More than a quarter of the statutory investigations that have been launched by the Charity Commission since April 2012 and remain open have targeted Muslim organisations, an analysis by the Guardian can reveal – drawing criticism from Islamic groups that they are being unfairly singled out.

Responses to freedom of information requests show that more than 20 of the 76 live investigations focus on Muslim charities associated with running mosques, providing humanitarian relief and, in a number of high-profile cases, aid efforts in Syria.

Full statutory inquiries – the commission's most serious kind of formal investigation – have begun into five British charities operating in Syria, including al-Fatiha Global, which the beheaded hostage Alan Henning was working with when he was kidnapped. The others are Children in Need, Aid Convoy, Human Aid and Syria Aid. All five inquiries remain open.

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