A Whistleblower and the Muslim Youth Helpline

What is going on at the Muslim Youth Helpline? The MYH was ostensibly set up to provide support to young Muslims having difficulties but for a long time now there have been rumours that it has allowed itself to become too close to the government.

Now – a blog appears to have been set up by a whistleblower alleging that the current MYH CEO, Akeela Ahmed, has passed on the names and email addresses of a number of MYH staff and members to anti-terrorism police accusing them of being extremists and supporting homophobia. The blog also alleges that Akeela Ahmed’s husband, Nafeez Ahmed, the executive director of the think tank IPRD, provided the name of a contact in the government’s PREVENT programme and that the details were passed on there too.

According to the blog, a number of signatories have signed a statement of no confidence in the MYH CEO and the MYH helpline Manager, Nadia Haq. Certainly, the correspondence that the blog provides at the end makes for interesting reading.

It would appear that there is some conflict going on between the CEO at MYH and some/many of her staff. If anyone has more information please feel free to comment below.

Update: See Nafeez Ahmed Seeks To Explain His Actions Re: MYH Scandal

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60 Responses to A Whistleblower and the Muslim Youth Helpline

  1. Zubair Islam says:

    Are you asking for gossip?
    Or for people to openly and publicly discuss private and personal matters?
    If neither then what do you ask and why does it matter?
    What was the intention of this blog post?

    • Anonymous says:

      When it comes to fabricating an extremist network and then reporting them to anti-terror police because you know you can get away with it as they’re Muslim, this is neither private nor personal.

      • Zubair Islam says:

        Do you have any corroborrating evidence of this other than these emails? Which still needs verification of being accurate.

        If it is true they are framing innocent people as extremist… what is their motive?
        In every crime, a motive has to be established. As otherwise you risk over-looking that if there is no motive and no evidence for that motive, then alleged crime is perhaps a fabrication or actually being committed by other than said persons.

  2. Zubair: The post asked for more information. If you don’t like it, kindly go somewhere else. No one is forcing you to read this.

    • Zubair Islam says:

      You are correct, no one is forcing me to read this. However, what is the intention behind asking for more information so publicly on a blog. Surely this allows all sorts of persons to comment their responses, not all of whom you may be able to verify. Will people not then just backbite and even slander, perhaps even unwittingly?

      Thank you for your kind response and for allowing me space to voice my comments here.

      • Islam says:

        I think you are on the wrong kind of website. Maybe this is more for you:
        http://psychedelicadventure.blogspot.co.uk/

        It’s a bloody comment on what’s in the public domain. If you that ticklish in the posterior start you own blog advising against ” backbite and even slander”. For what is ostensible from the whistle blowers website is that names have been passed on to counter-terror police. This clearly compares not to backbite and slander in many a mind…

  3. sarakhanbethatchange says:

    If that is true, it’s disgusting and I have a feeling it will be the case. As I had offered them support and I’m a survivor of child abuse! But they didn’t want to now. You offer help and it gets dismissed! Something isn’t right with this organization and the people in charge seam to be just looking after themselves and forgetting the victims.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I don’t want to give away too much identifying information for fear of being threatened with yet another lawsuit but the information on the blog is indeed true. I trust you not to reveal my email address.

    • Zubair Islam says:

      Sorry… but you are anonymous and you also provide no evidence.
      I can easily have hundreds of anonymous people say opposite to you here and not produce any evidence than the strenght of their voices. Unless Inayat blocks them all.
      :o)
      If true, how does one suggest moving forward positively, productively and compassionately exemplifying our beloved Prophet(saw) and his Companions(ra)

      • Anonymous says:

        Anonymous Inayat has my email address. I am happy to speak to him and provide evidence confidentially. If you know any of the parties mentioned, you can discuss the matter with them to your own satisfaction.

  5. Zubair Islam says:

    I am concerned… someone I respect a lot has somehow ended up with their own and that of their wifes personal private emails pasted online. 1- Do we know these are true or false? 2- How would someone and why would someone get such emails? Is hacking haram? 3. Why would someone hack and post online for all to see without anonymising email addresses at the very least? 4. Who seeks to benefit from this and who suffers? 5. Also, how do we know that the Ahmed’s were not right to be concerned of hackers and people with criminal intent? Have we heard their side of the story yet?

    • Zubair Islam says:

      6. What did the Ahmed’s specifically do to deserve this?
      Even I must say, they are responsible for something, but what? Do we as Muslims have ‘love for your brother what you love for yourself’, as do we not have complete Faith, unless we exhibit that?
      I want forgiveness and understanding, but also space and help tp right my wrongs and my wrongs pointed out to me in a manner that would benefit me to improve my character in the sight of God. I hope this for the Ahmed’s.
      Allah Have Mercy and surely Allah Knows Best, and our knowledge is based on ignorance.

  6. fugstar says:

    Salam,
    Inayats not so narcassistic, I remember he carried the can for the mcb for many years so has earnt the right to be curious. When these things happen alarm bells go off. People are speechless and sick to their tailbones about this. Yknow the kind of people who dont write on blogs or to the media (most people). Then theres the sadness of people formerly involved with the organisation.

    This is wikileaks, quilliam and knightswazir all rolled into one, and the justice and wisdom (or nonsense) we collectively make out of it matters. Zubair you are honourable because you remind us and are trying to do right by your friend and someone id like to believe was my friend. You are right, our nonliberal subjectivity means that we are perfectly justified in contesting the questions and ‘buzz off’ is insufficient.

    Such a terrible situation and a lesson in how not to run an organisation, treat volunteers and ‘help muslims’. It seems that the management and trusteeship of the org have become too inbred with eachother to keep eachother on the straight and narrow. We can probably expect image consultancy and legal rotwiellers to be set upon the victims of the situation. The victims being those who got grassed up to prevent people and so15 for apparently standing up to institutional bullying.

    I hope the volunteers will find more gainful uses of their time and not fall for sob stories and NGO crap in future. As soon as you work in an organisational form orientated towards government and corporate donors you need to be careful and skillful. Community was inadverdantly wise not to financially back myh.

    I hope that organisations can learn from this pathetic mess of a situation to decrease their levels of patheticness. There are limits to what you can get away with in the name of community service. If youve touched prevent money, im afraid nobody really trusts you.

    • Zubair Islam says:

      I hope, that the good work of MYH can be continued.
      A change in management inevitable.
      In a capitalist and materialist world, one always has to scrutinise the money flows, for that inherently dictates the motives and intentions, in most cases.
      I still stand by Nafeez, and hope for an honest and humble response.

