A CHARITY established to advance Islam was used by hate preacher Kamran Hussain, above, to encourage terrorism and support the Islamic State, an investigation by the Charity Commission has found.
The Fazal Ellahi Charitable Trust was set up in 2003 with the aim of:
Educating all people, particularly children and young people, in the Muslim religion and Urdu language and the advancement of the Muslim religion through collective prayer meetings and otherwise.
But instead its premises were used by imam Hussain – jailed in 2017 for promoting terrorism – to tell children as young as three that that martyrdom was better than school.
In dissolving the trust, the Charity Commission said it had been misused by preacher.
The fact that the sermons delivered by the Imam which resulted in his conviction were delivered over a number of months compounds the failure on the part of the charity’s trustees to ensure that the charity and its property were not used for criminal purposes.
A probe into the Trust, which ran a mosque in Tunstall, Staffordshire, was opened last year. It found that the charity’s two trustees Fazal Ellahi and his son Isbar Ellahi:
Failed to properly manage, administer and protect the trust and its resources, resulting in it being used to facilitate terrorism offences.
They have now been barred from running a charity.
Michelle Russell, the Commission’s Director of Investigations, Monitoring an Enforcement, said:
What has happened at this charity is unacceptable and a clear failing on the part of the charity’s trustees as custodians for their charity.
Our actions will reassure the public that abuse of this kind will not be tolerated.Whilst instances of abuse of charities for terrorism are rare, such links undermine public trust and confidence in charities, and the vital work that charities do. It is right that those responsible have been held to account for their actions.
The commission’s report added:
Trustee A [Fazal Ellahi] advised that he was not aware of what the Imam had said and that there had been no complaints made about him by those in attendance at the Mosque.
It is unclear whether the trustees were present for some or all of the Imam’s sermons between June and September 2017 which resulted in his conviction; irrespective of whether or not either or both of the trustees were present, the inquiry found that the trustees failed to manage the charity’s resources appropriately and that their failure to do so facilitated their use for terrorist purposes.
Hussain’s arrest came after anti-terror police planted an undercover officer in the mosque over four months. The officer recorded 17 sermons and six were found to have “crossed the line” by encouraging terrorism and two encouraged support for IS or Daesh.
The court heard he would often he would deliver his speeches in front an ISIS flag and laud the values of terrorist groups. In one he told the congregation:
Inshallah…we will see the black flag rise over Big Ben and Downing Street.
The preacher supported the virtues of killing, martyrdom and violent jihad and endorsed the efforts of those who had undertaken such acts.
And he told worshipperrs the UK government funded far-right groups to attack Muslims. He said:
The kuffar (unbeliever) will attack you and kill you. Stand up and be ready to sacrifice, be ready to stand in the face of the elements of Shaytan (Satan), be ready to spill blood and have your blood spilt.
It is not yet clear what the charity’s dissolution means for the mosque, which had around 40 worshippers.