Karishma Dharni

SBS Adds Voice to Demand to Remove Charity Status from Hindu Group

SBS signs open letter to the Charity Commission urging it to strip the Hindu fundamentalist National Council of Hindu Temples of its charitable status for inciting religious hatred.

Dear William Shawcross and Helen Stephenson,

We are writing to you as concerned citizens about the activity of the National Council of Hindu Temples UK (NHCTUK), charity no. 280718. We believe the NHCTUK should be stripped off its charity status for inciting religious hatred.

On 18th October 2017 NHCTUK hosted an event at the House of Commons, inviting an extremist hate-preacher from India to give a talk. Tapan Ghosh, the preacher in question, founded an extremist organisation in India by the name of Hindu Samhati.

Mr Ghosh is well known for his extremist views. He has written:

On Twitter: “We deplore UN’s Right’s body. Why it doesn’t try to control birth rate of Muslims world over?
On Twitter: “Shame on Rohingya men. Shame on Islam. Seeing this reproduction rate, how can we blame the Myanmar Buddhists for driving them out?”
On Twitter: “All Muslims are jihadis. Some are Love Jihadis.
On Twitter: Why they should come to Xtian countries? Why not to rich Muslim countries? If they want to come to non Muslim country, they must leave Islam”
On Twitter: “One million white English children may have been the victims of Muslim rape gangs, better known as grooming gangs.”

Mr Ghosh is no small fry. His name has frequently been mentioned in the Indian media. He runs a militant group whose sole purpose is to demonise and “protect Hindus from Muslim aggression”. The NCHTUK’s claim he was there merely to present research is farcical. His work is neither independently verified nor backed up by evidence. It is simply anti-Muslim propaganda used to fuel a militant group.

The NHCTUK has previously been censured twice. In 2015 and 2017 it broke Charity Commission rules by advocating for the Conservative party over Labour. But we contend that this latest incident is far graver.

We contend that for NHCTUK to invite Mr Ghosh to Britain is aimed at stirring up religious hatred in Britain; this is not just unlawful in itself but also sits far outside NHCTUK’s charitable objects, which are limited to: “the advancement of Hindu religions and to relieve poverty amongst Hindus resident in the United Kingdom.”

Moreover, it destroys the excellent work many other British Hindus are doing in building community relations. The NHCTUK’s actions go beyond those of merely critiquing other religious belief or having debate on sensitive matters. They show clear support for anti-Muslim figures and sentiments.

Last year the NHCTUK invited the far-right activist, convicted fraudster and founder of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) for a key conference debate. Only after uproar from other trustees and in the media was the event cancelled.

Under charity law, charities must comply with the public benefit requirement. Moreover; they must not seek to use or promote activities that promote extreme view or use radicalising materials.

We would be grateful for your urgent consideration of the allegations set out here and your response both on NHCTUK’s continued charitable status and any referral you intend to make to the police on this matter.

Yours sincerely

Sunny Hundal, editor-in-chief, Barfi Culture
Henna Rai, Director, Women Against Radicalisation Network
Rahila Gupta, Southall Black Sisters
Pragna Patel, Southall Black Sisters
Shakila Taranum Maan, Filmmaker/Activist
Akeela Ahmed, Chair of Independent Members of Cross Government Working Group on Anti-Muslim Hatred.
Sara Khan, Director, Inspire
Amina Lone, Co-Director, Social Action and Research Foundation
Aisha Ali Khan, Asian Mums Network
Dr Abdullah Shehu, Chairman, Coventry Muslim Forum
Paul Salahuddin Armstrong – Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims
Mohammed Abbasi – Co-Director, The Association of British Muslims
Salil Tripathi, Writer and Journalist
Julie Siddiqi, activist
Afsana Lachaux, #Bringlouisehome Campaign
Gina Khan, activist
Sunny Singh, Academic
Sarah Brown, Academic
Shazia Awan, Presenter
Marko Attila Hoare, Academic
Bhavini Kalaria, Lawyer
Idrees Ahmad, Academic
Councillor Neil Nerva
Suman Buchar, PR
Parm Sahota

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