      • Zubair Islam says:

        I hope that if any wrong has been done. That they are ready to admit and humbly seek forgiveness and ask their victims how to rectify wrongs. We are prone to mistakes and sin. Can we expect forgiveness from Allah, without forgiving others and seeking forgiveness of others for our wrongs.

        How do people suggest we can move forward from all this in a positive and productive manner, than a negative, destructive egotistical tit for tat manner.

  7. Zubair Islam says:

    Inayat, I have shared this with others who are or have been closely involved with MYH to feel free to comment also.

    • Abdal Miah says:

      Zubair,

      Do you think that it is an unforgoveable crime for the CEO and her husband to abuse their relationship with the authorities in order to falsely accuse a group of people of terrorism related actiites in a reprisal against the MYH workers’ letter of no confidence?

      I agree we do not know if the emails are true? I would be surprised that muslims could be so callous to other muslims and attempt to blacken their names. So, like you i think that these emails are false. But do you not think that as a community we should take this allegation seriously and investigate this?

      How do you propose we do this and clear their names?

  8. Mushroom says:

    With all due respect to fugstar, you clearly have little understanding of situation from the inside. If you know nothing, you should refrain from commenting. MYH provides an invaluable service to thousands of vulnerable people every year who are let down by the Muslim community thank you very much. All organisations are prone to being hijacked by an unscrupulous few – the fact that someone would go as far as illegally hacking emails shows how unscrupulous they are. Rather than offer further damaging speculation we should offer understanding and help people to find a way forward.

    • Zubair Islam says:

      Hence my initial question at the start of all this Mushroom.
      Brother Inayat left it open for comment, including I assume people who have insider information and people who don’t, with the worlds public freely able to view online.

      What in particular to Fugstar’s comments do you object to by the way?

      • Zubair Islam says:

        Was there nothing of Fugstar’s comments that you approve of? At all? Surely you must be able to agree with something?
        I think Fugstar agrees with you that MYH is full of sincere volunteers. I believe he was questioning as many the roles of management.
        I don’t think it’s fair to blame or judge one over the other in comparing MYH and local Muslim communities. I think you will agree it’s far more complex and compounded than that to make such fleeting statements of either.

    • Ahmed says:

      You’re presumption that ‘Fugs’ has no understanding of the situation from the inside is clearly a subjective and uncorroborated piece of drivel that adds nothing to this blog. If people want to verify information and find out what is really going on, they can get off their arses and go do some research and conduct interviews. Otherwise they can take their bullshit and go jump. From what I can see from the blog, email addresses remain visible – go verify what you and all you want.

  9. AA all, I just received a call from a trustee of the MYH requesting me to remove the link to the blog which had leaked the correspondence allegedly showing that the MYH CEO Akeela Ahmed and Nafeez Ahmed have asked the police and counter terrorism command to investigate some past and present MYH workers and volunteers for extremism etc. I have asked the MYH trustee to put his request in writing by email to me for the purpose of transparency and will let you know if I hear back from him.

    • Zubair Islam says:

      Alhumdullillah.
      Dear Brother Inayat, I am encouraged to see that you will consider removing the link if you have a written request from them.
      I was wondering if you had tried contacting someone at MYH before posting this?

      • Zubair: Just to clarify – I have no intention of removing the link to the whistleblower’s blog unless there is a very compelling reason to do so.

      • Ahmed says:

        I think you need to go take your righteous indignations and conduct some real research if it is tickling your arse so much. (Pardon my language put in my cosmology I have been taught no respect for petty righteous indignation). The blog clearly states it is whistle blowing and has published information – you people want to be journalists, by all means do so – verify, ask and find out what the whole issues is. Don’t just sit there writing petty comments masked in sufistic righteousness that is nothing more than bullshit.

      • Abdal Miah says:

        Why remove the link?

        If it is false let us examine this and expose the falsehood. I think this could be a ruse by the right wing.

        Equally if it is true, we should not hide the truth no matter how shameful.

        Brother zubair, you seem very knowledgeable and i am not well educated, have you spotted any errors that show it is a forgery?

        ws

    • Zubair Islam says:

      Did they give any reason why to remove the link? What difference would it make now anyway?

  10. Yunus says:

    Shame on this couple if they have handed over details of innocent people, it raises the question on whether they have done this before. It also crystalises all that was wrong with the Prevent gravy train money grabbing organisations. The first sign of trouble and they have no qualms in turning to their paymasters for support, even if that means criminalising a whole group of….wait for it….young people/volunteers…aren’t they the very people they are meant to be inspiring and empowering. If they had genuine complaints or greviances then MYH should have a judicial committee or arbitration board that could deal with such issues internally, without all this public laundry. I have a feeling that the people in question may have an allergy to the Sharia perspective. I must confess that my personal dealings with MYH have always left me suspect, advice imparted by them has been far from Islmic in the past. I would contend that in part, faith is a natural healer and treatment for the various issues that young people suffer from, in the least as a form of courage and perserverance. So to remove it completely from the counscelling process is regressive, why not change the name to just Youth Helpline if you have an issue with the ‘Muslim’ bit. I pray this matter comes to a peaceful end to all parties concerned, however, if these reports to the police and prevent are substantiated then unless the whole board is renewed or some disciplinary action taken on all involved then I will not not be recommending this outfit as a safe community resource.

  11. The MYH have posted an update today on their website (http://www.myh.org.uk/) announcing the resignation of Akeela Ahmed – their CEO. Probably inevitable given the leaking of the shocking letters to the police and counter-terrorism command. The full statement reads as follows:

    MYH Media Statement
    11 June 2012 The Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH) exists to provide non-judgmental confidential support services for young Muslims. Confidentiality is central to the service MYH provides. The Board of Trustees are committed to ensuring that our service is professional, respectful and reliable.

    It is of grave concern to us, therefore, that MYH IT systems and personal email addresses of MYH staff have recently been compromised. Illegally obtained emails from a number of staff members have recently been circulated aswell as defamatory statements about staff.

    Staff members and volunteers have received messages of harassment and had their names put to petitions against MYH, its CEO and the Helpline Manager that they do not support, and without their consent. We take these matters extremely seriously. We have taken the unprecedented step of suspending our valued service whilst we investigate and resolve the issues behind this unlawful campaign.

    On Friday 8th June, we saw an escalation of the mail hacking extend to the CEO’s personal emails, releasing confidential and legally sensitive information. The Board were not aware of the content of those emails prior to their illegal distribution. We deeply regret this turn of events and recognise the difficult position this puts people in. Due to these pressures, the CEO of MYH has resigned. With regret, the Board have accepted her resignation.

