News & Islam News Statement on recent malicious attacks The East London Mosque Trust (ELMT) is one of the UK’s oldest and most active Muslim institutions, with over 100 years of history. Our organisation proudly serves the Muslim communities of East London and beyond with religious guidance, educational programmes, community projects and welfare services that have benefited the lives of many. Our recent works Our work during the pandemic, with the establishment of a foodbank, a temporary mortuary, and partnering with the NHS to run a Covid-19 vaccination clinic, has helped support the local community and save lives. These efforts by our staff and volunteers received widespread praise, and were recognised by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit last year. Recently, the Mosque stepped in to support nearly 300 refugees, who have been temporarily housed in the borough, with food, clothing and other basic necessities. Our work and commitment on other issues related to Islamophobia, injustice (here and abroad), violence against women, knife crimes, education and so on are well-known, and the work is continuing. As part of our mission ‘to Serve, Educate and Inspire’, we will continue to work on beneficial projects and campaigns that touch the lives of our community members, in line with our Islamic values and principles. Accountability and Transparency At the core of the Mosque are the principles of openness and accountability. The Mosque is not only a place for worship, but also for building positive relationships with wider society. Those relationships we create and foster not only benefit the community, but also contribute to the continuity and prosperity of the Mosque. We have been successful in raising the funds needed to facilitate the UK’s busiest Mosque and Islamic centre. Through the determined, often visionary, efforts of our trustees, staff, volunteers, partners and members, and the extraordinary support from the Muslim community, our Mosque has been able to thrive in delivering its aims and objectives. Our relationships and practices are deeply rooted in the Islamic tenets we all live by, and we support the professionalism of work through a range of up-to-date policies, expert eternal advice and support, and periodic internal and external reviews. We pride ourselves on being open and transparent, which is why we enjoy the support of the public and Muslim community from all over the UK. Our reputation is the bond that unites us with the community we serve, which is why we believe in being accountable and not shying away from confronting those who maliciously attempt to detract from the good that we do in our communities. It is against this backdrop of good work rendered to the community where we make a significant positive impact, we sometimes find ourselves in the unfortunate position of having to defend our reputation against false, hateful allegations. We are aware that a blog has made many libellous and false statements, whose authors hide in cowardly anonymity. They do not care about facts, rather they seek to sow hatred and division within our community. This is not dissimilar to attacks on the Mosque by right-wing media and far-right groups in the past. Most people who have seen the blog have been sickened by its hateful tone and its appalling slanders. Let us make it absolutely clear: none of our trustees has ever taken any financial benefit from the Mosque. Rather, they have served with their wealth, their time, their commitment. They are decent, humble Muslims, respected in our community. In any vibrant, open organisation with a strong track record in delivery, you can expect internal challenges to be raised, discussed and addressed. As an evolving institution, we welcome feedback, we often review our work and processes so we can improve our performance and service the community. The ELMT’s continual development and improvement at the forefront of the Muslim community have helped shape a positive narrative of Muslims in the UK. Our record of delivery is there for all to see. Our reports and financial accounts are published publicly every year on the Charity Commission’s website. East London Mosque Schools The London East Academy and Al-Mizan School are part of the ELMT’s flagship projects. Over the years, our schools have taken pupils through a journey of academic excellence, and they have gone on to become successful individuals within our community and in their chosen professions. In addition, many students have also become Huffaz of the Qur’an. We recently uncovered the misappropriation of funds by a (former) staff member. We commissioned an independent audit, then immediately reported the outcome to the appropriate authorities. This matter is now under external investigation, and we intend to launch proceedings to recover funds. Sacred trust We remain steadfast in our vision and mission, so we can help inspire future generations to contribute to civil society, and make our communities a better place for all. We are deeply aware of our accountability to Allah. Furthermore, we will continue to hold ourselves publicly to account for our service delivery. We understand the importance of positive and constructive dialogue; we encourage it to be done in the spirit of transparency and betterment of the community – not one that is divisive or offensive. In the face of challenges, we commend our community for continuing to working together with us, supporting our efforts, as it is our unity that will help us get through these difficult times. Our doors always remain open to the community to raise legitimate concerns and to speak with us directly, should anyone wish to do so. For us, the smooth running and management of this Mosque is a sacred trust, and we will always listen to all of our stakeholders and congregation for their advice.