Charity Commission
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Regulator to investigate Al-Tawheed Charitable Trust over event held at its premises

The Charity Commission has opened an inquiry to investigate serious concerns over the misuse of charity premises.

Today (Wednesday 14th February 2024), the charity regulator for England and Wales has announced a statutory inquiry to investigate the Al-Tawheed Charitable Trust (TUCF). This follows serious concerns raised regarding an event held at its premises.

TUCF was registered in 1994.  Its charitable purposes include promoting the Islamic faith, supporting Muslim communities and promoting recreation, sport, social and cultural activities.

The regulator is investigating an event that was held by an external organisation at TUCF’s premises in 2020. The charity’s current trustees, who were not in office at the time, told the Commission the event was a ‘religious remembrance programme’ for Major General Qasem Soleimani, organised by a third party and not the charity itself. At the time of his death, Soleimani held a senior position in Iran’s military, serving as Commander of both the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Qods Force. When the event was held, Soleimani was subject to sanctions imposed by the UK Government. The IRGC is still subject to these sanctions.

Through reviewing video footage provided to the regulator, the Charity Commission is aware that speakers praised Soleimani and could hear anti-Semitic chants being made during the event. The Commission has significant concerns about these matters and will be examining what controls the charity has in place for events and external speakers.

The regulator has exercised its protective powers to prohibit the trustees from allowing the charity’s premises to be used by the third party that organised the 2020 event. The Commission is also using its information gathering powers to compel the trustees to answer questions and provide copy documents.

The inquiry will examine the following regulatory issues:

  • The management and administration of the charity by its trustees.
  • The oversight and control by the charity’s trustees of the use of the charity’s properties by third parties.
  • The charity’s relationships with partners.

The regulator may extend the scope of the inquiry if additional regulatory issues emerge.

It is the Commission’s policy, after it has concluded an inquiry, to publish a report detailing the issues examined, any action taken, and the inquiry’s outcomes.

Notes for Editors

  • The Charity Commission is the independent, non-ministerial government department that registers and regulates charities in England and Wales. Its purpose is to ensure charity can thrive and inspire trust so that people can improve lives and strengthen society.
  • The Charity Commission opened the statutory inquiry into the Al-Tawheed Charitable Trust (TUCF) under section 46 of the Charities Act 2011 (the ‘Act’) on 30 January 2024.
  • Section 47 of the Act gives the Commission power to direct persons to provide information, such as answers to questions and/or copy documents.
  • Section 84A of the Act gives the Commission power to direct trustees not to take or continue to take a specific action(s) if the Commission considers the action(s) would constitute misconduct or mismanagement in the charity’s administration.
  • The Commission’s Chair spoke about our expectations of all charities at our most recent Annual Public Meeting: “Charities must not allow their premises or events to become forums for hate speech or unlawful extremism. 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”. More detail here: Orlando Fraser’s speech to the Annual Public Meeting - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Channel website: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission

Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/regulator-to-investigate-al-tawheed-charitable-trust-over-event-held-at-its-premises

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