Charity regulator investigates UK sermons 'encouraging extremist funding'

Miftahul Jannah Academy lectures allegedly praised the Taliban and were anti-Semitic

KJMRYF LONDON, UK - NOVEMBER 17TH 2017: The homepage of the official website for the Charity Commission for England and Wales, on 17th November 2017.

The UK watchdog has contacted a London charity over videos that allegedly encouraged Muslims to fund Islamist extremism.

Lectures published on Miftahul Jannah Academy's website were also said to have praised the Taliban and been anti-Semitic.

They were delivered by Muhammad Patel, an Islamic scholar, who also lectures at the Masjid-e-Umer Trust, which runs Walthamstow Central Mosque in east London.

The Charity Commission had been contacted by the National Secular Society (NSS).

The NSS told The National it was “incredible” the group was able to allegedly spread hate messages while benefiting from having charitable status. It is calling for tougher measures to prevent the charity sector from being abused.

“It’s incredible that violent extremism and anti-Semitism are being promoted by groups benefiting from tax breaks and other perks of charitable status,” the NSS said.

“These harmful and hateful messages are being given a veil of respectability by a charity system that allows religious fundamentalists to register as charities all too easily.

“The commission must of course investigate these charities. But much more needs to be done to stop religious extremists exploiting and undermining our charitable sector — and that must mean a rethink of allowing institutions to benefit from charitable status simply because they advance religion.”

In one lecture on September 11, according to The Times, Mr Patel referred to the “amazing victory of the Taliban”, saying “Allah gave them victory on the battlefield”.

In a lecture he gave in 2019, he allegedly called on Muslims to fund “recruitment for jihad".

The Charity Commission says it contacted the charity last month.

“We contacted the Miftahul Jannah Academy on September 24 about audio recordings alleged to be from the charity’s website,” it said in a statement.

“We await the trustees’ response. We are now in receipt of additional information which we are carefully assessing.”

The Miftahul Jannah Academy has not responded to The National's request for comment.

Updated: October 5th 2021, 8:44 AM
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