The Charity Commission has launched a statutory inquiry into whether a charity running an east London mosque has been used to spread extremist views by people linked to terrorist organisations.
According to a letter from the commission to Usama Hasan, a former trustee of the mosque, seen by Third Sector, the inquiry into the Masjid & Madrasah al-Tawhid Trust will look at whether "the trustees have allowed individuals with potential links to terrorist organisations to use the charity to promote and/or express extremist views and ideologies and/or controversial points of view" and whether "the trustees have taken appropriate steps to safeguard the reputation of the charity and any risk to the charity's beneficiaries, property and assets".
The commission’s letter contains no details about the mosque’s links to extremists, but Hasan has previously told the BBC that the radical cleric Abu Qatada had held a study session at the Masjid al-Tawhid mosque in Leyton and the radical Islamist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki had spoken there several times.
The inquiry, which opened last month, stems partly from issues raised by Hasan, a scientist and part-time imam, who has previously attracted criticism from other trustees and from users of the mosque for saying that Islam is compatible with the theory of evolution. Hasan agreed to resign last month along with three other trustees who opposed his views, following a mediation process.
A commission spokeswoman said: "The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into the Madrasah Al-Tawhid Trust after concerns were raised with us about alleged links to extremism.
"We cannot comment further on the case until our investigation is complete. It is our usual practice to publish a report following the conclusion of a statutory inquiry."
The trust did not respond to requests for comment.