Muslim charities help combat terrorism

Date: 23 Mar 2016

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Sir Stephen Bubb, CEO of Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, warns against unfounded suspicions toward UK Muslim charities as some of the major banks withdraw charity accounts for fear of of falling foul of counter-terrorism legislation.


Are Muslim charities facing a higher number of investigations?

Many professionals in the charity sector believe there is a high preponderance of Muslim charities being investigated by the Charity Commission despite the fact that the Commission don’t believe this is so. This has given the perception in the Muslim community that they are being singled out for attention, and this has caused alarm, particularly when it comes to the problems with banks and other financial institutions. In one case, a leading Muslim charity reported two instances of fraud, which they had dealt with, only to find themselves subject to a statutory inquiry. This led to problems for them in their fundraising. Inevitably, the mere announcement of an investigation will cast doubts about the charity regardless of what the findings subsequently are.

Are Muslim charities prosperous?

Muslims one of the most generous communities in the UK. Significant amounts are raised during Ramadan and most of the money goes on supporting international humanitarian work. For example, I recently visited a number of refugee camps for Syrians in Lebanon that are entirely supported by UK based Muslim charities.

What problems have anti-terror laws caused?

Aljazeera reported that a number of big brand banks have withdrawn accounts at short notice, ultimately causing accounting problems. It also increases the risk of mistakes and fraud if charities have to handle cash.  This behaviour is counterproductive because we rely on Muslim charities to give us advice and direction in the fight against terrorism.