A trustee of a leading Muslim charity has quit after The Times discovered antisemitic posts he had written on Facebook.
Heshmat Khalifa, who had been a director of Islamic Relief Worldwide, described Israelis as “grandchildren of monkey and pigs,” labelled Egyptian leader Abdel Fatttah el-Sisi as a “Zionist pig” and “pimp son of the Jews” and praised Hamas.
According to The Times, Mr Khalifa said he was sorry for publishing the posts which were “unacceptable”.
They were “expressions of frustration with the political regime, rather than beliefs that I hold”, he explained.
“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.”
The charity said he had resigned with immediate effect and would play no further role in any of its boards. “We reject and condemn terrorism and believe all forms of discrimination — including antisemitism — are unacceptable,” the paper quoted it as saying.
The Times said that in one of the posts in Arabic on his Facebook, made between 2014 and 2015, he had written, “For the first time in modern history, prayer in al-Aqsa mosque is banned and closed by the grandchildren of monkeys and pigs”.
In another, he described Hamas as “the purest resistance movement in modern history.”
The Charity Commission said it had “opened a compliance case and contacted the charity for a response to these serious allegations. The charity is cooperating with our continuing enquiries and we have been informed that the individual has resigned as a trustee.”