9th May, 2014
London, UK – The Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) has been working with the Charity Commission (CC) for the past few months in assisting their statutory inquiry which commenced in March 2014. This follows a preliminary inquiry following an event held by iERA at the University College London (UCL) in 2013 where seating separation concerns were highlighted to the Commission. Despite voluntary gender segregation being supported by Universities UK and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, iERA and its speakers have received a considerable amount of negative media coverage surrounding the event, which may have prejudiced the case which has led to the investigation.
The inquiry will look into four main areas; policies and procedures, event management, external speakers, and trustee payments. Concerning policies and procedures iERA have now developed and rolled out an array of policies and procedures including one pertaining to extremism. Copies of these can be obtained upon request. iERA’s events are now overseen by a documented risk management strategy which includes the assessment of external speakers, ensuring that they comply with the policies and procedures. With regard to payments to some trustees and related parties, the bulk of which took place in the formative years of the organisation, they are openly disclosed in iERA’s annual accounts and are available in the public domain. These payments have been justified given the significant value brought to the organisation, which will this summer mark its fifth anniversary.
iERA considers to have willingly complied with the statutory case demands and already clearly articulated any discrepancies to the Commission. Although iERA does not see the reason for a formal investigation they are fully supporting and assisting the CC’s formal inquiry.
In the past few years iERA have been at the forefront in empowering the Muslim community to articulate a warm, peaceful, compassionate and cogent case for Islam to the wider society. iERA have also been engaged in charity work which has benefited our fellow Britons and communities abroad. This includes supporting charities such as Age UK.
We believe the furore around the UCL event has created considerable negative publicity in the mainstream media that may have prejudiced the case inquiry that has led to the formal investigation. iERA is also aware that the Charity Commission has recently had a surge of investigations on Muslim charities as of late, which does not bode well for community cohesion in Britain.
iERA continues to call on all Muslim and non-Muslim community organisations and individuals alike to continue to reach out to the wider society and make a positive contribution.
The Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) is a UK-based charity dedicated to providing a better understanding of Islam in order to create a more peaceful and harmonious society.
For further enquiries please contact us.