The leader of Britain's largest Muslim charity has quit after putting anti-Semitic posts on social media. Heshmat Khalifa , a former trustee and director of Islamic Relief Worldwide, said the Jews are 'grandchildren of monkeys and pigs.' Mr Khalifa also described Egypt's president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as a 'Zionist pimp' on his Facebook page, as reported by The Times.
And he called the Muslim president - who ousted President Morsi in July 2013 - a 'pimp son of the Jews' and a 'Zionist criminal'. There were other posts on his page, written in Arabic, that promoted the work of the charity that has 100 offices in 40 countries worldwide. His Facebook page has now been taken down.
Mr Khalifa - who until recently was Chairman of Islamic Relief Australia - also used social media to described Hamas as 'the purest resistance movement in modern history'. He said that declaring its armed wing a terrorist organisation was a “shameful disgrace to all Muslims”.
For many years, Islamic Relief has been forced to deny claims of ideological ties with Islamist organisations. There have also been allegations, again strongly rejected, that its funds were sometimes passed to questionable recipients.
In 2014 the United Arab Emirates outlawed the charity because of an alleged connection to the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood.
Islamic Relief is one of the largest Muslim charities in the world and on it's website says its mission is to 'enable people to respond rapidly to disasters and fight poverty through our Islamic values, expertise and global reach.'
With partners including Oxfam, Christian Aid, Save the Children and the British Red Cross, it is one of the 14 members of Britain’s disasters emergency committee. The Times notified Islamic Relief on Thursday last week of its intention to reveal Mr Khalifa’s posts. His Facebook page was taken down a day later. On Tuesday, Companies House received notification of his termination as a director.
Mr Khalifa was born and educated in Egypt but has been a British citizen since 2005. Mr Khalifa told The Times that he was sorry for publishing the posts and regretted the “language and sentiments expressed”, which were unacceptable.
. . . The Charity Commission has now opened a compliance case into Islamic Relief.