An organisation condemned by the Government as “linked to individuals who fuel hatred, division and violence” was cleared to host an official reception inside the secure zone at this week’s Conservative Party conference. The event, co-hosted by the Muslim Charities Forum, was only cancelled after party officials were contacted by the Telegraph on Saturday.
According to the printed copy of the conference guide, it was to have been addressed by the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, the former Foreign Secretary, William Hague, and the former party chairman, Lady Warsi. It was to have taken place on Tuesday, the same day as the Home Secretary, Theresa May, is expected to announce a new crackdown on Islamist extremism from the conference platform.
The Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) was stripped of £250,000 in state funding last year after the Telegraph exposed its links with the Union of Good, a designated terrorist organisation created to fund the militant group Hamas. At least six of the ten charities in the MCF are or were members of the Union of Good. However, the official conference programme shows that the MCF was co-hosting a reception on the theme of “faith and British values” in the main conference centre on Tuesday evening, only hours after Mrs May’s speech.
The main speaker at the event was Othman Moqbel, chief executive of one of the Hamas-linked charities, Human Appeal International. Pictures from a Hamas event show the charity’s logo on the platform. Human Appeal was named by the FBI in 2003 as having a “close relationship” with Hamas.
The Muslim Charities Forum, which was until recently based at Westgate House in Hangar Lane, London, one of the two main bases for the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. The Union of Good is designated by the US Treasury as a terrorist organisation created by the Hamas leadership “in order to facilitate the transfer of funds to Hamas.”
The union is chaired by Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a key intellectual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood who has twice turned down offers to become its political leader.
Mr al-Qaradawi, who is banned from the UK, is a strong supporter of suicide bombings, describing Israeli citizens as legitimate targets.
As well as Human Appeal, other members of the Muslim Charities Forum include Muslim Aid, which has admitted funding organisations run by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Islamic Help, which works closely with a Hamas front organisation in Gaza, and Muslim Hands, which also funds Hamas front bodies.