A GROUP of Muslim scholars has defended the Barnabas Fund, after the organisation was listed as part of a “Counter-Jihad” movement (News, 20 April).
The report and website The ‘Counter-Jihad’ Movement, published by Hope not Hate, described itself as “the largest and most comprehensive survey of anti-Muslim and Islamophobic organisations to date”. It listed Barnabas Fund and its director, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, among a list of UK “Counter-Jihadist” organisations and individuals. Since late last week, however, the Barnabas Fund has no longer appeared among the organisations on the website, although Dr Sookhdeo’s name remains.
A statement issued on Friday of last week by the Christian Muslim Council, a group of academics and clerics convened by Sheikh Professor Mohamed Elsharkawy and Dr Sookdheo, said: “The Barnabas Fund has been a tireless defender of the rights of persecuted Muslim as well as Christian minority communities.” It said that Dr Sookhdeo had “placed himself in positions of considerable personal risk to protect Muslim friends who are often dissident voices speaking out against Islamist extremism and violence. . .
“Dr Sookhdeo is quite right to raise a critical voice in relation to the brutality of Islamist extremists in the Muslim world in their murder and oppression of persecuted Christians.”