Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) fully accepts the conclusions of the Charity Commission of England and Wales in relation to the conduct of three former staff and trustees, and has already begun to undertake extensive action to improve its policies and processes concerning the selection and conduct of senior executives and trustees.
The Charity Commission’s statement is published today and is available here.
Of the possible outcomes available to the Commission (no action; regulatory advice and guidance; an action plan; an official warning; or a Statutory Inquiry [investigation]), it has decided to issue regulatory advice and guidance (step 2) and closed its Compliance Case.
The Commission condemned the actions of the three individuals, but welcomed Islamic Relief’s decisive response, including strong condemnation of their social media posts, swift action to ensure their immediate resignations, and undertaking that they would play no further role in the organisation. It also welcomed Islamic Relief’s decision to establish an Independent Commission to rigorously review the vetting, screening and conduct of senior executives, and other governance reforms implemented by Islamic Relief in recent months.
The Commission made a number of recommendations to IRW, including the review and (if necessary) updating of our code of conduct for trustees. Islamic Relief has committed to implementing these actions.
The Charity Commission has now closed its case.
Dr Ihab Saad, Chair of Islamic Relief Worldwide’s Board of Trustees, says:
“The actions of these three individuals fell far short of the standards that we expect from our organisation. Their comments were deeply offensive and in clear violation of our core values and beliefs. Anti-Semitism and all other forms of discrimination will never be tolerated or have any place in Islamic Relief.
“We are determined to do all in our power to make sure this kind of misconduct does not happen again, and we accept and appreciate the clear guidance of the Charity Commission. We are already implementing a number of actions and it will continue to be a top priority for us to take them forward. We have set up an Independent Commission to review and strengthen our screening processes, which will deliver its findings this month. Trustees and senior staff have attended anti-Semitism awareness training, which will be rolled out to other staff this year. We have also developed an extensive new Personal Social Media Policy to make clear to all staff and trustees their obligations under the law and our values to conduct themselves appropriately online.”
Islamic Relief is a purely humanitarian organisation with no political affiliations. We work to uphold the highest humanitarian standards of neutrality, impartiality and independence, assisting people of all faiths and none, without discrimination by race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
Notes to Editors
The Independent Commission – led by former Attorney General Dominic Grieve QC and Sir Clive Jones – is expected to publish its findings this month. Islamic Relief has already committed to implement its findings in full.
Last year Islamic Relief provided vital support to more than 9.5 million people worldwide. This included life-saving aid for over 5 million people in Yemen and Syria, transformative water and education programmes, and innovative projects helping communities cope with the devastating effects of climate change.