuing a case that clearly has no merit in law. The private prosecution was the fifth attempted prosecution to be dismissed by the CPS.
In the letter to the Charity Commission, IHRC calls on the regulator to investigate whether the CAA is in breach of charity law by using charitable funds to relentlessly pursue “false, vindictive and patently flawed cases.”
It is clearly not in the public interest for public funds to be expended / wasted on cases where the CPS and the police have repeatedly stated that there is no criminal case to answer.
Moreover, the fact that the CAA continues to pursue a prosecution throws into question the judgement and decision-making skills of those in charge, suggesting that it is vindictively pursuing the matter. It is certainly “not in the interest of the public for charitable funds to be used to pursue personal vendettas against political opponents,” says the letter.
Furthermore the CAA is undermining public trust in charities as a whole by seeking to curtail free speech in furtherance of its own political views.
“The Commission should decide whether it is appropriate for CAA to keep their status as a charitable organisation whilst squandering their funds to silence and attack people who exercise their freedom of expression,” says the letter.
The Charity Commission said earlier this month that it was assessing concerns raised about the Campaign Against Antisemitism on the grounds that it is providing no public benefit and that its activities are not charitable.
The Campaign Against Antisemitism was formed in August 2014 during a major Israeli offensive against Gaza. Its purpose was to paint Palestine solidarity campaigning and opposition to Zionism, Israel’s state ideology, as anti-Semitic. The conflation of anti-Zionism which is opposition to a political ideology with anti-Semitism which is defined as opposition to Jews as a race is an oft-employed weapon designed to scare opponents of Zionism and Israel from voicing their criticism.
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Notes to editors:
For a background to the failed private prosecution of Nazim Ali click here
IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222