The Charity Commission for England and Wales has announced that it is launching a statutory inquiry into alleged misconduct and mismanagement by the Ghulam Mustafa Trust.
The decision follows a complaint by Campaign Against Antisemitism.
Full statutory inquiries into charities are relatively rare. In 2012–13 there were just fifteen inquiries.
Campaign Against Antisemitism originally reported the Ghulam Mustafa Trust to the Charity Commission in September after a video was posted on the charity’s official Facebook page. The video was made by a trustee of the charity and showed viewers how to remove a supposed tracking device planted by “the f***ing Jews” in Samsung smartphones. The video urged viewers to check their smartphones for the tracking device, which is in fact the circuit that handles near-field communication. A young child was present during the filming of the video and can be heard speaking off camera.
Following an investigation by the Charity Commission, the video was removed and the charity was instructed to put in place a social media policy and code of conduct for trustees, but the trustee was left in his post, no apology was issued and the video had already been online for months, during which the charity had ignored complaints by Facebook users that it was antisemitic.
Campaign Against Antisemitism supplied detailed documentation to the Charity Commission in support of a statutory inquiry, and following this, the Charity Commission has decided that a statutory inquiry is warranted.
The Charity Commission can only use its powers to remove and permanently disqualify a trustee if recommended to do so by a statutory inquiry.
We commend the Charity Commission for taking the decision to launch a statutory inquiry into this serious misconduct and mismanagement by a trustee of the Ghulam Mustafa Trust. This step allows the Charity Commission to use the full extent of its powers, including removing and disqualifying the trustee, and that is what we hope the inquiry will decide is the appropriate measure in this matter.
When charities engage in inciting hatred, it is vital that the firmest regulatory action is taken and we are very pleased to note the Charity Commission’s decision to use powers reserved for the most serious concerns in dealing with this vile antisemitic incident. We await the outcome of the inquiry with interest.
Campaign Against Antisemitism is a volunteer-led charity dedicated to exposing and countering antisemitism through education and zero-tolerance enforcement of the law. Everything that we do is done by people who volunteer their time, using donations contributed by members of the public. Join the fight against antisemitism by subscribing to our updates, volunteering, or donating.