A trustee and former top official in the UK’s largest Muslim charity has resigned after The Times reported Friday that he had posted anti-Semitic comments on social media.
The newspaper found posts from 2014 and 2015 in which Islamic Relief Worldwide’s Heshmat Khalifa said the Jews were “grandchildren of monkeys and pigs,” a common refrain among anti-Semitic Muslims, based on controversial Quranic verse.
In other posts he called Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi a “Zionist Pimp” for his support of Israel, as well as a “Zionist pig,” a “Zionist traitor” and a “Zionist criminal.”
He also called the Hamas terror organization, responsible for thousands of deaths of Israeli civilians, “the purest resistance movement in modern history.”
@euronews @france24 @theview @BBCBreaking @SkyNews @africanews @lemondefr @LeFigaro_Sante @MetroUK ISLAMIC RELIEF CHARITY RESIGNS AFTER RACIST SLURS:Heshmat Khalifa quits after calling Jews 'grandchildren of monkeys & Pigs'.."A Belief Held by Most Muslims"https://t.co/Nk9bj3N9ee
— Newtemplar78 (@newtemplar78) July 24, 2020
Based in Birmingham, Islamic Relief Worldwide has branches in 40 countries and is one of the largest Islamic charities in the world. Following The Times’ revelation of the comments, Khalifa stepped down from his posts as trustee as well as chairman of Islamic Relief Australia and director of offices in Germany and South Africa.
Egyptian-born Khalifa, 63, has been a British citizen since 2005. He told the paper he regretted his comments, saying they were “my expressions of frustration with the political regime, rather than beliefs that I hold.”
He added: “I did not intend to insult the Jewish community and neither do I hold views which are antisemitic. I have dedicated much of my life’s work to promoting tolerance and freedom of religion and beliefs.”
IWR said it “sincerely regrets any offense caused” and stressed that Khalifa’s posts “contravene the values and principles of Islamic Relief Worldwide.”
The Charity Commission for England and Wales said it was launching a probe into the matter.