Islamic Human Rights Commission

This report by the UK think tank The Henry Jackson Society examines the Islamic Human Rights Commission’s wider extremist links and how extremist groups can exploit the charitable sector.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) is a London-based advocacy group established in 1997, inspired by the worldview of Ayatollah Khomeini and the revolutionary, theocratic societal aims he established in the Islamic Republic of Iran. IHRC has gained prominence in recent years for its pro-Hezbollah AlQuds Day parades, its controversial ‘Islamophobia Awards’ and the anti-Semitic rhetoric espoused by the group’s senior figures. However, less attention has been given to IHRC’s wider extremist links and terrorist sympathies.

There is also a lack of understanding as to how extremist groups can exploit the charitable sector; obtain public funds; acquire status via academic associates; attain international recognition; and influence governments. IHRC is an institutionally pro-terrorist and anti-Semitic organisation. Senior figures have espoused support for violent jihad, expressed sympathy for convicted terrorists, and advocated for the extraction and eradication of ‘Zionists’. Campaigns have supported high-profile associates of Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and Hezbollah. Events have hosted representatives from PFLP and Hezbollah, and have been used to seek out those “looking for martyrdom”.

Some remarks, views or material advanced by individuals associated with IHRC, or at IHRC-organised events, may warrant criminal investigation with regard to S.11-13 Terrorism Act 2000 and S.1-4 Terrorism Act 2006. Multiple IHRC advisors have been linked to overseas proscribed groups. This includes Muhammad al-Massari, a “key influence on young jihadists” who previously helped establish a press office for Osama Bin Laden in London. IHRC sells literature authored by Islamist and Salafi–Jihadist ideologues, including Abdullah el-Faisal’s violent interpretations of the Qur’anic hadith.

Convicted of inciting racial hatred in this country, el-Faisal is currently fighting extradition from Jamaica to the US, where he is accused of recruiting for the Islamic State terror group (IS). Proceeds from the bookshop go towards the organisation’s subsidiary charity, IHRC Trust. IHRC has acquired UN Special Consultative Status, European Commission funds, and public subsidies through its charitable affiliate, IHRC Trust. IHRC Ltd is also an accredited immigration advisor. It is particularly concerning that several academics who have engaged with IHRC have recently gained government and cross-party parliamentary influence. This includes Salman Sayyid, who coauthored the APPG on British Muslims’ definition of Islamophobia, and Sadek Hamid and Tahir Abbas who were selected by the Commission for Countering Extremism to research extremism.

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