    We are doing everything we can to identify the individual (s) behind these activities. The police are investigating the criminal activity, and we have reported the matter to the Charities Commission.

    The MYH Board
    For further enquiries, please contact myh.officialboard@gmail.com

    • Zubair Islam says:

      Dear Bro Inayat.
      I also have a background in Computers as yourself.
      They want to seek criminal proceedings against alleged hacking.
      Problem is, as far as I know, that ‘sniffing packets’ is not illegal. So if these emails were not encrypted when being sent around, someone would simply have had used a packet sniffer to capture the email texts. Now is it still illegal to then publish online anonymously what was sniffed, not hacked.

  12. Sam Jones says:

    it was a good decision by her to resign…I am confused why the board accepted the resignation with ‘regret’. MYH has been rumoured to peddle names to cops from a while back…but that was only a rumour – but now we see the CEO & her husband report staff/volunteers to the police for ‘extremism’ and the board has ‘regret’? Hmm

    • Zubair Islam says:

      Must not the Board of Trustees also feel betrayed if the revelations are true?
      However, as no one from MYH have suggested these emails are inaccurate and have stated that they were hacked and are investigating this, seems to say that they admit these emails to be true.
      If the Trustees know they are true, then yes… why regret resignation? Should they not be as let down as many people here are?

      • A. Bathwallah says:

        Dear Mr. Islam,

        I am glad that there is atleast one person who shares my position.

        It is a moral obligation on every Briton to inform the authorities of any terror/islamist related activity, no matter how tenuous. It does not matter that they are Muslims, as last weekend has shown, our allegiance must lie with the country. Imagine if someone reported the 7/7 bombers.

        Kind Regards

        A. Bathwallah

      • A. Bathwallah says:

        Post Script: I should like to point out, it is shameful of the CEO and her husband not to have passed on these details to the police earlier. Why did they sit on this information for so long? If i was the police I would be asking the CEO and her husband questions about their loyalties.

  13. Zubair Islam says:

    Btw Inayat.
    And all else concerned.
    I have reason to believe that there was a culmination of issues between management and staff. Obviously such scandals don’t ustually occur in a vacuum.
    The point at which it was war on both sides, was when management decided to hire someone who was not Muslim and was homosexually orientated. I believe for the purposes of helping people who are homosexual who call in?
    The staff complained against this, in what manner I don’t know, however from here it seems management decided to call certain staff homophobic and extremist in views.

    I have nothing to provide to corroborate this. But I am sure this will all come out now. So I suppose people should ask MYH about such issues, as otherwise why do the emails speak of homophobia and extremism?
    I don’t understand why you need a non Muslim gay person in MYH. I don’t need to be gay to be sympathetic to gay people do I? Otherwise how would I have had so many homosexual friends in my life? Some who are closet homosexuals and I have respected their privacy. Yet, I know you can’t act upon such sexual appetites for it is a sin. Doesn’t mean I don’t sympathise, who doesn’t sin?
    Yet why would such a thing have to escalate to such proportions? Is this not very poor management indeed.

  14. Zubair Islam says:

    What I find unusual and doesn’t make sense is this.
    Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed is not a Quilliamite in the sense he does not suck up to Government for the sake of funds. If anyone knows of him, he has only been critical of Government. Look at his books on 9/11 and 7/7.

    Here is an article in which he speaks of much evidence of our Governments having had conspired with extremist terrorists : http://www.newint.org/features/2009/10/01/blowback-extended-version/

    There is ton’s of things on YouTube and elsewhere of his interviews and works. Nafeez just doesn’t strike me as the type to suddenly work with the Government and start picking out Muslims for whatever extremism. Extremism doesn’t always translate into Terrorism.

    So why would Prevent people be so bothered about some Muslims who don’t agree with homosexuality? What is soo extreme about this? Unless they learn about Islam from Quilliam alone. If these emails were not ‘leaked’, I wonder what would have happened?
    How would have the Police responded? Would they really have taken the situation seriously? Could it have back-fired on MYH, with Prevent withdrawing funding due to supposed homophobia and extremism. Perhaps that is a motive for doing this? They feared losing funding for not being hard on extremism and homophobia?
    All speculation yes…. but I still can’t put the Nafeez I know withi this Nafeez shown in these emails. Obviously… because I don’t know the whole story and am ignorant.

  15. Zubair Islam says:

    Oh.. just reading :
    Statement to Police by Akeela Ahmed MYH CEO – letter FINAL.docx
    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B67yAtQF47f8ZTJ3RmQxXzdvelU

    Which explains all in further detail.
    I am still finding difficulty in seeing what wrong Akeela Ahmed did in this Statement to Police. Can anyone who has read it, point out to me part of it that they disagree with and why?

    If anyone reads it properly, it would appear that Akeela and management were suffering from insubordination that is quite aggressively threatening. Does anyone else agree?
    Inayat?

    • Zubair: From the leaked correspondence it would appear that some past and present MYH workers and volunteers have been reported to the police by the MYH CEO for investigation for alleged extremism. This from an org that is supposed to be helping young people! Confidence in the MYH and its trustees will be nil after this shameful episode and will take quite a while to rebuild I would have thought.

      • Zubair Islam says:

        Yes they passed names and details of their criminal activities, or alleged criminal activities, such as hacking, harrassment and threats. They just also gave a backdrop of saying these people have extremist mindsets too! Now, I don’t think the police are too bothered about extremism, hence why Al-Muhajiroon et all are allowed to do whatever they wish publicly.
        However, I think what the Ahmed’s wanted advice and help on was with regards to the criminal activity of a certain group of MYH workers, past and present.
        I don’t see anything wrong with this, as I see them only reporting on criminal activity, not on ‘extremism’ alone.
        I may be wrong, Allah knows Best and my knowledge is based on ignorance.

  16. Zubair Islam says:

    “…The crime in question constitutes the hacking of MYH’s confidential and sensitive data by an organised group of Muslim members linked to the charity, who harbour a covert homophobic and racist agenda.

    The Muslim Youth Helpline is a charity founded in August 2001 which provides a free, confidential
    listening and support service for vulnerable young people over telephone, email and web-chat.

    Context of Extremism: A Homophobic and Racist Agenda

    The wider motive of this criminal misconduct over the last month is an ideological agenda based on homophobia and racism. Both I and Mrs. Haq have been targeted because of our stringent support for policies of diversity….”

