An investigation conducted by The Times newspaper has claimed that a number of University of Leeds students may be unknowingly funding “the mothership of all Islamist extremist groups” through rent payments.
The investigation found that tenants of at least 47 flats located near the university have paid rent to ‘Europe Trust’, a UK-based charity that has invested millions of pounds into various properties across the UK, but that in recent times is reported to have known links to the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Times reported that locations of the Europe Trust’s properties in Leeds include 12 flats on Woodsley Road, 18 flats on Woodhouse Street, 1 flat on Clarendon Road and 16 flats on Samara Place.
The organisation has a vast property portfolio which, in its value, exceeds £8.5 million. According to The Times, Europe Trust channels its money into other causes. As a result, the rent paid by Leeds students ‘provide a regular income stream’ to an ‘unofficial network of Brotherhood-linked organisations throughout the continent’.
One of these organisations is the Muslim Association of Britain, which was described by the government in 2010 as ‘the brotherhood’s representative in the UK’. Other organisations highlighted in the report include a number of Arabic religious colleges in the UK, one of which is located in Wales and was attended by one of the men responsible for the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich in 2013.
A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said that Europe Trust would be assessed “to establish whether it gives rise to regulatory concern”. However, no formal investigation has been launched.
While Downing Street wouldn’t comment on speculation that their review into the potential threat of the Muslim Brotherhood in the UK recommends investigation of charities which effectively operate as “fronts” for the global movement.
A University of Leeds spokesperson said: “Our immediate concern is the welfare of our students and, in tandem with Leeds University Union, we are exploring how we can appropriately advise and support any students affected by this issue.”
Image courtesy of thetimes.co.uk