Around 35 civil society organisations and individuals have protested to the Charity Commission over its decision to impose a non Muslim manager to oversee the affairs of the Islamic Centre of England.
In a strongly worded letter to the Commission this week , the signatories accuse the charities watchdog of continuing a vendetta against Muslim charities that has seen dozens of them harassed in recent years.
Earlier this month the Commission imposed an interim manager to run the ICE following a politically motivated campaign against the centre by mainly secularist opponents of the Iranian government and hostile MP’s.
Their objections centre on activities and statements made by a trustee and attendees of the centre supporting the Islamic Republic and its policies.
This, say the signatories, is an unwarranted intrusion into the Centre’s affairs. They say that it is not the business of the Charity Commission or any other state body to tell religious communities what they can say or believe in their places of worship.
They accuse the Charity Commission of acting heavy-handedly and failing to ensure the best interests of the centre and its congregation.
“We believe that this decision is politically motivated and serves the interests of Islamophobes who have been targeting this diverse community centre and place of worship,” says the letter. “Rather than remaining a neutral arbitrator and serving to address any genuine shortcomings that may exist, you have shown a biased approach and used punitive measures that unfairly penalize Muslim charities.”
It goes on to say that the measures will result in the alienation of Muslims from their places of worship.
A vigil will be held tomorrow evening (Thurs 1 June) at centre to protest the Charity Commission’s decision.
The letter can be read in full here.
For further information please call 00 44 7958 522196 (ENDS)
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