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 Topic: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)

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  • CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     OP - August 08, 2011, 04:44 PM

    Ms Caroline Jones
    Charity Commission Direct
    PO Box 1227
    Liverpool L69 3UG

    August 8th 2011

    Dear Ms Jones,

    Thank you for your letter of April 15th 2011.

    The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain had applied for charity status, however your letter informed us that our objectives are not deemed to be exclusively charitable, therefore, our case for charity status has not been established.

    I would like, if I may, to make a couple of points on your letter, and on other organisations which have indeed been granted charity status by the Charity Commission.

    Your letter states that we are not exclusively charitable because our objectives “may be capable of extending to non charitable purposes and purposes for which the public benefit cannot be established”. You then cite demands within our manifesto which you deem to be of a political nature, such as public debate, discussion, and campaigning. However, all of the demands within our manifesto are for recognised human rights – in particular the right to freedom of speech. It is the aim of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain to provide a safe place for people to renounce Islam and to advance human rights (such as the right to freedom of speech and conscience) in doing so. The advancement of human rights is a charitable purpose under section 2 of the Charities Act. Can I ask why this does not suffice, and how it is that the advancement of human rights can ever be deemed to be entirely non-political? How does the advancement of the human rights of freedom of speech and conscience not benefit the public? Furthermore, could you please explain whether the restriction on political activity applies only to secular or atheist organisations, or does it apply to religious organisations also?

    To assist you in assessing my questions, I would like to draw your attention to the work of the Islamic Sharia Council (Registered charity number 1003855). On its website, the Islamic Sharia Council encourages polygamous marriage, advises women to remain within violent marriages, advises women that they do not have the right to refuse sex to their husbands, and advises that a woman’s testimony is worth less than a man’s because her mind is not as steady as his. Can you please explain how you deem this activity to be in the public interest? Indeed, can you also explain how these activities do not amount to being entirely non-political?

    It is also widely known that the Islamic Sharia Council operates makeshift ‘courts’ across Britain, in which a woman’s word is deemed to be worth half of a man. Indeed, such organisations openly admit that they are hearing cases of domestic violence and marital rape (i.e. criminal offences, can you please point to the section of the Charities Act which allows such activity?). These cases are heard within a context where a woman has no right to refuse sex and violence against women is permitted (provided it does not leave marks). Can you please explain how this amounts to a public benefit, and is entirely non-political?

    I look forward to receiving your response.

    Sincerely yours

    Maryam Namazie
    Spokesperson
    Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain




    ______________

    Below is the letter from the Charities Commission:


    Dear Ms Namazie

    Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB)

    Further to my email of 05 April we have now completed our review of the application and supporting material provided.

    As you may know, when we receive an application for registration as a charity we check that the objects (ie the purposes as set out at clause 3 of the Constitution) fall within the descriptions of purposes at s.2 of the Charities Act 2006 and that they are accurately reflected by the activities. The organisation must be set up to benefit the public and any private benefit arising from its activities may only be incidental to the achievement of the purposes. Our guidance ‘Charities and Public Benefit’, available from the Public Benefit pages of our website, provides further information about this.

    In this case the objects as drafted are not exclusively charitable. That is because they may be capable of extending to non charitable purposes and purposes for which the public benefit cannot be established. In considering the aim or purpose of an organisation, both to clarify the meaning of the objects and to establish if the aim is for the public benefit, we may consider the factual background to how that organisation is established and how it is proposed to operate. Our published guidance explains this at section D4 of ’Charities and Public Benefit’ referenced above.

    The Council would appear to be concerned with public debate, discussion and campaigning. The information from the website at www.ex-muslim.org.uk includes a Manifesto which seeks particular demands. To a large extent the demands are of a political nature, that is seeking a change in the law either in this country or abroad. An organisation which has a political purpose (or aim) cannot be a charity.

    The Manifesto includes, for example:
    •   freedom to criticise religion, prohibition of restrictions on unconditional freedom of criticism;
    •   prohibition of religious customs, rules, ceremonies or activities that are incompatible with or infringe people's right or freedoms;
    •   abolition of all repressive cultural and religious customs which hinder and contradict women's independence, free will and equality, prohibition of segregation of sexes;
    •   prohibition of interference by any authority, family members or relatives or official authorities in the private lives of women and men in their personal, emotion and sexual relationships and sexuality;
    •   prohibition of any kind of financial material or moral support by the state or state institutions to religion and religious activities.

