The Charity Commission has reportedly launched an inquiry into a mosque whose manager is said to have compared Israel to the Nazis and praised the Taliban.

Saddique Hussain, the general manager of Birmingham’s Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif mosque, reportedly shared a clip of Taliban fighters showing off assault rifles whilst reciting quotes from the Quran and wrote: “How beautiful and civilised and no ‘I’. May Allah SWT guide us on to His beautiful religion.” 

It was said that Mr Hussain also shared a post which said that Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian children “for fun”. He allegedly shared a video clip from the news outlet TruNews, which has been described as a “far-right conspiracy theory and fake news website”, and according to the ADL has “increasingly featured antisemitic and anti-Zionist content, and also has a long record of disseminating radical Islamophobic and anti-LGBTQ messages”. The clip in question was from Rick Wiles, a pastor who has previously labelled Jews as “deceivers” who “plot” and “lie”, in which Mr Wiles compared Israel to the Nazis.

According to the International Definition of Antisemitism, “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis” is an example of antisemitism. 

Mr Hussain allegedly shared another clip which stated that “Zionist lobbying” could have a Sky News video that reported on Israeli military actions removed if they wanted, while another shared video reportedly contained text that said: “I am Israel – I have the power to control American policy. My American Israel Public Affairs committee can make or break any politician of its choosing.”

According to the Definition, “Making mendacious, dehumanising, demonising, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions” is an example of antisemitism. 

The group Muslims Against Antisemitism denounced Mr Hussain’s posts, stating: “Promoting views and associations between ‘media control’ and depicting ‘Zionists’ as having ‘control’ shows the conspiratorial mindset of the person in question. Focussing on Israel and blaming Israel for actions that it is not even associated with, shows the frothing and foaming nature of the antipathy that some hold.”

After a police warning, Mr Hussain claimed that he “does not and never has supported the Taliban”.

The Charity Commission, which apparently carried out a compliance visit to the charity last November following concerns over social media activity, has reportedly now announced that a full investigation will take place into Dar ul Uloom Islamia Rizwia (Bralawai), the group that runs Central Jamia Mosque Ghamkol Sharif, relating to the conduct on social media of staff and trustees, who have apparently also shared inflammatory material online.

The Commission said: “These posts resulted in the charity receiving negative media attention and complaints being raised directly with the Commission.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Antisemitism Barometer 2020 showed that over eight in ten British Jews consider the threat from Islamists to be very serious.

Image credit: Facebook screenshot via the JC

Cricklewood Muslim Youth Trust has appeared in a social media post to describe Jews and Christians as “enemies of Allah” and warn its followers to stay away from them.

The organisation, which functions as a bookshop and is promoted by Brent Council, shared a post reading: “Keep away from the enemies of Allaah [sic] the Jews & Christians on their day of gathering during their festivities, for verily the anger (of Allaah) descends upon them  and I fear that you will (also) be afflicted with it.”

The quotation is attributed to Umar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, the second Rashidun Caliph, and is featured in Al-Bayhaqi Fi Shu’ab Al-Emaan, a collection of Hadiths compiled by Imam Al-Bayhaqi.

The image in the tweet was captioned: “Be warned of having any sort of involvement in the celebrations of the unbelievers, let alone Christmas whereby it is claimed that Allaah has begotten a son! Lest you may be afflicted with the anger of Allaah along with them!”

Cricklewood Muslim Youth Trust describes itself as “a charitable trust based in North West London who work for the benefit and enlightenment of the local community.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism shall be writing to Brent Council and the Charity Commission.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “While most of the country was enjoying the season of goodwill, the Cricklewood Muslim Youth Trust was using its Twitter account to implore the Muslim community to stay away from Jews and Christians and regard them as an enemy. The tweet warrants an investigation by the Charity Commission, and Brent Council must also review its association with the group. We are writing to both bodies.”

Campaign Against Antisemitism has launched a new weekly podcast. New episodes of Podcast Against Antisemitism are available every Thursday and can be streamed here or downloaded wherever you get your podcasts.

Tony Greenstein has been removed as a trustee of The Brighton Trust, formerly known as the “Trust 4 Unpopular Causes”, by the Charity Commission after being declared legally bankrupt in July following his failed defamation claim against Campaign Against Antisemitism earlier this year.

Mr Greenstein had been ordered by judges to pay Campaign Against Antisemitism £81,854 over a libel claim brought by Mr Greenstein after we called him a “notorious antisemite”. In an example of litigation humiliatingly backfiring, the High Court struck out Mr Greenstein’s libel claim against us, ruling that it was permissible for us to call the co-founder of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and expelled Labour Party member a “notorious antisemite” in articles on our website. Mr Greenstein then brought an appeal against aspects of the High Court ruling, which he also lost earlier this month.

Following an Insolvency and Companies Court hearing on 14th July that lasted only a quarter of an hour, Judge Catherine Burton, noting that Mr Greenstein has been properly served and failed to attend or make representations, concluded proceedings by saying: “I make a bankruptcy order this day against Tony Greenstein at 10:46am.”

Consequently, Mr Greenstein met the criteria for automatic disqualification as a charity trustee. We wrote to the Charity Commission to notify them of the bankruptcy order and that he must therefore cease to be a trustee of The Brighton Trust.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Today, the Charity Commission removed Tony Greenstein as a trustee of a charity that purports to challenge racist discrimination but has given grants to causes associated with antisemitism denial during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour Party, including the Chris Williamson Left Legal Fund, The Electronic Intifada and Labour Against the Witchhunt, amongst others. Mr Greenstein’s removal as a trustee will hopefully prove beneficial to the charity.”