    If you see that extract, the primary thing is the criminal hacking (harrassment is mentioned further down in document) and they just say that their motives are of an extremist agenda, due to them having a covert homophobic and racist agenda. Being ‘covert’… so does this means they hid it in secret and pretended to not be homophobic or racist? But it is suspected that they were?

    Please show me from this or any other quote from the said articles where they are actually trying to dob in people only for their ‘extremism’ and want them punished by the authorities for being just ‘extremists’.
    To me it seems clear, that they are just trying to deal with the criminal hacking and harrasment.

  17. Samir says:

    My dear brother Zubair, the problem we are having is not that they went to the police. The problem is that they went to the anti-terrorism department because they had no case. They realised that the issue of hacking etc. was fruitless and so the “rooted in the extremist agenda” sounded perfect. Nafeez shamelessly used scare tactics for example (the MYH volunteers represent) “an extremist attempt forcibly takeover one of this country’s leading progressive Muslim charities”. What a disgusting slander. Read below carefully.

    “Naturally, the matter has already been reported to the police, and this is the reason I suggested to Akeela that we should contact you. Akeela reported the crime(s) at Marylebone Police Station last week. This week, however, she was informed that the police would not be conducting a criminal investigation – but that they would ask Anti-Terrorism to look at the case as they were concerned about the homophobic context.

    That is essentially why I recommended that we get in touch with you, as my understanding is that Channel is well-placed to respond effectively to this sort of thing. My worry, and Akeela’s worry is that the police officers we have spoken to don’t appreciate the insidious dynamic of what is going on as an extremist attempt to, effectively, forcibly takeover one of this country’s leading progressive Muslim charities, through the use of criminal means. Given Channel’s specialist approach and understanding of these issues, I hope very much that you might be able to look into this.”

    • Zubair Islam says:

      I see your point brother Samir. However, what if there is some sort of ‘extremist’ agenda? What could that mean? Extremist doesn’t meant terrorist right? If it were terrorist, the police would have taken it seriously, rather than advice they go ask someone else.

      In terms of forcibly take over… the description of harrassment of staff and management is underhand. Yet, how do you forcibly take over a charity? I don’t know. I suppose you get those you don’t like to resign, or to get sacked or something. Replace them with those you like?

      It still seems like a management issue that seems to have been blown well out of proportion.

      I can see how if outsiders heard that MYH was hiring non-Muslims and even possibly homosexual persons, that some people would go ‘ape’ over it (no offense to apes), such as Al-Muhajirroon and maybe some other extremist-Salaafi/Wahaabi/HT/Jihadi types.

      You say what Nafeez wrote in his email is a disgusting slander. Well that depends, if the attachments to his email included evidence of a certain peoples activities that were criminal and he suspected that these certain people were of ‘extremist’ tendencies or influences.
      I don’t know… but I am sure we will find out sooner or later.
      Again, I don’t think Nafeez was saying these are extremists and we think you extradition happy folks should consider these people. I think he is asking a professional contact of his for advice, as they may have suffered harrassment for a long time and are deflated that they have had no helpful advice from police?

      • Abdul-Momin Hussain says:

        Well brother I think the timing is significant. This mindset, presumably existed before, if that is the case, why is it reported now? Considering that CEO has been accused of bullying, the timing does raise questions, and brother Nafees, if he knew of such a mindset shouldnt he have contacted them earlier?

        I don’t have facts of the case, but I’m worry that your wishes to think the best of your brother may mean your take on things may seem skewed. Perhaps your right, that we should wait for the facts to emerge, it does raise a lot of questions that I think is relevant to the rest of the community and the privilledge and power that these individuals wield. If any good comes out of this shameful debacle, perhaps a fair and honest debate may form some of that good.

  18. Abdul-Momin Hussain says:

    Brother Zubair, your wish to think the best of these individuals is admirable. What is perhaps a bit more problematic, is that you seem only to think the best of the individual’s mentioned, not those who are alleged to be holding the covert agenda or extremist mind. You’ve taken CEOs allegations at her word, while according to the blog they deny it. As you say it’s not for us to hold a position and until we know the facts, yet you seem to defend her conduct without giving the others a right to reply.

    You mention charges regarding hacking and harassment are at the core of these documents. I suppose you fail to notice, that after the police initially declined to investigate further, the said individuals, according to the leaked emails contacted antiterrost squad. Forgive me, brother Zubair, please explain in what sense hacking and harassment follows under their remit, unless there is context that you fail to allude to.

    There are number of questions which ought to be answered by the people in question.

    1. The CEO and her husband has not yet denied these emails, one take it that these are not then fabricated. Does the board condone the behaviour of CEO for going to first of all police and then antiterrorist officers, when if there is problem with staff, shouldn’t they be the first port of call? If so can they explain their own conduct regarding this affair. It is noted for example, they accepted her resignation ‘with regret’, can they provide clarification for this. Also the letters allude to a complete failure of confidence against the trustees, is this isolated individual or a much larger substantial group? I suppose that the trustees are not the best to answer this, but their postion would still be interesting.

    2. The trustees has condemned the criminal actions of hacking. And personally I have mixed feelings about this. Do I condemn the hacking of wikileaks exposing the behaviour of corruption and the failure of trust within the American diplomatic cables. Is this analogous, perhaps? I’m undecided.

    Whatever the case maybe, what is the postion of the trustees regarding CEO approaching anti terrorist officers, using the private connections of her husband? These are covert emails, and they are allegations that may have grave consequences on the part of these individuals and their families, and their friends. The thing is, this was at beginning, allegations of bullying towards staff, against the CEO and the manager, it seems that this has now escalating to much larger proportions. Can the CEO justify the contacting police and failing that, anti-terrorist squad, after allegations of mismanagement? Does she not open herself up to charges of bullying which she was initially accused? Like I said, some clarity is needed.

    3. Where has all the money gone from MYH? The trustees have not explained their position, to what appears the financial mismanagement of the charity.

    4. Now our friend, Dr. Nafees has used his contacts to share his concerns with the police etc. Brother Zubair as you mentioned his previous work has been quite critical over the conduct of the government regarding their policies with Muslims communities, what I think is interesting and a worthy topic of discussion, how select section of the Muslim community has got close links with the police etc, and how such privilged gives them a powerful position within their community. Now is such a position open to abuse? Can it be used to further personal agendas, even vendettas? Has it been done in this case? I don’t have the facts to answer those questions, but this debacle ought to stir a debate on the unprecedented power this section has over the community, how to monitor whether this power is being abused, and if so how, and what if any channels are open for redress for individuals who feel wronged as result of such alleged actions?

