Charity trustees replaced with interim manager after terrorism convictions

26 Sep 2018 News

The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to Fazal Ellahi Charitable Trust, a mosque charity which is under investigation after an imam was convicted of six counts of encouraging terrorism in sermons and classes to children. 

A statutory inquiry was opened in April 2018 and the charity's bank accounts were frozen. Jonathan Burchfield of Stone King will now take over the management and administration of the charity, to the exclusion of the trustees. 

The charity, which exists to advance Islam and teach Urdu, was removed from the Commission register in 2009 after it failed to engage with the regulator or submit accounts, but it continued to run a mosque in Birmingham.

The Commission stepped in last year after being made aware of offences committed by the imam at the mosque operated by the charity. The offences resulted in a conviction of six counts of encouragement of terrorism and two counts of encouraging support for a proscribed organisation, all in relation to a series of sermons and classes for children he gave at the mosque. 

The Commission said the inquiry will examine the following regulatory concerns:

  • The management and oversight of staff, use of the charity’s premises and safeguarding procedures by the trustees
  • Whether the trustees have properly exercised their legal duties and responsibilities under charity law in the administration of the charity
  • The financial management of the charity, particularly in regards to maintaining and preserving accounting records
  • Whether there has been misconduct and/or mismanagement by the trustees, including failure to comply with the charity’s own governing document
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