ITV Documentary Reveals Extremist Views in Three Registered Charities
The Exposure programme followed three charity organisations in a year-long investigation, the charities were: The Steadfast Trust, Global Aid Trust and Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK.
The Steadfast Trust describe themselves on their website as, “the first and only registered charity which undertakes work specifically for the English community.” However secret filming revealed a non-charity event attended by a trustee of the charity and its supporters showing people shouting “white power” and “victory to the Aryan Race”.
Meanwhile the Global Aid Trust were filmed on a charity boat trip where preacher, Dawah Man, discussed jihad in Syria being an option after having given an alleged anti-semitic speech. The organisation says its primary aim is “to promote education amongst the underprivileged.” An employee of the charity called Shafiq was heard saying he admired US-born hate preacher Anwar al-Awlaki.
In a later interview Dawah Man denied his speech was antisemitic, saying he had been criticising Zionism as a political ideology, not Israeli or Jewish people. He also denied encouraging people to go on jihad in Syria, claiming he had told people not to go there in his previous videos and that jihad does not always mean fighting.
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK (HSS) run as a voluntary organisation with weekly youth leadership training centres across the nation. Undercover filming revealed someone teaching children as young as 13 that the number of good Muslims “can be counted on fingers.” The same tutor at the camp was seen telling children, “To destroy Hindu history is the secret conspiracy of the Christians,” and “If it comes to Islam, they are the world’s worst religion.”
The charity has since told Exposure that portraying it as “anti any religion” is “wrong and counterproductive to the positive work HSS has done in building interfaith relations.”
All three organisations have released statements following the broadcast,
The Steadfast Trust said:
The Trust does not share or support the offensive views expressed, some by people unknown to the charity.
We cannot be held responsible for the views, actions or political affiliations of our supporters.
We always work within charity law and all donations are used to further our registered objectives. Tim Hawke attended the event to identify whether it could benefit from a grant, he disliked what he saw and told trustees he would not attend in future.
Global Aid Trust said:
We express our great regret at these incidents, which were the result of a process failure in the organisation.
GAT no longer employs Mr Shabbar. He was a temporary worker.
Mr Shabbar indicated no extremist tendencies during his job interview, and the remit of his role was made clear to him.
As soon as [the boat trip] incident was highlighted to us we made a decision not to book Dawah Man again.
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh UK (HSS) stated:
We promote Hindu values which are about cohesiveness, duty to society and universal peace.
Our actions over the years show that HSS promotes diversity and unity in Britain.
We are investigating these alleged comments to ensure those who made them are better informed, trained or prevented from making statements which may be interpreted as anti another community.
The Charity Commission have responded saying the footage was “absolutely shocking” however said, “We don’t have a power to shut down an ineffective or a troubling charity in that way”.
Since filming they say they are investigating the serious concerns raised by Exposure about Global Aid Trust and HSS (UK), and that they have removed The Steadfast Trust from the Register of Charities.