Charity Commission rejects complaint against Christian charity

Regulator says Barnabas Fund's 'anti-Islamisation' booket is 'in line with the charity's stated objects'

Charity Commission
Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has rejected a complaint against a Christian charity for campaigning against what it sees as the growing influence of Islamic traditions in British society.

The Barnabas Fund, which supports oppressed Christians in Europe, Asia and Africa, published a booklet called Slippery Slope: The Islamisation of the UK.

It was concerned about Islam’s potential to transform Britain through what it called its "disproportionate influence and control over the structures of society".

The claims prompted a complaint to the commission. According to a statement on the charity’s website a lay reader from the Church of England lodged the complaint on the grounds that the fund was engaged in "divisive" activity by campaigning against another religion, which was akin to inciting racial hatred.

But the commission ruled that the booklet was in line with the charity’s stated object to "promote and advance the Christian faith". It rejected the allegation of inciting racial hatred.

The booklet was published as part of Operation Nehemiah, a campaign run by the fund to "rebuild the Christian foundations of our country".

The regulator said that Operation Nehemiah "appears to be acting within [the charity’s] objects", adding: "The campaign material could be viewed as controversial but it fits within the aims of the campaign."

The commission’s guidance on campaigning and political activity states: "A charity can campaign using emotive or controversial material where this is lawful and justifiable in the context of a campaign. Such material must be factually accurate and have a legitimate evidence base."

Mark Green, deputy director of the Barnabas Fund, said he was very pleased with the Charity Commission’s decision: "It is sad that in a free country individuals might want to formally challenge genuine freedom of speech on important issues when it does not agree with their own personal agenda."

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