  19. Anon says:

    her accusations are serious and deserve investigation, but why was it escalated to PREVENT through her husband when no mention of extremism (only homophobia/racism) was made in her initial letter?

  20. Zubair Islam says:

    http://robichowdhury.com/2012/06/12/muslim-organisation-speaks-out-open-letter-from-fosis-to-rebuild-trust-in-myh/

    This response from FOSIS is the most sensible response I have seen yet. What do other’s here think?

  21. Musings of a Traveller says:

    Nabil Ahmed

    President of FOSIS

    38 Mapesbury Road

    Kilburn

    London NW2 4JD

     

    Tuesday 12th June 2012

     

    In the name of Allah, Lord of Mercy, Giver of Mercy

     

    Dear the Board of Trustees at the Muslim Youth Helpline,

    Assalamualaykum warahmatullah,

     

    I pray this finds you all and your families in the best of health and eman.

    I write this as an open letter to you – as a brother – as a supporter of Muslim Youth Helpline (MYH) – and as the President of FOSIS (the national Muslim student body) who I write on behalf of, an organisation that like MYH works to serve Muslim youth. I write this given recent events to share our constructive ideas that can help preserve MYH’s work. I have also shared it with key individuals from organisations including the MCB, ISB, ELM and MSF, and individuals from MYH.

    MYH is an immensely important organisation for Muslim youth. It has such a unique role in listening to the concerns of young people, and I remember coming across it many years ago myself when I first started University. I know from my grassroots work how it is not just a helpline but a lifeline to so many. Its work has only grown over the last few years under its leadership. However, recent events have seriously tainted it.

    As a concerned supporter and partner, my advice is based upon my understanding of MYHs work, as well as hearing the concerns of those involved. I am currently absorbing the reaction to recent events, and seeing the prevailing lack of trust in MYH. I am seeking to channel the concerns that currently exist ‘out there’ in a formal and understandable and open manner, for the purpose to benefit the situation.

    I believe that the mistrust surrounding MYH is completely understandable and must be taken seriously. The alleged and descripted handing over of innocent (including young Muslims) names to the police by the now-resigned-CEO, which was subsequently handed over to Counter-terrorist police, is shocking and cannot be justified (yesterday’s statement did not address this, nor did MYH apologise for the wrongdoing that has occurred to them). This needs addressing as a priority, and outweighs concerns surrounding e-mail hacking.

    Whilst I condemn unequivocally the hacking of email accounts and would say there is no occasion on which this can ever be right; I would also, however, say that given the right time and place there are occasions when to whistleblow on institutional wrongdoing is the right thing to do. We have come across this information in an unfortunate manner; you and I both wish the circumstances were different; and yet Allah has chosen to place the amanah and burden of this situation on your shoulders.

    I can only imagine how difficult it must be in your current positions on the Board given the sudden nature of events, may Allah make things easy for you. At the same time, giving support to the outgoing CEO in the circumstances was not the right thing to do, as per your statement yesterday. Please do not mind this letter of advice. My advice is sincere and beyond worldly matters, is seeking to please Allah by championing integrity, and ensuring trust in our Muslim community is built, not broken. Our ummah has faced great tribulations upon mistrust and suspicion. There needs to now be leadership from the MYH Board on the issue. My intention is to now help rebuild trust in MYH, address the issues that have occurred and prevent mistrust in our midst.

    My recommendations are as following. And Allah knows best.

    1. An apology from the Board to the 25

    The alleged passing over of details of MYH supporters and staff to police (and subsequently SO15) is astonishing. These are innocent people falsely accused of racism, homophobia and extremism, who now have their details kept by anti-terror police and then SO15 (Counter-Terrorism Command). The Board remains the leadership of the organization and this happened under your watch. Yet no apology has been received by the 25 people whose names were passed on.

    (i) This apology needs to provided by MYH to the 25 whose names were passed on, immediately

    2. Condemn the leak, investigation and clear position on government/police relationship

    (i) It is important that both this episode of the leak and such a relationship with police is condemned with no room for support of what the CEO did. 

    (ii) An independent investigation should be held to demonstrate how this happened in the first place, with findings made public.
    (iii) Included in the investigation has to be how individuals who are not on the Board or the Management team were liaising with police concerning individuals in MYH (the subsequent 25 names that were handed to police)

    (iv) It would help MYH if it was absolutely clear about its relationships with government and police.

    3. Board needs to consider its role

    Those Trustees that gave their support to the now-resigned-CEO are complicit and as such their positions are untenable. To rebuild trust in the organisation, it should be realised that those Trustees need to move on. If such Trustees remain given the mistakes that have been made, the MYH brand sadly risks being tarnished.

    (i) It would be wise if some of the Board resigned to help move the organisation forward, such that trustworthy and credible figures from the Muslim community with governance experience and relevant fields are recruited.
    (ii) The management and Trustee board cannot remain so close – there needs to be clear separation – rather than a reputation of friends being recruited, candidates to a set of competencies should be recruited.

    4. Stabilisation of MYH

    (i) Utilise respected and trusted leaders of the Muslim community to facilitate a process of arbitration and stabilisation at both the EGM and well after it, between all parties; to guide the MYH through stormy weather. I would consider respected individuals from credible organisations including the Muslim Council of Britain, Islamic Relief, Islamic Society of Britain and bodies such as East London Mosque. They will provide a helping hand to MYH that is also trusted in the community.

    (ii) It is excellent that Naeem Raza has been appointed as interim CEO, as he is a respected community individual who is well-known and can be trusted to safeguard the interests of young Muslims.

    5. Police at major fault

    After the police received details of the names, it is an outrage that these were then passed on internally to Counter-Terrorism Command (alleged in the email of 30th May 2012 from James Spencer). This shows further flagrant reckless attitude in the police to suspect Muslim citizens.

    (i) This requires its own serious investigation and the MYH should press police to why this happened.

    6. Support those implicated

    (i) Those individuals, including young Muslims, who have been subjected to this ordeal must be supported and assisted to ensure that they are not affected in their lives now by the alleged reckless actions of the last CEO. I know some of them – including people like Ahmed Uddin – and they are long-term dedicated servants of the community who should be honoured, not suspects.

    (ii) This support should include helping with legal action and protection.

    As for myself, I am here to assist as necessary.

    May Allah make things easy for you all and grant the very best for MYH moving forwards. May trust be restored and may this organisation flourish in benefit to Muslim youth, as it has done, as it will continue to insha’Allah.

     

    Thank you for your time.

