The Charity Commission has opened a statutory inquiry into a Muslim charity that, despite being removed from the register, continued to operate a mosque that hosted an imam who was later convicted of terrorism offences.
The Fazal Ellahi Charitable Trust, which was set up in 2003 to promote religious education and the Urdu language, was removed from the charities register in 2009 by the regulator after the charity failed to submit its accounts or respond to the commission’s correspondence.
Despite being deregistered, the charity continued to operate a mosque and religious classes for children, the commission said.
The commission contacted the charity in 2017 after the regulator was made aware that an imam was convicted of six counts of encouragement of terrorism regarding sermons and classes for children he gave at the mosque run by the charity.
The imam was also convicted of two counts of encouraging support for a proscribed organisation, the commission said.
The commission’s inquiry will focus on the trustees’ oversight and management of staff, the use of the charity’s premises and its safeguarding procedures, the regulator said.
The inquiry will also focus on the charity’s financial management and whether there had been misconduct or mismanagement by the trustees, and particularly if there had been a failure to comply with the charity’s governing document.
The charity’s bank account has also been frozen by the Charity Commission.
Third Sector could not reach the Fazal Ellahi Charitable Trust for comment.