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Charity Commission report vindicates Human Aid UK and shows clear bias against Muslim charities


Thursday 7th October 2021

London – Human Aid UK welcomes the closure of a long drawn out inquiry after the publication of the Charity Commission Inquiry report today, which concluded that no further action will be taken against the charity. This vindicates a number of claims that Human Aid UK made over the past two years asserting that the Commission was being excessive in its approach and effectively acting as an extension of police and security services harassment policy.

The wasteful inquiry has lasted over two years and was triggered by the heavy-handed seizure by police of charitable funds destined for Gaza.

Even after the police were forced to return the funds in May 2020, and having found nothing illegal related to the funds, the commission still continued the inquiry. This claimed valuable time and resources that would have been better spent delivering life-saving assistance in Syria, Gaza and Yemen.

COMPLAINTS OF ISLAMOPHOBIA

Human Aid UK raised complaints of police harassment and institutional Islamophobia numerous times, in previous press releases (1) and in communications with the Commission. It was evident that the police exploited the powers of the Commission to outsource the harassment, which inevitably led to the opening of the Statutory Inquiry.

Human Aid UK has spoken to several Muslim charities who all have cited continual harassment and Islamophobia from the Police, Security Services, as well as the Charity Commission. These concerns have been identified previously in a report published by the thinktank Claystone in 2014, citing that Muslim Charities are being unfairly targeted (2).

The institutional islamophobia faced by Human Aid UK has been further compounded in the way the Commission has presented certain events in the two-year investigation, using incriminating language against the charity.

INSTITUTIONAL BIAS WHEN CONTRASTED WITH OTHER ENQUIRIES SUCH AS OXFAM

Human Aid UK recently made a representation to the Commission requesting a more balanced presentation of facts and incidents (3), especially since the Commission ruled that no further action was to be taken, yet the Commission still rejected the request.

The institutional bias of the Charity Commission report into Human Aid UK is evident when compared to the report into the serious allegations of sexual misconduct at Oxfam a non-Muslim charity, which was completed in less time, and which resulted in a carefully worded 143-page report.

This should be compared with the 10-page report into Human Aid UK that features defamatory terms such as “irresponsible and reckless” and “serious disregard”, despite the conclusion of no further action taken against Human Aid UK (4).

Nur Choudhury, Chair of Human Aid UK, said:

“After over two years of investigation, which has consumed resources that would have been better used to assist the needy in Syria, Gaza and Yemen, we are pleased that the Charity Commission has concluded with no further action against Human Aid UK. The Charity can now focus single mindedly on serving its many beneficiaries around the world”

“Despite this, the report is a bitter pill to swallow, since it includes unnecessarily incriminating language that we feel is defamatory and inaccurate, and which casts undue suspicion on us and Muslim charities in general, putting us in a position where we must spend extra energy dispelling unwarranted assumptions.”

“When we compare the language and format of the Commission’s report into much more serious allegations against Oxfam for example, we do feel that there is evidence of a problem of bias and Islamophobia at the Commission. We hope that this report opens dialogue into these problems, and that the Commission finally agree to our request for a meeting with them and other Muslim charities to solve this pressing issue.”

[Ends]

Enquires to [email protected]


(1) Previous press releases can be available on request.
(2) https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/nov/16/charity-commission-inquiries-muslim-groups
(3) Full details of our requested amendments are available on request.
(4) Evidence of this bias includes the following:

  1. The chairperson of Oxfam was given an opportunity to write a Forward to their report, while this opportunity was not given to any trustee or member of Human Aid UK.
  2. The seriousness of the allegations against Oxfam – which included sexual misconduct, harassment, and exploitation of children, as well as nepotism, bullying and fraud – not once warranted labels such as “irresponsible and reckless” and “serious disregard” which were used in the case of Human Aid UK, despite Human Aid UK being cleared of all allegations.
  3. The report into Oxfam often quotes trustees speaking in a defensive and lofty manner, prior to making an allegation against the charity, enabling the public to have a more balanced perspective. Human Aid UK trustees were never afforded such an opportunity.
  4. In every segment of the Oxfam report, a balanced narrative is provided, before a conclusion is drawn in relation to any allegation. In the report on Human Aid UK, certain sections outline the allegations and draw a conclusion, before giving any – if any – explanation and context.