Imam accuses mosque leaders of misusing thousands of pounds of donations
Mohammed Khan has taken Doncaster Mosque Trust to an employment tribunal, claiming he was unfairly dismissed because he raised concerns about financial mismanagement.
He also said members of the congregation had become concerned about what had happened to £35,000 they donated for a new community centre.
Employment Judge Kirsty Ayre accepted he had made a series of disclosures which are protected by the Employment Rights Act 1996. Further hearings will be held to determine whether he was unfairly dismissed because he spoke out.
Mr Khan said worshippers would donate up to £1,300 to the mosque every Friday and he would hand that money over to the mosques’ cashier and ask him to sign a receipt book.
According to Mr Khan, the cashier said “we don’t really need to do all this” during a meeting in October 2021, but he insisted that charity trustees had a duty to keep proper financial records and they were failing to do this.
A new imam was appointed in February 2022 and began collecting donations for a new community centre.
Mr Khan said that the new imam, who had not been keeping accurate records of the donations, announced in March that £35,000 had been raised but another £80,000 was needed.
According to Mr Khan, members of the congregation approached him and said they were concerned their donations were not being spent on a new community centre.
He then confronted trustees at a meeting in April, claiming they were misusing the donations in breach of obligations set out in the Charities Act 1993.
Mr Khan said he had another dispute with the trustees in July 2022, when they announced they were planning to use £6,000 of the money to pay off utility bills.
In her ruling, Judge Ayre said: “I take account of the fact that the nature of the wrongdoing the claimant (Mr Khan) was concerned about was that thousands of pounds of donations was unaccounted for, and that people were asking the claimant about it.
"I also take account of the fact that the (trust) is a place of worship and a charity, which the public would expect to demonstrate high levels of honesty and integrity.”
The judge was told the trustees were going to respond to the allegations with their own witnesses statements, but she “was not provided with, and have not seen” them.