Muslim trust case 'an example to would-be charities'

The Charity Commission has been unable to resolve a dispute between members of a trust, and has warned other would-be charities that all parties involved must be willing to agree on a constitution before they can register.

An inquiry into the Doncaster Mosque Trust, which runs a mosque and Islamic library, found that some trustees wanted membership of the mosque to be restricted to Muslims of the Deo-Bundi sect, whereasa others wanted it to be open to all Muslims in Doncaster.

It also found that the trust had failed to register as a charity and to produce proper accounting records.

The commission launched the inquiry in 2005 after a group of worshippers at the mosque took the trustees to court to obtain the trust’s accounts.

The Charity Commission is setting up a Faith and Social Cohesion unit to provide support and advice to faith-based groups on governance and financial management. It says it will begin by working primarily with Muslim charities and communities.

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