Interim manager appointed to charity as social media posts investigated

08 Dec 2022 News

Charity Commission's London offices

The Charity Commission has appointed an interim manager to an Islamic charity as it investigates the organisation’s safeguarding policies and social media activity.

Dar ul Uloom Islamia Rizwia (Bralawai) was set up to provide a place of worship, religious education and community services in Small Heath, Birmingham, and has been the subject of a statutory inquiry by the regulator since November 2021. 

The regulator initially engaged with the charity in 2019 and found that safeguarding policies and procedures were not in place. 

In October 2021, Birmingham Live reported on accusations that the mosque has failed to keep basic financial records of its donations, noting that worshippers have been calling for a change in management at the charity for some time. 

It also reported that Saddique Hussain, the mosque manager, shared a social media post that appeared to praise the Taliban on his personal Facebook account, which was referred to the Commission by the city council. 

His post was interpreted by some readers as support for the Taliban, but Hussain apologised, deleted the post and issued a statement which said: “I do not support and never have supported the Taliban.”

In November 2021, the Commission carried out a compliance visit in relation to the social media activity of some of the charity’s trustees and staff. 

The regulator opened the inquiry due to concerns including the trustees’ failure to ensure that policies and procedures relating to safeguarding have been implemented, and the conduct of some trustees and staff members on social media.

On 6 December 2022 the Commission appointed Virginia Henley of HCR Hewitsons as interim manager of the charity.

She will conduct a review of the charity’s governance and administration and make recommendations to the Commission based on her findings.

The charity said: "We are disappointed that the Charity Commission has chosen to take this step. The board has cooperated actively with the Commission's inquiry in line with its wider commitment to continually improving the governance of the charity. 

"We were not aware that the Commission were considering this step until the Order was made and then shared with us less than 48 hours ago, on Tuesday 6 December 2022.  We are considering the Statement of Reasons given by the Commission, and seeking advice on the implications of this step and the options available to us and will respond further as and when appropriate."   

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