Berkshire

Charity Commission says Islamic schools 'not political'

An investigation into a charity which runs Islamic schools in Berkshire and London has found it no longer has links with an Islamic political group.

The Charity Commission said the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation (ISF), which runs primary schools in Slough and Haringey, is not connected with Hizb ut-Tahrir.

The commission launched the investigation in October.

It followed newspaper reports claiming political ideology was being taught and that trustees included party members.

Head teacher

Charity law states that, while educational establishments can teach within a religious context, they cannot be used to promote a political or a predetermined point of view.

Hizb ut-Tahrir describes itself as a "global Islamic political party" which aims to "bring Muslims back to living an Islamic way of life" through political methods.

The commission said the head teacher of the ISF school in Slough, Farah Ahmed, admitted being a member of the party in the past but told the commission she "does not agree with all Hizb ut-Tahrir's views as a political organisation".

Another former trustee, Yusra Hamilton, who is married to Hizb ut-Tahrir in Britain's media representative, Taji Mustafa, resigned from the charity in November 2009.

Maintained independence

The commission said it was "satisfied that the charity is operating as a charitable educational organisation".

A statement on the Islamic Shakhsiyah website said: "Islamic Shakhsiyah has always maintained its independence and made it clear that we have our own clearly stated objectives."

The statement said the objectives were to advance the education of pupils, advance the religion of Islam and to provide relief of financial hardship in the payment of fees.

It continued: "We will continue with our vital work in providing a balanced Islamic education in line with these objectives.

"We would like to thank everyone from many different walks of life who defended the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation."

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