    Yours truly,

    Nabil Ahmed

    http://robichowdhury.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Open-letter-to-Muslim-Youth-Helpline.pdf

  22. FOSIS defends the many young Muslims whose liberty and reputations have put at stake: http://myhwb.blogspot.com/2012/06/nabil-ahmed-president-of-fosis-38.html

  23. Skhan says:

    Akeela did wrong… But one of the staff she had conflict with also did wrong… MYH wasn’t big enough for the egos of these two people!

  24. Salah says:

    In response to the FOSIS letter:

    I am somewhat perturbed by the one sided nature of this letter from a supposed unbiased and neutral party. One can only imagine that Nabil Ahmed has had the wool pulled over his eyes by his friends in an attempt to further their own personal agendas. Brother Nabil, I would like to deconstruct your letter and perhaps pose some questions to you in the hope that you reverse your view and use your position of power in a more responsible manner. I say this because I worry for the future of MYH especially is as you say you have shared these same thoughts with other prominent Muslim organisations.

    My first concern is that you feel that the former CEO’s dealings with the police should take precedent over the hacking of emails and the alleged harassment and defamation of the CEO and the MYH board. You then go on to justify the hacking of the emails and inflate these actions to some worthy and noble cause when the evidence is to the contrary. This whistle blowing blog has been quick to condemn the actions of the former CEO but has yet to make its own case. Rather than broadcasting personal details and defaming the organisation, this blog should attempt to deconstruct the letter sent to police and refute the claims made by the former CEO. My worry is that you have also used religious justification for hacking the emails and harassing the former CEO and board of trustees.

    My second concern is that you have resorted to unnecessary hyperbole with regards to the nature of the former CEO’s enquiries to the police. The phrase ‘counter-terrorism’ is a highly emotive term in our community and you would be best served at least explain the nature of the Prevent Strategy before condemning them, something I will come on to later. It is important that we stress that all criminal activity (hacking email and harassing in this instance) should ALWAYS be condemned.

    I will now go on to reply to each point made in your letter.

    1. An apology from the Board to the 25

    Until the hackers/harassers/signatories (let’s not claim that we can differentiate them) can refute the claim that they have had a racist, homophobic and extremist agenda, I do not see how and why any apology should be due. It is perhaps important to point out that the board claim they didn’t know of the former CEO’s correspondence with the police so they have nothing to apologise for anyway. More importantly however, the former CEO has constructed a detailed statement explaining her reasons for believing there was an agenda against her based on petty hate. This ‘whistle blowing’ blog is the perfect platform for the hackers/harassers/signatories to refute the claims made by the former CEO, yet they have failed to do so. Perhaps you should question the hackers/harassers/signatories into explaining their part in the breakdown of communications before casting aspersions on someone else. It strikes me that someone would not go the lengths of writing and long, detailed statement to the police without having some cause to do so. The former CEO has claimed that a number of former staff members have raised concerns about a non-Muslim and a potential homosexual working at MYH. Not only is this racist, homophobic and extreme, it is also, you know, illegal. Those named in the statement can easily refute those claims and put forward their own case instead of setting up a vicious campaign of hate, harassment and an invasion of privacy but, I suspect, they do not have a real case to make.

    2. Condemn the leak, investigation and clear position on government/police relationship

    You seem to be implying that there is a higher conspiracy at play here. With the atmosphere of Islamaphobia, hate and distrust, this is perhaps understandable but I fail to understand why a ‘relationship with the police’ should be condemned? This is surely an important aspect of a progressive charity such as MYH and if the hackers/harassers/signatories feel they are innocent, they will have nothing to worry about. The rule of law is pretty strong in this country and I very much doubt the police will concern themselves with people who aren’t actually extremists. I also find it worrying that you are quick to condemn the passing over of names, which in reality have little relevance, but wilfully justify hacking and harassment in the name of a perceived noble cause and in particular, a religious cause.

    It is also understandable that the members and staff of MYH would like transparency from the board. However, in light of the emails being hacked and personal privacy being violated, personally I would also be as confidential as I could be whilst there is an investigation going on. Let me ask you, if you were in a position where an internal member of your organisation is most likely guilty for hacking emails, would you be disclosing sensitive information pending an investigation?

    3. Board needs to consider its role

    You have pointed out that the board’s position in untenable given their mistakes. From what I can work out, you list the mistakes as; not being transparent during an investigation, MAYBE being complicit in the former CEO’s actions and not apologising for something they had no control over? If these are indeed the reasons, do I need to explain why this request is in itself untenable?

    I find it somewhat ironic that you have called for competencies to be regarded first over friendships. I say this because I would hazard a guess that the hackers/harassers/signatories are all friends and if not it would seem that at least those named in the former CEO’s statement are probably friends given that they seem to have parroted the same view about non-Muslims and seem to have suspected that a new employee was a homosexual. I also say this is ironic because it seems you have constructed this letter on the basis of being friends with I presume Ahmed Uddin? I am willing to be proved wrong in my last statement.

    4. Stabilisation of MYH

    I couldn’t agree more that MYH will need guidance during these tumultuous times however I think the board should be wary of accepting help from the named organisations solely on the basis on the information contained within this letter. I implore you to use your contacts at these organisations in a responsible manner.

    5. Police at major fault

    I have already addressed the conspiracy argument but I also think that it is important to explain ‘The Prevent Strategy’ before claiming that these were ‘reckless actions of the last CEO’. Prevent’s mandate covers a lot of ground including ‘address all forms of terrorism, including the EXTREME RIGHT WING’, ‘tackling non-violent extremism’ and ‘ support the values of democracy, human rights, the rule of law and mutual respect and tolerance’. According to the statement issued to the police by the former CEO, I would say her actions were EXACTLY in line with the aims of ‘The Prevent Strategy’.

    I would ask you to consider what your actions would be in the same situation? Had your emails been hacked and had you witnessed poisonous attacks on the organisation through social networks, would you go to the police? Going by the statement to the police, it also seems reasonable to assume that the hackers/harassers/signatories were obstinate and unwilling to accept their wrong doing. In any case, I would assume that the police not take the invasion of privacy and violation of private property at a small organisation seriously unless there was proof that this would lead to an escalation in criminal acts. Well, given that the hackers/harassers/signatories are alleged to have a racist, homophobic and extremist agenda (which they have yet to refute) and the only way to achieve their racist, homophobic and extremist agenda was to oust the CEO, my best guess would be that the former CEO suspected that the two incidents were linked.

