With all the excitement over the exposure of the Islamic Forum Europe, we shouldn’t lose sight over the mounting chaos at Scottish Islamic Foundation. The SIF is the brainchild of Muslim Brotherhood activist, and SNP parliamentary candidate, Osama “Caliphate Now” Saeed.
You’ll recall that the Scottish Islamic Foundation was forced to pay back nearly £130,000 of public money, having failed to put on an IslamExpo style Muslim Brotherhood public festival. The Herald takes up the story:
Within months of its launch in 2008, it was at the centre of cronyism allegations after receiving more than £400,000 in public funds from the SNP government despite having no track record of delivery. A year later it was forced to repay £128,000 after failing to deliver an Islamic festival on time.
Emails released under Freedom of Information legislation show government officials hounded Saeed for weeks before he repaid the money, and two ministers were so concerned by the hold-ups they demanded a face-to-face meeting with him.
Another £72,000 of funding went on developing two smaller festivals – one cultural, one financial – but SIF last week admitted it was dropping the financial one.
Around £40,000 of the money went on salaries and fees.
Here’s the latest twist. The Scottish Islamic Foundation has failed to file accounts. So we STILL don’t know where all the public money went. And the opposition parties are having a field day:
Last night opposition MSPs said they would be making a cross-party approach to Scotland’s Auditor General for an investigation into the operation of the SIF.
Labour MSP Lord George Foulkes said: “We will be asking the Auditor General to look again at the funding of this organisation.
“Recent months have seen almost weekly disclosures which show this is a shocking use of public money.
SNP activists are being paid salaries to organise phantom events in marginal seats.”
David McLetchie, for the Tories, added: “The time has come for an independent investigation into the activities of this taxpayer-funded organisation.”
Still, they’ll have to be filed, some day:
In a statement, Saeed said: “We expect to file accounts in the coming week.”
Looking forward to it, Osama.
Ana notes that the SNP is now in a battle with the Tories for second place after Labour, in the latest General Election poll.
Labour is a good 17% ahead.