Yet another figure at Islamic Relief Worldwide has resigned over alleged antisemitism in the third such incident in just six months.
It has now emerged that Tayeb Abdoun, a former interim-CEO at the charity who has worked there for 25 years, resigned on 14th October after being confronted over a picture he reportedly posted on Facebook of a knife with a thumbs up and wrote: “Lay the bodies of the Jews on the top of the mountains, so that no dog in Palestine must suffer hunger.” Other controversial posts were also uncovered, and Mr Abdoun resigned after the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger confronted him.
In a statement, Islamic Relief Worldwide reportedly said: “We continue to work as an organisation to root out anyone that does not meet our core values as a respectful, faith-sensitive, non-discriminatory and principled charity.”
Back in August, the entire board of Islamic Relief Worldwide resigned after a new trustee-director was discovered to have a history of antisemitic posts on social media. He had been appointed to replace another trustee who had previously resigned after his history of antisemitic social media posts was uncovered.
This is therefore the third such incident to rock Britain’s largest Muslim charity in just six months, making our representations to the Charity Commission all the more urgent.
Following the second incident, Campaign Against Antisemitism wrote to the Charity Commission. In our letter to the Charity Commission, we wrote: “The episode has shown that IRW’s processes are defective. Given the size of the charity and the severity of the breach, we are writing to invite you to open a statutory investigation into how IRW has been operating and whether the racist views and negligence of some of its trustees have impacted its activities. We believe that the Commission must intervene to chart a new course for IRW, rebuild the public’s trust in its work. This matter has caused considerable concern amongst members of the Jewish community who have sought our support and it is important that the Commission is seen by them to be investigating this matter thoroughly and taking action where it is needed.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “This third incident of alleged antisemitism at Islamic World Relief in just six months, which follows the resignation of the entire trustee board, reinforces the impression that Islamic Relief Worldwide’s processes are defective and makes all the more urgent our call for a statutory investigation by the Charity Commission into how the charity has been operating and whether the racist views and negligence of several of its trustees have impacted its activities. The Commission must chart a new course for the organisation in order to rebuild the public’s trust in the charity’s work.”
It is understood that an independent commission will review the charity’s processes for vetting trustees and directors and its code of conduct, while the organisation’s leadership will receive antisemitism training. The commission will be chaired by the former Attorney-General, Dominic Grieve.