On 14 January 2021, Dominic Grieve published the report of his Independent Commission into Governance and Vetting within Islamic Relief. This body had been set up four months earlier after Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) had been exposed to “reputational damage” because of “the unacceptable comments and views of a small number of trustees and a member of its senior staff”. As described previously on this blog, the controversies surrounding Islamic relief had led a number of governments, including the United States, to reconsider their relations with the group.
The Grieve report concluded that IRW was a “a highly effective charity”, whose “senior staff are universally well respected by the FCDO [Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office] as a partner”; it was said to have been “an important member of the DEC [Disasters Emergency Committee] in delivering humanitarian aid”.
With regards to the recent controversies, Grieve stated that “The views expressed on social media are incompatible with IRW’s charitable purpose and ethos and as IRW is aware cannot and must not be tolerated”. But he added that there was “no evidence whatever that the reputational issues that have arisen over the conduct of trustees has had any link to the way IRW carries out its charitable work.”
He also pointed to internal governance reforms being made by IRW, including a new social media policy, and new vetting procedures for senior members of the organisation.
Grieve offered 19 recommendations to further improve the internal governance of IRW and the group has committed to implementing them.