The full board of the UK’s largest Muslim charity set to resign on Sunday following revelations that one of its directors praised terrorists and engaged in anti-Semitic slurs on social media, according to The Times.
Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), which is based in the city of Birmingham, has admitted that a number of Facebook posts by one of its directors, Almoutaz Tayara, were “inappropriate and unacceptable” and that its board of trustees would resign en masse today as a gesture of opposition.
According to The Times, in the Facebook posts, which were written in Arabic and discovered by “a leading academic on Islamism in the West,” Mr Tayara described the leaders of the Palestinian militant group Hamas - which engaged in a number of suicide bombings in Israel in the early 2000s - as “great men” who were simply showing respect to “the divine and holy call of the Muslim Brotherhood.”
In another, Mr Tayara posted a caricatured image of former US President Barrack Obama wearing a tie branded with the Star of David - the symbol of Judaism - with President Bashar Al-Assad and former Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini sitting on his lap. There are quote marks coming from Assad and Khomeini’s mouths saying “death to America” and “death… death.”
— Liam Duffy (@LiamSD12) August 22, 2020
The posts were made in 2014 and 2015 when the United States was sending material support to armed Syrian groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria but appears to suggest that the US, Assad and Israel are secretly in cahoots.
Islamic Relief Germany - a branch of IRW - where Dr Tayara is also a director, reportedly knew of the posts as far back as 2017 but gave him permission to remain in his senior position following an apology.
However, it appears that IRW did not know about the posts until they were approached by The Times for questioning.
IRW have allegedly said that Mr Tayara’s posts are a violation of their values. They added that he would be stepping down from his position and would “play no further part in the governance of IRW.”
This is not the first scandal to hit the organisation over the past few months.
Mr Tayara had been brought in to replace another chairman - Heshmat Khalifa - who had been removed from his post, also for anti-Semitic comments.
The Times revealed back in July of this year that Mr Khalifa posted on social media that Israelis were “the grandchildren of monkeys and pigs” and called Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi a “pimp son of the Jews.”
After being approached by the media about those comments, IRW aid that it was “appalled by the hateful comments” and said that Mr Khalifa had resigned.
The charity released a statement soon after saying that it is “reviewing our processes for screening trustees’ and senior executives’ social media posts to ensure that this will not happen again.”