05 Sep 2003
Representatives of The Muslim Council of Britain together with the heads of four leading British Muslim charities are to meet with the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Wednesday 10th September 2003 to discuss the serious concerns in the Muslim community with regard to the freezing of the assets of the British charity, Interpal.
“The decision to freeze Interpal’s assets came suspiciously soon after President Bush’s call to outlaw several European charities, including Interpal, which are helping to bring valuable relief to the besieged Palestinian people. Interpal is a reputable British charity working in the region since 1994. Following earlier allegations by pro-Israeli groups the Charity Commission looked into the workings of the charity and found it to be:
‘…a well run and committed organisation which carries out important work in a part of the world where there is great hardship and suffering…’
It also said:
‘Scrutiny of the charity’s publicity and documentation provided no evidence of any pro-terrorist or anti-Israeli propaganda and interviews with the Trustees and staff suggested that they were motivated by faith and altruism and not fanaticism.’
“If Interpal is in breach of the Charity law then fairness dictates that all relevant facts should be presented to the charity and an opportunity given to them to explain their actions. Instead, however, it appears that our Israeli friends only have to put in a request to our American friends, who then ask HMG, and we oblige by taking precipitate and unilateral action against the charity. That is as iniquitous to our traditions of justice as it is demeaning to our national dignity,” said Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of The Muslim Council of Britain.
The MCB also intends to raise the issue of the continued unlawful incarceration by the USA of the British detainees at Guantanamo Bay as well as the British responsibility in implementing long outstanding UN resolutions on Palestine.[ends]
For more information please contact the MCB on 07860-375725 or 07956-353738.