    Aside from these examples the other demands listed in the Manifesto may raise similar issues.

    The UN Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights are codes of rights which may involve balancing some rights against other. This is essentially a matter for determination by the state.

    It should be noted that the Freedom of Religion (in Article 9) extends 'to the right in private or public to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance'. The demands of the Council would appear to involve some restrictions to such rights.

    Similarly Article 8 provides for the right to respect for private and family life. Again the demands in the Manifesto would appear to call for interference with such rights, for example by prohibiting (potentially by legislation) the ability of a family to conduct its family life in private without interference.

    Under English law the advancement of religion is a recognised charitable purpose and charities are afforded certain fiscal privileges by the state. The prohibition of any such financial privilege as called for in the demand made in the Manifesto would require a change in law.

    Similarly a separation of religion from the state and legal and education system would appear to require both constitutional reform and change to the law.

    On the basis of the limited information available it is unclear how the Council will restrict its activities to those which further only charitable aims for the public benefit. If the trustees would find it helpful to discuss the application and these issues we would be happy to have a telephone discussion. If you would like to pursue this option please get in touch with me to make arrangements.

    Yours sincerely
    Caroline Jones
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #1 - August 08, 2011, 04:50 PM

     Cry  finmad

    When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
    Helen Keller
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #2 - August 08, 2011, 05:19 PM

    Well, they are technically right.  Especially about this bit...

    Quote
    Similarly a separation of religion from the state and legal and education system would appear to require both constitutional reform and change to the law.


    I fully support these constitutional reforms and changes to the law, but I still have to admit that they breach the Charities Commissions rules.

    "Befriend them not, Oh murtads, and give them neither parrot nor bunny."  - happymurtad's advice on trolls.
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #3 - August 08, 2011, 05:43 PM

    +1 To what Cheetah said.  Whilst I agree with the reforms they do breach the requirements.  Not sure why they didn't explain how the sharia council got charity status, but I guess that is because the people using sharia courts are accepting a judgement that sits outside the law rather than the sharia council trying to change that law as of yet.


    Inhale the good shit, exhale the bullshit.
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #4 - August 08, 2011, 05:44 PM

    So would I, but I only know two countries with an official separation between religion and state: USA and France.

    Religion is organized superstition
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #5 - August 08, 2011, 09:52 PM

    Could CEMB create a branch that does fit the charity requirements?

    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself
    - 32nd United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #6 - August 08, 2011, 10:39 PM

    Disappointing furious it's funny how Caroline Jones doesn't even answer the said questions put by Mariam Namazi but goes on to just saying what has already been established Roll Eyes.

    ...  And Muslims say that Jews are conspiring against them in every aspect? Roll Eyes yeeaaah seems to me as if the Muslims are breaching a lot of laws and taking their liberties a bit too far with practicing the Shariah in the UK. No bloody wonder there are the EDL's and BNP's (though that doesn't justify their cause either.. Obviously.)
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #7 - August 08, 2011, 10:47 PM

    I should have made it clear that the Charity Commission letter was to our original application - then the CEMB response to that letter - we haven't yet had a response from Charity Commission to the letter in the OP.
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #8 - August 08, 2011, 10:47 PM

    Disappointing furious it's funny how Caroline Jones doesn't even answer the said questions put by Mariam Namazi but goes on to just saying what has already been established Roll Eyes.

    The Charity Commission's reply was to the original application by the looks of it, not Maryam's follow up letter.

    No bloody wonder there are the EDL's and BNP's (though that doesn't justify their cause either.. Obviously.)

    The BNP and it's previous reincarnations don't need Shariah courts to exist, just good old fashioned xenophobia.
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #9 - August 08, 2011, 11:49 PM

    I should have made it clear that the Charity Commission letter was to our original application - then the CEMB response to that letter - we haven't yet had a response from Charity Commission to the letter in the OP.


