5 Pillars has been regulated by Impress, since 2018. Impress is the independent monitor for the press.
5 Pillars has published a number of controversial articles.
- On 25th May 2013, 5 Pillars published an article by Roshan Muhammed Salih speculating that the convicted terrorist and murderer, Michael Adebolajo, was an MI5 Agent.
- On 8th June 2013, 5 Pillars published an article entitled “False flags and Israeli terrorism”, where the author, Kashif Ahmed expressed the believe that Israel was behind 9/11. This article was taken down in July 2020.
- On 4th October 2013, 5 Pillars published an article by Kashif Ahmed, “Samantha Lewthwaite: Myths and legends from the war on terror” which claimed that a number of terrorist attacks were False Flag Attacks. This article was taken down in July 2020.
- On 22nd August 2014, in an article on the murder by ISIS of the American journalist, James Foley: Did Western intelligence murder James Foley?, Roshan Muhammed Salih opined that he found the James Foley beheading video “a bit fishy”.
- On 18th December 2014, 5 Pillars published an article entitled “Peshawar School Massacre – A Vicious Cycle of Violence and Bloodshed” in which Dilly Hussain speculated about false flag attacks in Pakistan carried out by “Israel’s Mossad and India’s RAW”.
- On 4th December 2015, 5 Pillars published an article which extensively quoted the Islamist preacher Yasir Qadhi, who was described as having “cast doubt on the official version of events” of the 2015 San Bernardino Attack.
- In October 2019, 5 Pillars published an article by the controversial journalist, Abdel Bari Atwan, that contained conspiracist speculation about the deaths of terrorist leaders Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It also suggested the US is behind Islamic State.
See further: False Flag Attacks.
On 18th May 2018, 5 Pillars published a lengthy article by the disgraced Anglican vicar, Stephen Sizer. Sizer had previously been found to have published a link on his Facebook page to a 9/11 conspiracy theory article entitled ‘”9-11/Israel did it”, asking his readers: “Is this anti-Semitic? If so, no doubt I’ll be asked to remove it. It raises so many questions”. He was later disciplined by the Church of England.
5 Pillars have published articles and videos by, and supporting and defending Haitham al Haddad.
Haddad is infamous for denouncing the “scourge of homosexuality” which he describes as a “criminal act”. 5 Pillars has published articles that defend this preacher, and hosts videos containing his sermons. For example, when Westminster University’s LGBTI Society sought to exclude Haddad from campus, 5 Pillars published a defence of the preacher, in which he was quoted as saying:
“There is a clear attempt being made to almost criminalise certain aspects of being a Muslim. In the religion of Islam it is clear-cut that homosexual acts are a sin and are unlawful in the Shariah.”
Other preachers and activists published by 5 Pillars include:
Interfaith work with Jews
On 20th November 2018, Roshan Muhammed Salih published an article opposing the “Mitzvah Day” project, which involved Jewish and Muslim organisations working together on charitable causes. See further: Roshan Muhammed Salih.
Support for convicted terrorist
On 13 April 2015, 5 Pillars published an article by Sairah Yassir entitled “Four years on and the struggle for justice continues”, claiming that Munir Farooqi had been entrapped by the police. That article is one of many published in defence of Munir Farooqi.
In June 2020, 5 Pillars received a grant from the Public Interest News Foundation (PINF), which had awarded a grant to 5 Pillars. PINF subsequently “became aware of concerns relating to the journalism and related social media activity of 5 Pillars” and stated that they “take extremely seriously the concerns that were raised about some of the material on the 5 Pillars website and related social media accounts”. See further: 5 Pillars and Impress Standards