Rizwan Hussain resigns from charity ahead of ITV documentary

Rizwan Hussain

TV presenter Rizwan Hussain stepped down as CEO of Global Aid Trust (GAT) ahead of the ITV programme Charities Behaving Badly which was broadcast on Wednesday night.

The programme alleged that the charity was promoting extremism after an employee was filmed by an undercover reporter praising al Qaeda leader Anwar al Awlaki and talking about Muslims doing jihad in Syria.

ITV also alleged that the charity was promoting anti-Semitism after social media star Dawah Man was filmed critcising Zionists.

However, social media reaction after the documentary from prominent Muslim activists expressed surprise that Hussain had stepped down given that he had said nothing anti-Semitic, as the film had claimed.

Others said that the ITV programme was guilty of conflating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism, especially in its condemnation of comments by Dawah Man.

Yet others speculated that the documentary was a thinly-veiled PR stunt designed to argue the case for the Charity Commission to be given more powers.

Global Aid Trust

Sign up for regular updates straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated on the latest news and updates from around the Muslim world!

GAT describes itself as an independent charity which aims to promote education among the underprivileged and to help orphans achieve their full potential.

In the programme a GAT worker called Shaffiq Shabbar speaks of his admiration for the late preacher Anwar al-Awlaki.

global aid trustShabbar tells the reporter: “They spread loads of lies about him … He’s a scholar and basically he was imprisoned and after he came out of prison he started to incite hatred and telling the western Muslims to bomb. He incited bombings basically. Bruv, he was a brilliant guy though.”

The documentary also showed Dawah Man saying: “America, European countries, whatever you call it, these countries are controlled by Zionists. If you look at the biggest bankers in the world, that fund these countries, they are Zionists, and Zionists run Israel.

“So we can safely say that at any time there was an American, or English or whatever, invasion of the Muslim lands, it is all a problem coming back to the Children of Israel.”

Dawah Man told ITV that his comments were not anti-Semiotic but were anti-Zionist.

In the programme GAT said it “firmly condemns and reject comments” made by Shabbar and the external speakers. It added: “We express our great regret at these incidents, which were the result of a process failure in the organisation.”

It is understood that Hussain stepped down as CEO in December and that Shabbar no longer works at the charity.

Add your comments below

Previous articleNorwegian Muslims plan human “peace ring” to defend Synagogue
Next articleFrench Muslims call for Europe-wide march against Islamophobia on March 15

Comments are closed.