    6. Support those implicated

    I worry that you have taken ‘those implicated’ at their word and yet refuse to encompass the other side of the argument, especially given the power you hold. I also do not understand why ‘those implicated’ should require ‘legal action and protection’ if they are innocent? I would also implore for you to ask the hackers/harassers/signatories why they felt the need to hack private content and publically broadcast this illegally and immorally obtained information thus dragging the good name of MYH through the mud and questioning the professionalism of the certain people in a manner that is akin to airing dirty laundry. Can the hackers/harassers/signatories provide actual evidence for their grievances and in addition to this can they provide evidence that they pursued the correct channels to vent their concerns before resorting to such extreme actions? I suspect, given that their aims were allegedly racist, homophobic and extremist, they knew that it was illegal to have a ‘non-Muslim’ policy along with an effective ‘no homosexual’ policy and in turn, knew that the former CEO was unlikely to comply with these illegal demands.

    I would like to thank you for reading this and I hope you will reply to my comments. I would also like you to consider the damage that to MYH that has been caused by the hackers/harassers/signatories posting defamatory statements on facebook and also the damage that the hackers/harassers/signatories have done to the name of MYH by publically broadcasting sensitive information. Ask yourself whether the hackers/harassers/signatories genuinely care about the organisation if they are so readily willing to destroy MYH in the pursuit of what seems to be their own personal agenda.

    Let us not forget who has made this whole thing public in the first place.

  25. Asif says:

    What utter nonsense Salah’s verbose response is!

  26. Anynomous says:

    Some more details in the public domain – 12 June. Note, upon answering a direct question regarding the veracity of the email communication. neither the husband or the couple have claimed that emails are fabricated, or denied that they did not occur.
    http://assedbaig.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/muslim-youth-helpline-closes-and-ceo.html

    The trustees gave an update apologising for their behaviour – note the date and previous statement. Original statement found on http://www.myh.org.uk/

    MYH Statement
    13th June 2012

    For the last decade, the Muslim Youth Helpline has provided young people with culturally sensitive advice and support. It has done this by listening to the needs of the community and in doing so has built a reputation as an innovative and influential organisation.

    In the last few months, MYH has been brought into disrepute by the actions of individuals who have not acted in the best of interests of the charity. These months have been very testing for all those involved – including employees, the Board and the volunteer workforce.

    The Board were not aware that names of individuals were referred to counter terrorism unit 9th June and were shocked discover this had been the case. We feel that this was wholly inappropriate and should not have been done.

    To all those who have been affected, particularly to those whose names have been passed to the police we offer our full and unreserved apology. While we did not know that a referral to counter terrorism police was made, we realise this will be of little help or comfort to those who fear for the long term consequence of this referral.

    On the morning of Tuesday 12th June, we contacted the police to let them know that this is not a matter that should even come close to being of interest to counter terrorism units. We are seeking an urgent meeting with senior police officers to see what further steps or information we can provide to persuade them this is the case. We will do all we can, to undo the harm that has been done.

    We are very aware that the employees and volunteers are the very heart of MYH and that without them the organisation would not be where it is today. Its role within the community is both unique and pivotal, and it enjoys unilateral support from all sectors. We hope that in the coming months, we can re-establish the good reputation that MYH has enjoyed for many years.

    We invite all members of MYH to attend our Extraordinary General Meeting on Saturday 16th June 2012, so that we may come to a united decision on how best to move forward. We call on leaders of the community to support us as we move to rebuild MYH.

    MYH Board

  27. Anynomous says:

    http://nafeez.blogspot.co.uk/ – June 15, 2012
    Me and the Muslim Youth Helpline: An Explanation, An Apology and Hope for the Future

  28. Anynomous says:

    http://www.fugstar.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/wolf-whistling.html?m=1
    As the brother pointed everyone of the MYH25 are being sued, even those that have stated that their names were added without their permission, as the original statement of Akeela admitted, as well as the first press release by the board.
    There’s so much not revealed because of legal action. It seems that the public domain is being massaged by the people with deep pockets, see following article – http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/1999/dec/16/immigration.immigrationandpublicservices.
    A man with connections with James spencer (google him) whose emails are read after breakfast, and daughter of owner of a chain of hotels, who does not have to worry about work for the rest of their lives vs MYH25, who don’t have access to the same privileges and money. This is not exactly a fair fight. Where are all the other organisation that Fosis mentioned? In fear of legal action.

  29. Kamran Akhtar says:

    Have been reading these comments and I see that this is far from a black and white issue that many people seem to have made it. The facts suggest a different picture. First of all, I think we all agree that prevent getting involved clearly shouldn’t have happened.

    I should note that to look upon this issue objectively requires pushing all pre-judgements and emotions of outrage out of view, after all – my first reaction was shock and disappointment at what I read the CEO had done. But on reflection and reading all the statements, I don’t fault the Ahmeds for contacting the police, not when personal email accounts had been hacked and hackers have gained access to your home computer and private information. If many of us are honest, we too would try to get the authorities involved if hackers were attacking and infiltrating our private email accounts with impunity and we were being harrassed with abusive texts (as per Nafeez Ahmed’s explanation: http://nafeez.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/me-and-muslim-youth-helpline.html). The truth of the matter is that blame and fault lies much deeper then most of us seem willing to appreciate; everyone involved in disseminating private hacked MYH information to the public and breaching basic norms of trust as a result of hacking and harassing are also to blame for what’s now happened with MYH. And those that supported this from within (IF there were indeed such people) are also to blame. The vicious spiralling circle of mis-trust seems to have begun long before the authorities were contacted, and as much as people may not want to hear it – there was a collective problem within MYH. There seems to have been a massive breakdown in trust and an environment of significant suspicion that MYH ended up operating within. This is attributable to many actions of which those of the Ahmeds were only at the tail-end (though not insignificant by any means!). Te real question is – what’s next? and how can such trust issues be resolved and pre-empted in future?

  30. Kamran Akhtar says:

    The following excerpt from Nafeez Ahmed’s blog (the CEO’s husband) provides an extensive and (actually) quite balanced and in some areas regretful account of police involvement. I strongly feel this ought to be read in order to offer a balanced perspective:

    “The Police

    When we went to the police, then, I promise you that we did not do it out of malice, but out of genuine fear about what might happen next along the scale of escalation. We have had a range of correspondence with the police and the hackers have only selected parts of it to present a picture that would discredit us. That does not mean we didn’t make tremendous mistakes. In hindsight, we should have known better.
    The ‘whistleblower’ blog says that we referred names of young Muslim petitioners to the police as a ploy to quell their grievances, and when that failed to get the authorities involved, we referred the names to Anti Terrorism. This is incorrect. What happened is actually quite the opposite. We reported specific crimes to the police, who referred the case to Anti Terrorism, and as a consequence I felt compelled to reach out to my own contacts sensitively to see if we could get a real investigation back down at normal police-level.

