Trouble at mosque, says Birmingham MP

But who is to blame?

Finsbury Park Mosque (North London)Finsbury Park Mosque (North London)
According to a quote on the website of The Charity Commission: "a charity is not able to support, promote or criticise a political party". Yet I would suggest that the politicisation of charities and the whole concept of giving to them is now an established fact and, for the cash-strapped political establishment of the UK, it's a godsend. Take for example the case of St Tony Blair, just as soon as he could he set up a 'foundation' to apply all the tricks he had learned from hobnobbing with the Clintons. The money flows around Blair are as complicated as ocean currents but we do know that it is the UK taxpayer who picks up the bill for his security in the UK. The sum is around £6 million, you may think this is, considering Blair's wealth, unjust.

This is the paradox. History shows that charity evolved from a personal act of giving into a formal structure to right wrongs and sweep away injustice on a grand scale. However, while the scale of things may have increased dramatically, injustice has adapted itself also, it takes on new forms.

There is 'donor fatigue' too. To combat the many problems that confront a typical charity a political strategy is called for. In today's modern world this is a job for an expert. Consider Suzi Leather. In 1997 she was awarded a BA degree in politics, later an MA in European Politics. Over her working life she has held over thirty public sector jobs. The Adam Smith Institute has accused her of pursuing a -

"political agenda" on behalf of politicians who lacked the "moral courage" to tackle the issue themselves.

Finsbury Park Mosque street protest during the reign of Abu HamzaFinsbury Park Mosque street protest during the reign of Abu Hamza
Even so, and Leather's work has always attracted controversy, she became the Chair of The Charity Commission in late 2006; it is to the Charity Commission that Birmingham MP, Khalid Mahmood, is complaining about forgery in his name, see HERE. The exact nature of the forgery, the fine detail, may be a while in coming out as the statement from the Commission is-

"The Charity Commission is aware of the allegations made relating to the North London Central Mosque (registered charity no.299884) and we are considering what, if any, regulatory concerns there are for the Commission."

Within the legalese there is an element of sloth implied here, the words 'what, if any' come uncomfortably close to a prejudgment on the matter (see also footnote below).

Also the affair has my North Birmingham friends laughing. Local lore has it that the nomination process for the Perry Bar seat was, well let's say haphazard. Still Mahmood won the nomination, was elected, and it's a long time ago, but there is more. As it is also said the North Birmingham vote rigging scandal did ensnare a few of his 'supporters'.

And from the website Civil Society - Mohammad Kozbar, secretary of the Mosque’s trustees has told Civil Society that -

"at the time Mahmood asked fellow trustee, Mahmood Hassan, to sign the declaration on his behalf. “We only found out recently that he asked one of the trustees to sign on his behalf,” said Kozbar. “We also sent him minutes about the minute at the time and he never raised any concerns. Now, a year and a half later he is claiming someone forged his signature.”

Kozbar also claims that Mahmood, who is a member of the parliamentary committee on tackling terrorism, has only attended one out of 22 trustee meetings.Seeking to find out more, Civil Society contacted the MP - Mahmood did not respond to enquiries.

This also makes my Birmingham friends smile, they too find him somewhat shy. They say that Mahmood does not have either a website or an email, his replies to letters are erratic, there's even a suggestion that his 'office' is not in the constituency.

For yet more on this subject see HERE.

Footnote -
Waiting for the Charity Commission to act is a fact of life. Consider the case of the National Black Police Association, it acted in a cavalier and often illegal manner for years, see HERE. One can only assume this was 'allowed' due to a coming together of like minds at the Home Office and the Charity Commission.