In the United Kingdom (UK), a newly-registered Muslim charity is under review by the Charity Commission for its website's anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
The charity, Ghamidi Center of Islamic Communication, publishes a form of hate-speech on their website; lectures and sermons suggesting that homosexuality is a disease that needs to be cured. The Ghamidi Center hosts videos and audio clips highlighting speakers who discuss “the right to beat wives” and project their beliefs that gay people are more inclined to be killers.
The center, which recently registered as a charity in December, reveals its acute homophobic and misogynistic in it’s lectures to supporters. Ghamidi Center is awarded public benefits with charitable status and is enabled to claim taxpayer-funded Gift Aid on donations and tax relief.
Ghamidi Centre of Islamic Communication has been granted charity status despite saying that homosexuality is a 'disease' that 'needs to be cured' & that husbands can beat disobedient wives. Shocking that @ChtyCommission has allowed this https://t.co/nuziqYSMxw Via @NatSecSoc
— Peter Tatchell Fdn (@PT_Foundation) February 2, 2021
In its registration with the Charity Commission, the Ghamidi Center declares its purpose as “the advancement of the religion of Islam for the benefit of the public, primarily but not exclusively through the provision of online information, learning, and study.”
The National Secular Society (NSS) contacted the Charity Commission for the UK regarding the Ghamidi Centre of Islamic Communication's charity status.
The director of investigations within the Charity Commission stated, "Trustees carry ultimate responsibility for the operation and activities of a charity, including for the content of its website and social media. Trustees are responsible for putting in place appropriate systems of control to ensure that material posted on their website is suitable and appropriate for a charity.”
In the lecture given by the Islamic scholar Khalid Zaheer, he claims homosexuality "cannot be allowed" because "there are people who lose their senses and are inclined to killing others." He added that "we're not going to allow killing because of the reason that there is somebody who has a problem in his mind or is mentally ill."
A lecture on Ghamidi Center’s website entitled "The Right to Beat Wives" condones violence against women and says it is lawful for a husband to "punish" his wife if she challenges his authority, provided it will not "leave any sign of a wound" on her.
The NSS contacted the charity about the issue, and the charity removed the video versions of the lectures, but they left the audio versions online.
The Ghamidi Centre states its charitable objective as "the advancement of the religion of Islam for the benefit of the public, primarily but not exclusively through the provision of online information, learning, and study."
Megan Manson, the NSS head of policy and research, said: "The Charity Commission should quickly review the status of the Ghamidi Centre and consider whether the material on its website is compatible with the expectation that charities provide a public benefit.
The Charity Commission responded to the NSS, saying that it is currently examining the concerns raised and will "assess the information provided to determine what regulatory action, if any, is required."
A trustee for the Ghamidi Center sent an email to the National Secular Society, agreeing that “some of the content does not seem compatible with our charitable status.”
“We believe in freedom of expression, and the right to freedom of religion and beliefs are protected by the Human Rights Act. We all enjoy this freedom in a democratic country.”
Even though the video sermons were removed from the center’s website, they can still be heard on audio files.