Two charities announced they will cease to fund the advocacy group CAGE on March 6. The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and the Roddick Foundation decision to sever ties with CAGE comes after pressure from the Charity Commission and the sustained negative headlines following the groups links to Mohammed Emwazi, the Briton identified as ISIS killer ‘Jihadi John’.
In a statement Joseph Rowntree conceded their decision was made, “In the light of regulatory pressure, and to protect the interests of all our grantees and the other work of the trust.”
The Charity Commission said: “Given the nature of [CAGE’s] work, and the controversy it has attracted, the Charity Commission has been concerned that such funding risked damaging public trust and confidence in charity.”
The commission said it was acting on concerns it held before the revelations relating to Emwazi and that its unease had been exacerbated by CAGE’s response to media questioning over its links to Emwazi.
In a press conference after reports that he had been identified, CAGE’s Asim Qureshi said it had been in regular contact with Emwazi in the past.
CAGE also accused British security services of playing a role in his radicalisation.
A CAGE spokesman said they respected the decision, “We thank them for their past support. Both of these charities have played a significant role in contributing to the development of Muslim civil society here in the UK.”
CAGE suggested that the pressure from the Charity Commission was down to the influence of its chair William Shawcross, who has previously been a critic of Islam as a director of the conservative Henry Jackson Society.
Adding: “This is just another manifestation of their objective of pursuing a cold war on British Islam.
“CAGE will remain committed to its principle of speaking truth to power and calling for accountability and transparency. We will not hesitate in performing our role as whistleblowers and as advocates for due process.”