Great Britain will grant their Charity Commission new powers to unseat board members of charities who espouse anti-democratic, un-British values according to a strategy document leaked to the Telegraph. If true, this is a welcome development. Hateful Islamist leaders have to be shamed and weeded out. U.S. states should follow suit by granting their secretaries of state, who generally have authority to regulate charities, equivalent powers.
Extremists to be purged from charity boards under new law
Mosques will be hit as watchdog to use powers to expel ‘hate preachers’
19 Sep 2015
The Government is to purge “extremist” trustees from every charity in England and Wales in a crackdown that could affect thousands of people.
A leaked draft of the Home Office’s new counter-extremism strategy, seen by the Telegraph, says new legal powers for the Charity Commission to sack trustees will be used far more widely than expected.
In a paper in May on how it would use the powers, now being created in a bill before Parliament, the commission made no mention of extremism being grounds for disqualification.
However, the leaked counter-extremism strategy, due to be published this autumn, states that “once the legislation is enacted, the Charity Commission will take action against all trustees who meet the definition of extremism set out in this document.”
The strategy document defines extremism as “the vocal or active opposition to fundamental British values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and the mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs.”
Among those likely to be affected are several mosques, most of which operate as charities, including the hardline East London Mosque. Some of its trustees have publicly supported sharia law and punishments for “crimes” such as adultery.
A number of aid charities have been regularly accused of channelling funds to terror groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and have trustees with links to those organisations.
Some private Muslim schools are likely to be caught by the provisions, including two run by the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation, a charity closely linked to the racist and extremist group Hizb ut Tahrir.
In a Hizb pamphlet one of the foundation’s trustees, Farah Ahmed, attacked religious tolerance and democracy and said that Western education was a “threat to our beliefs and values.”
Non-Muslim groups may also be affected, including Soldiers off the Street, a veterans’ charity whose trustees include a former senior British National Party activist.
Charitable status carries substantial privileges, including exemption from paying most taxes, tax breaks for individuals who donate and Gift Aid, which allows charities to claim back the tax paid by donors.
The Telegraph has exposed how hate preachers and Islamist extremists have secured charitable status and exploited it to claim thousands of pounds in Gift Aid and other advantages.
The benefit was claimed by IERA, a charity linked to a number of the “Portsmouth jihadis,” six young men from the Hampshire city who travelled together to fight for Islamic State (Isil) in Syria. IERA’s trustees include the extremist preacher Abdurraheem Green, also known as Anthony Waclaw Green.
Its board of advisers has included Bilal Phillips, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, and the hate preacher Haitham al-Haddad, who has called Jews the “brethren of swine and pigs.”
Al-Haddad also founded and ran his own charity, the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF), which publishes a hardline Islamist website, Islam21c.com, and other extremist material…