The Islamic Foundation is Britain’s leading publisher of books written by Abdul Ala Mawdudi, the founder of Jamaat-e-Islami, a violent Islamist movement responsible for acts of genocide during Bangladesh’s 1971 War of Independence. Lord Carlile, in his government paper on preventing violent extremism, noted that Mawdudi was a key influence in the radicalisation of young British Muslims. In one of his books, Islamic Law and Constitution, Mawdudi wrote that his ideal state would bear “a kind of resemblance to the fascist and communist states.”
In 2013, the former Deputy Chairman of the Islamic Foundation, Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, was convicted by a war crimes tribunal for his role in the 1971 abduction and murder of 18 Bangladeshi intellectuals. The Foundation’s current Chairman, Khurshid Ahmad – formerly the Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami’s Pakistan branch – wrote in 2003 that the areas of Afghanistan controlled by the “refulgent and splendid” Taliban “had become the cradle of justice and peace,” and further warned of the “implication of Europe’s being in the clasp of Jews.” The following year, the Times of London reported that two Islamic Foundation trustees were included in the UN’s sanctions list of persons associated with the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Another of the Islamic Foundation’s trustees is Abdullah Omar Nassief, formerly the Secretary-General of the Muslim World League. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Muslim World League “has a long history of providing financial support to terrorist groups or having organizational links to them, including to Hamas, Abu Sayyaf group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Jemaat al Islamiyya, and Al Qaeda.”
Another trustee, Yousef Jassim al-Hijji, is the former President of the International Islamic Charitable Organisation, a Kuwaiti NGO – one of whose senior officials a German intelligence report says expressed “pleasure” upon hearing of the 9/11 attacks – accused of funding Hamas. Many of its official partners have links to al-Qaeda, including designated terrorist entity Revival of Islamic Heritage Society.
The Islamic Foundation set up the Markfield Institute of Higher Education in 2000, which offers degrees accredited by the University of Gloucestershire.