    Oh right I see. Hmm still disappointing though. nyanya Inshallah we will get the charitable status. grin12
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #10 - August 08, 2011, 11:51 PM

    The Charity Commission's reply was to the original application by the looks of it, not Maryam's follow up letter.

     

    Yeah, I figured Tongue My post looks really stupid now. (Why does this always happens to me?)

    Quote
    The BNP and it's previous reincarnations don't need Shariah courts to exist, just good old fashioned xenophobia.


    I know, but the Shariah courts don't help the issues at hand with the BNP either.
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #11 - August 09, 2011, 01:30 PM

    So would I, but I only know two countries with an official separation between religion and state: USA and France.


    off topic
    One of the reasons i love these two nations

    "I'm standing here like an asshole holding my Charles Dickens"

    "No theory,No ready made system,no book that has ever been written to save the world. i cleave to no system.."-Bakunin
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #12 - August 09, 2011, 02:50 PM

    but I only know two countries with an official separation between religion and state: USA and France.


    Yet in reality the UK is far more irreligious than the US.
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #13 - August 09, 2011, 02:56 PM

    ^ True, Judging from what i have read on most of the American politicians (e.g Republicans) view points.

    "I'm standing here like an asshole holding my Charles Dickens"

    "No theory,No ready made system,no book that has ever been written to save the world. i cleave to no system.."-Bakunin
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #14 - August 09, 2011, 03:00 PM

    ^Both true, but the legal situation has little to do with the situation on the ground.

    Religion is organized superstition
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #15 - August 09, 2011, 03:10 PM

    In that case thats the same thing in Nigeria,since their constitution is secular and supports separation of state from religion. Oddly their religiosity is intense wacko

    "I'm standing here like an asshole holding my Charles Dickens"

    "No theory,No ready made system,no book that has ever been written to save the world. i cleave to no system.."-Bakunin
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #16 - August 09, 2011, 03:55 PM

    Nigeria's constitution has to be secular - to avoid immediate civil war.

    I imagine that both Islamists and Christian zealots are well aware of this (even if they may pretend otherwise).
  • Re: CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #17 - August 09, 2011, 04:04 PM

    I doubt if they are aware of it after the dilemma on Islamic banking(which is not really Islamic but an ethical principle).when the Central Bank decided to introduce the principle, the christians went hysteric over it saying that the Governor of Central Bank(a Northerner muslim and royal family member) wants to islamise Nigeria. Which i find it absurd.

    "I'm standing here like an asshole holding my Charles Dickens"

    "No theory,No ready made system,no book that has ever been written to save the world. i cleave to no system.."-Bakunin
  • CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #18 - June 01, 2015, 10:59 AM

    couldn't CEMB be renamed the CEMRA (research academy), and publish some self serving 'research' occasionally (for the public good)?

    "The types of charities that are capable of advancing education include:....organisations that educate the public in a particular subject, for instance in human rights"
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charitable-purposes/charitable-purposes#the-advancement-of-education

    If you want legal advice on this topic, these guys have a glowing recommendation from iERA:

    http://www.johnsandsaggar.co.uk/files/8213/1849/8823/JS_Charity_Law_Leaflet.pdf
  • CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #19 - June 01, 2015, 01:07 PM

    I think CEMB should publicise more the fact that they offer counselling, shelter etc to exmuslims, which may help accomplish charity status.
  • CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #20 - June 01, 2015, 02:42 PM

    I should have made it clear that the Charity Commission letter was to our original application - then the CEMB response to that letter - we haven't yet had a response from Charity Commission to the letter in the OP.

    Did you ever get one?

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #21 - June 01, 2015, 04:16 PM

    I don't know Quod I resigned as member of CEMB executive a few years ago.

    Not coz of differences I hasten to add.

    Maryam is my hero. I mean heroin lol.
  • CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #22 - June 01, 2015, 05:10 PM

    Cue Golden Brown. Grin

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #23 - June 01, 2015, 05:13 PM

    pretty sickening , especially when you consider that ETON has charitable status
  • CEMB's Letter to Charity Commission (Response to refusal of Charity Status)
     Reply #24 - June 01, 2015, 05:16 PM

    Lol…  I mean heroine Cheesy

    But Golden Brown is such an awesome song I just have to listen and share:

    https://youtu.be/AWAsI3U2EaE
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