In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
CMA response to “Change for CMA” Letters
We pray that you are well insha’Allah.
We understand that a series of emails have been sent to members of the community (and to people who are not part of the community) from an email address called “Change for CMA”.
Whilst we do not propose to respond to “Change for CMA” for the reasons set out below, we do wish to clarify some of the issues raised and make the following points:
CMA has never wasted public money and any such accusation is without foundation. In relation to the points raised by “Change for CMA” we can confirm:
- The scout hut that suffered an arson attack many years ago was uninsurable at the time as it was in a dilapidated state;
- There was a security guard that looked after the premises at night following the arson attack but the majority of his wages were paid by one of the trustees personally rather than through recourse to CMA funds;
- We have not wasted money on the redevelopment plans – we took a bold step in applying for planning permission to create a mosque that would serve you and your community for many years to come. At the time, the planning application was based on appropriate advice from a planning consultant but unfortunately external factors were against us and the application was strategically withdrawn;
- We are analysing new plans and confirm that all donations received for the redevelopment project remain intact for use on the proposed redevelopment in due course;
- The fence was erected upon the advice of the Highways Planning Agency, appointed by Stockport Council – it allowed us to secure planning permission for the extension to the current car park, as well as receive professional advice on traffic safety in/out of the Masjid car park.
The “Change for CMA” Petition
The petition purportedly outlining community concerns was enclosed under a letter signed by five individuals. Of these five, three withdrew their signature in writing without any coercion at all. It is noteworthy that two of the individuals who signed rarely attend the Masjid – that for us questions the credibility of such a “petition”.
We understand that a number of those who signed the petition had no idea what they were signing for, and some of those who asked the question were misled into believing something other than what was stated in the letter signed by the five individuals – this does not inspire any confidence in the nature of this document.
The Charities Commission
We have never breached Charity Commission rules. As “Change for CMA” raised a concern against us, we invited the Charity Commission, as our regulator to openly inspect us. CMA has nothing to hide and the management of the Masjid, and of the charitable donations and funds received is transparent. The Commission wrote back confirming:
We appreciate the trustees providing this advance notice and can advise that we have subsequently received correspondence on the subject from Messrs Hill Dickinson [solicitors instructed by “Change for CMA”], the content/issues being the same as in the copy letter dated 12 February 2016 which you kindly provided to us … together with what appears to be an anonymous letter of support for the trustees which we received separately… we do not propose to be drawn into this dispute should it develop further – it being something the trustees themselves appear well able to deal with. We have responded to Hill Dickinson advising we have noted their concerns but do not intend to comment on them or become involved.”
Banning People/Groups from the Masjid
CMA has never banned anyone from the Masjid.
We have approached a number of suitably qualified individuals to become trustees, but the role is also a challenging one requiring time and commitment, however we are continuing to work with individuals who wish to take forward the vision of the CMA. We would not be surprised if many of you did not know who the trustees were and this is because they work behind the scenes not for public recognition but to help CMA move forward as a progressive forward-thinking Masjid and community centre.
“Change for CMA”
Although “Change for CMA” previously refused to identify themselves in their communications with us, they have in their recent emails sent out to the community referred to who they consist of. These include Mr Asad Zaman (the former chair of the trustees) and the person referred to as the former architect is Mr Ghassan Kamha.
One of these individuals from “Change for CMA” recently approached the local council claiming the Mosque was an unsafe building that needed to be shut down (an independent structural engineer confirmed the Masjid is perfectly safe).
“Change for CMA” wrote to the Charity Commission via their solicitors airing their baseless accusations. The accusations were rejected, so they have resorted to sending emails to anyone and everyone they can. CMA can confirm that we have not disclosed any email addresses held in our records and we would recommend anyone who has received emails from “Change for CMA” to ask them how your email address was obtained and why you were sent emails without your consent.
We do not propose to write on this issue further, and encourage that if anyone has a question or concern about the management of CMA, please feel free to speak to any of the trustees and we will be more than happy to help insha’Allah.
Our Masjid is not partisan, and as you will all have seen, people of all backgrounds, races and Madhabs attend CMA creating undoubtedly an open community mosque. We are an open masjid and the trustees are always available to hear your concerns. We confirm that other than receiving communications from “Change for CMA”, who choose not to disclose their names, we have never had any individual ever approach us with any of these concerns in person.
If you have any complaints, concerns or suggestion, you are most welcome to contact us in the following manner:
- By email: all trustees email addresses are public and are displayed on our website http://www.cheadlemosque.org/trustees
- In person: You can approach any of the Trustee or the management team at the mosque without the need for any appointment.
- Anonymously: you may put your comments/suggestion in the suggestion box provided in the vestibule area of the mosque.