Islamic Relief has said that it thoroughly “background checked” Shaykh Yasir Qadhi before inviting him to speak at a fundraising tour of the UK.
The charity made the statement after being contacted by the Charity Commission to explain why it had invited the American theologian following an article by the right-wing newspaper The Times. The article accused Qadhi of advocating the killing of homosexuals and the stoning of adulterers. Qadhi says he has never called for violence against any person or state.
Islamic Relief’s statement said: “Islamic Relief has invited Dr Qadhi to the UK to help the Muslim community here prepare spiritually for Ramadan, and to raise funds to fight famine in East Africa, where over 16 million people are at risk of starvation and Islamic Relief has unrivalled access in parts of Somalia and Ethiopia in particular.
“Like all our speakers, Dr Qadhi has been through a two-stage screening process that involved checking him against over 540 global watchlists of proscribed individuals and organisations to ensure no terror links, and then looking in detail at his views and track record in their full context through the lens of media coverage, YouTube videos and social media platforms.
“Islamic Relief abhors terrorism in all its forms and believes that anti-Semitism is every bit as unacceptable as Islamophobia. We work to uphold the highest humanitarian standards of neutrality, impartiality and independence, assisting people of all faiths and none without discrimination by race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.”
Shaykh Yasir Qadhi is due to undertake a seven city speaking tour of the UK in April and May.