Regulator investigating charity for posting video that ‘could suggest support for Hamas’

07 Mar 2024 News

By Ivelin Radkov, Adobe

The Charity Commission is investigating a charity over serious concerns about a video post, which it said may suggest support for militant group Hamas.

It has opened a statutory inquiry into the Wales-based charity, Al-Manar Centre Trust, over its social media use and protocols.

Al-Manar Centre Trust was established in 2009 to advance and support Islamic education, strengthen community relationships and religious harmony in Cardiff, and to educate the public about the Islamic faith.

The Commission said the video, which was not created by the charity but posted on its Facebook page in November 2023, “could suggest support for Hamas”.

Following this, the regulator “has raised concerns around the charity’s social media controls”. 

“As regulator, the Commission expects trustees to do all in their power to protect their charities from risk of misuse, which includes implementing procedures to prevent the promotion of views which could be considered harmful or unlawful,” it states.

Following the Commission’s intervention, the charity’s trustees have removed the video and taken steps to improve their social media protocols, it added.

Inquiry scope

The inquiry will examine the trustees’ administration, management, and governance of the charity. 

As part of the inquiry's scope, the regulator will fully investigate the events leading to the posting of the video.

“The regulator will also be seeking assurances that improvements made to the charity’s social media protocols are being implemented and that these are sufficiently robust to prevent this from happening again,” it said.

“This includes a review to confirm that there is no other inappropriate material on any platform used by the charity.”

Commission chair Orlando Fraser spoke about the regulator's expectations of all charities at its most recent annual public meeting.

“Charities must not allow their premises or events to become forums for hate speech or unlawful extremism,” he said.

“The Commission will always deal robustly with those who intentionally or recklessly abuse their charities, and we will not hesitate to take action in accordance with the law to protect the reputation of the sector as a whole.”

Al-Manar Centre Trust has yet not responded to Civil Society’s request for comment.

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