Commission opens inquiry into mosque after allegations it displayed hate material

A BBC investigation allegedly found leaflets at the Stockwell Green Mosque calling for members of the Ahmadi Muslim sect to be killed; the charity denies any involvement in the material

Stockwell Green Mosque (credit Stephen Richards)

A south London mosque that allegedly displayed leaflets calling for members of the Ahmadi Muslim sect to be killed is under investigation by the Charity Commission.

The commission announced today it had opened a statutory inquiry into Aalami Majlise Tahaffuze Khatme Nubuwwat, which is also known as Stockwell Green Mosque, after a BBC investigation reported finding the material promoting hatred of Ahmadis inside the mosque.

As a result of the BBC report, the commission visited the mosque and uncovered wider serious regulatory concerns over how the charity was run, which prompted it to open the inquiry.

According to the BBC, the leaflets, which were found arranged in piles on a desk next to a shoe-rack near the entrance of the mosque, demanded that Ahmadis should convert to mainstream Islam or face "a capital sentence".

Many mainstream Muslims, alongside the state of Pakistan, do not recognise Ahmadis as Muslims.

In a statement released today, the commission said it carried out monitoring visits to the charity in May and July. 

"The visits identified serious regulatory concerns regarding how the charity is being managed including indications of poor governance, risks to charity property due to poor financial management and the trustees carrying out activities outside of the charity’s stated objects," the statement said.

The inquiry will examine the administration, governance and management of the charity as well as its financial controls.

It will also investigate the conduct of the trustees and whether or not they have fulfilled their duties or complied with charity law, the statement says.

The mosque is affiliated with the Muslim Council of Britain, but in April it was suspended as a result of the BBC’s allegations and the MCB launched an independent inquiry into the mosque.

The inquiry panel has not yet released its final report, but in its interim report, the panel noted the charity categorically denied that the leaflets were in the building and that there was no evidence proving they had been.

The panel's interim report also said that the table where the leaflets were found, which it said had since been removed and replaced with a notice prohibiting leaflets, would have been easy to access and difficult to monitor.

But it said it was disappointed that only two of the charity’s three trustees had contacted or been contactable by the inquiry.

The BBC story quotes Toaha Qureshi, one of the charity’s trustees, who said: "We have not published any pamphlet of that kind. This is nothing to do with our mosque. Someone might have put it there and taken from there with malicious intentions."

Third Sector was unable to contact anyone from the charity for comment on Wednesday morning. 

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