Watchdog to crack down on charities hosting anti-Semitic extremists

Nov 29, 2023 by

by Edward Malnick, Telegraph:

Orlando Fraser, chairman of the Charity Commission, warns that bodies should not become ‘forums for hate speech’.

The charity regulator has pledged to crack down on bodies that host anti-Semitic extremists amid “serious concerns” about activities linked to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Writing for The Telegraph, Orlando Fraser, the chairman of the Charity Commission, warned that charities “must not allow their premises” or events “to become forums for hate speech” or unlawful extremism, adding: “The commission will not stand by and permit charities to be abused in this way.”

His intervention comes after campaigners contacted the watchdog over a series of videos of hateful sermons being preached at a series of mosques linked to charities, in the weeks following the Oct 7 attacks by Hamas.

They include sermons featuring a call for victory over “the usurping Jews”, urging congregations to pray for the “oppressors” to be “destroyed”, and one stating that if all Muslims “just marched on Israel it’s all over, if they spat in the direction of Israel, it’s all over”.

The videos have added to concerns among senior government figures about levels of extremism in Britain exposed by the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The latest pro-Palestinian march through central London, attended by tens of thousands of demonstrators, was marred by numerous offensive placards, with one young woman holding a hand-drawn placard reading “Stop doing what Hitler did to you”, in what was one of several banners making anti-Semitic comparisons between Israel’s bombing of Gaza and the Holocaust.

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