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Muslim charities expected to raise £50 million in Ramadan despite inquiry hurdles

Muslim charities expected to raise £50 million in Ramadan despite inquiry hurdles

Categories: Latest News

Wednesday July 16 2014

Civil Society Media reports that the Muslim Charities Forum anticipates its members, consisting of British Muslim aid agencies, will raise a total of £50 million for their causes during the month of Ramadan.

The Forum canvassed its members, such as Islamic Relief, Muslim Aid, Muslim Hands, and Orphans in Need, to gauge how much they expect to raise during Ramadan.

While Islamic Relief expects to receive £10 million from public donations and a further £5 million from the UK Aid Match scheme, through which donations are matched by the government using the aid budget, Muslim Aid aims to raise £5 million.

The vast sums of charitable donations by British Muslims reflects research findings from an ICM poll that was carried out last year, in conjunction with the JustGiving website, that showed Muslims make the highest charitable donations per capita in comparison to other donors who have a faith or no faith background.

However, the Third Sector website sheds light on anxieties prevailing in the Muslim charitable sector with a report on the letter published in The Times newspaper by MCF chairman Dr Hany el-Banna.

In the letter, published last week, Dr Hany warned that the Charity Commission’s new policy of naming all charities that are subject to statutory inquiry could damage the reputation of charities that have done nothing wrong and impact on their fundraising capability. He consequently calls for the immediate repeal of the policy noting its negative effect on confidence in the charitable sector.

In response to an article in The Times last month, Dr Hany wrote that the Muslim Charities Forum “is very concerned about the change of policy that has prompted the Charity Commission to start disclosing the names of all charities that are under investigation. This could damage the reputation of charities that have not committed any wrongdoing, bringing their activities under intense media scrutiny and creating public uncertainty before due process.

“We are also concerned that disclosing an investigation may damage relationships with donors and partners critical to our work for our beneficiaries in the UK and around the world.

“While we welcome the Charity Commission’s commitment to transparency and rigorous monitoring, we believe that this policy on disclosure could harm some charities that are subsequently exonerated in a sector where so much depends on public confidence and trust.”

Last month, the Charity Commission disclosed the names of 13 charities that it was investigating, including Muslim Aid. The Commission has also announced inquiries into several other Muslim charities such as the Islamic Education and Research Academy, Children in Deen and Al Fatiha Global.

Third Sector further notes that a spokesman for the Charities Commission said that it had adopted the policy “in response to increased public interest in information about charities under investigation, and in a move to increase transparency.

“We are clear that the opening of an inquiry is not in itself a finding of wrongdoing, but an exercise to examine serious concerns in detail.”

Yet, Sir Stephen Bubb, the head of the charity chief executives body (Acevo), argues that it “certainly appears” as if the Commission is targeting Muslim charities in a disproportionate way and the ‘perception of bias’ is sufficient to generate disquiet. At a time when Muslim charities are at their busiest, the ramifications can be severe.


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