    I’ll try to give you a fuller picture. On 23rd May, I drafted a letter for Akeela to send to the police, addressed to Superintendent John Morgan of Marylebone Police Station. I advised Akeela on the wording, and we agreed we needed to emphasise the pattern of escalating criminal activity. I also wanted to make sure the police understood why Akeela and Noor were being targeted in this way, so I set out the chronology of events indicating that a primary motivation of the core group behind the hackings and harassment seemed to be an extremist agenda to impose certain racist and homophobic values on the charity, by removing the very women who opposed them. In our letter, I thought I was simply relaying the facts. We highlighted the key incidents in the form of the two hackings, and the petition, but we also emphasised that a majority of the petitioners were not responsible for criminal activity, but had been duped by a core group of individuals who seemed to hold extremist views, and who therefore might be involved in the hackings and harassment.

    We reported the crime properly on the 24th at the police station, and got our crime number. The next day, Akeela got a call from the investigating officer, who told her that “no criminal offense had been committed” and that the matter had been “referred to Anti Terrorism.”

    This came as a shock. ‘Why?’ Akeela asked – she was told that the police couldn’t talk about that side of things. We were both quite worried about what that meant. I had wanted the police to recognise how unsafe Akeela felt and how insidious these criminal activities were. Although we had never used the word terrorism, it seems our mention of “extremism” triggered an unexpected referral to Anti Terrorism.

    I take full responsibility for this turn of events as I drafted that letter and urged Akeela, out of concern as a husband for her safety, and for the safety of staff at MYH, to go the police. Specific evidence justifying our fear of potential violence against Akeela has also been passed on. At the time, in those circumstances where two women in the charity were victims of a sustained campaign of harassment to cause them to lose their jobs, purely to meet an insidious racist and homophobic agenda, it seemed the right thing to do. In hindsight, I can see that I should have been much more cautious in our use of language. We recognise that our use of the word extremism before the police, though put forward purely to highlight what we believed to be the motivations of the hackers, was mistaken. We did not intend for this to be referred to Anti Terrorism, and for that Akeela and I sincerely apologise.

    At this point, I wasn’t sure what to do. As the week went by, the prospects for the charity seemed worse. With the IT systems completely shut down due to the repeat hackings, fundraising had ground to a halt, and the Board began to fear the possibility that the charity might not survive the onslaught. In the meantime, our fears for Akeela’s safety were fuelled as she received further offensive text messages from unidentified people. Numerous calls to the investigating police officer were unanswered. Whatever ‘Anti Terrorism’ was supposed to be doing, it certainly wasn’t protecting my wife.

    So on 30th May I contacted Chief Inspector James Spencer, who is the Channel National Strategic Lead in ACPO, who I’d met some years ago. James had appreciated my criticisms of Channel, and had invited me to provide advice more formally. I had to contact him sensitively, as once something’s gone to SO15, it’s very difficult to get answers. I informed Akeela that we needed advice about how to proceed from a police officer who understands the system and is sympathetic to the issues. I felt that James, with his open-mindedness to my criticisms of Channel, would understand my concerns about extremism without conflating them with terrorism per se. I explained in my email to James:

    “… she [Akeela] was informed that the police would not be conducting a criminal investigation – but that they would ask Anti-Terrorism to look at the case… She is deeply concerned that without a robust response from law-enforcement, the impunity that this group is now enjoying may encourage them to escalate their criminal activities.”

    I knew I would not be able to do more than try to emphasise the criminal component, and the need for a criminal investigation. That is why we emphasised our worry that officers weren’t getting the point – I drew James’ attention to the attempt of some extremists to “forcibly takeover” a progressive Muslim charity through “criminal means” such as hacking and harassment. Again, I was trying to move it down from airy fairy concerns about terrorism to a concrete assessment of the criminality, and that’s why I mentioned that Channel might be useful in looking at the situation to assess the risks and perhaps help “put an end to this criminal activity.” James promised he would pass on the information back to Anti Terrorism.

    In the following week, the campaign of harassment against MYH personnel escalated dramatically. Innocent young volunteers who had passed on information confidentially via email about the core group behind the criminal activities were now being targeted. This should have been impossible – all staff and the Board had switched to using their personal accounts for emails since the previous hackings. So the hackers were likely compromising personal accounts of MYH members too (hence the hacking of Akeela’s gmail).

    On 6th June, in an email that the hackers decided not to leak, I wrote to James with more details that had come to light in the previous week. I also set out the exact nature of my concerns:

    “As the charity has attempted to use normal legitimate policies and procedures to address the issues of homophobia and racism arising from some of these individuals…, the individuals began resigning, and seem to have resorted to quite unbalanced criminal behaviour… [which has] escalated at different points. I am not going to insinuate more than what the evidence on record reveals about these individuals – what is absolutely clear is that when their ideological demands on the charity have not been met, they resorted to an escalation of covert criminal activity designed to sabotage the charity, and are now engaging in a campaign of harassment against its members.”

    After I wrote to James, Akeela took matters back into her own hands and wrote directly to Camden Borough Commander, Chief Superintendent John Sutherland, raising urgent concerns about the lack of a proper police criminal investigation based on due process, and demanding full disclosure of exactly what the police were doing:

    “We first reported the crime on 24th May 2012, and I was informed by the investigating officer… that she has determined that no crime has been committed. In view of the circumstances of continuing criminal activity, I would be grateful if you could inform me as soon as possible whether an investigation into these criminal activities is underway, and what actions the police plans to take to enforce the law, put an end to these activities, and identify and prosecute those responsible.”

    She closed the letter warning that if the police had decided not to focus on the actual criminal offenses she had reported, she “will be seeking a Judicial Review of this decision.” Thankfully, this letter prompted an immediate shift in the police approach, and I can confirm that the incidents of hacking and harassment that have brought the charity to a standstill are being investigated by the police as a criminal matter.

    Apology

    Akeela’s primary concern was to ensure that the charity was protected from people who appeared not to mind that their criminal activities were seriously frightening a whole range of staff and volunteers, with a danger of leading to the complete closure of the organisation, and the prospect of further “reprisals and offences for the foreseeable future” – to quote someone who appeared to be acquainted with the core group responsible for the hackings. It seemed as if the hackers would prefer MYH to collapse, rather than allow it to remain a diverse, progressive charity.”

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