Muslim coalition aims to build reliable reputation

International aid charity Islamic Relief is to set up a new coalition of Muslim charities to counter suspicion of their motives and promote closer cooperation with the Government.

The Muslim Charities Forum will help its members provide better services and raise awareness of the work members are doing abroad. The current members are Muslim Aid, Muslim Hands, Islamic Relief, the Human Relief Foundation and Human Appeal International.

"We want to have a healthy, accountable, transparent and efficient Muslim charitable sector in the UK," said Ismayil Tahmazov, projects coordinator at Islamic Relief's advocacy unit.

"As our sector is maturing, there is a need for closer cooperation between Muslim organisations. There is a lot of suspicion over misuse of funds for sinister purposes, so we need to make ourselves more transparent, reliable and respected."

The forum, chaired by Dr Hany El-Banna, president of Islamic Relief, is applying to the Charity Commission for registration as a charitable trust so that it can engage in fundraising activities.

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