Almost a hundred years ago, the Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt by Hassan Al-Bana. During the short period of its establishment and intellectual cohesion, the Community began its activities in establishing its various charitable associations. Following the siege of the MB members in their country, Egypt, its activities were transferred to the European countries, mainly the UK. The UK formed a starting base for the organization and its subsequent extension to all European countries through its various organizations and associations, which to this day have constituted the greatest force in spreading the ideas of extremism and attracting Muslims. The most striking organization was the Islamic Relief Organization, founded in 1984 by Hani Albina in UK.
MB activity hotspots and centers
As the MB attempts to appear civilized and open, the cover of openness does not last long whether in their countries where they support extremism, or in European countries. The most prominent example of the falsehood of their claim, is the Islamic Relief Organization, which was founded by Hani Al-Banna in UK in 1984, and obtained UK government funding.
The Islamic Relief Organization was able, based on donations and financial aid; to turn into the most important source of funding for the MB that supports terrorism despite the danger it poses to all of Europe. Especially after the reviews submitted by UK and the various studies of the map of the MB’s presence and influence in UK by a group of institutions and centers.
According to Heba Gharbi, a researcher at the Center, the MB owns 60 organizations inside UK, including charitable organizations, intellectual institutions, and even TV channels, and among the most prominent of these organizations is the “Islamic League” in UK, which was founded in 1997 by Kamal Al-Helbawi. Helbawi left the MB organization later, and the Islamic League was headed by Raghda Al-Tikriti of Iraqi origin. The Palestinian Fund for Relief and Development, which was founded by Issam Youssef in the 1990s, owns 11 branches in UK. The Cordoba Foundation TCF, and the Islamic Relief Organization in UK, extended to most European countries, before the world noticed its suspicious activity.
Islamic Relief, Suspicions of Funding of Terrorism
Following the activity of the Islamic Relief Organization and its transformation into the widest and most extensive MB organization, many countries started to pay attention to its activity and link it to terrorism. In 2005, the Russian authorities accused the Organization of supporting terrorism in Chechnya, and in 2012 the giant “UPS” Swiss banking was closed all the Islamic Relief accounts and imposed a ban on donations coming to it from its clients, for fear of reports about its financing of terrorism.
In 2014, the United Arab Emirates classified the Islamic Relief Organization as an organization that finances terrorism, and several countries followed suit to stop the stop the organization’s activities in financing MB terrorism around the world.
In 2016, HSBC also closed relief accounts and imposed a ban on donations coming to it from its customers, because of linking it to terrorist financing.
Reports indicated that investigators of the US Security Agency “FBI”, the Internal Revenue Service and the Office of Personnel Management collected evidence of crimes related to Islamic Relief in 2016. An American news website revealed reports on the US network CNN spoke about organizations linked to terrorism, the reports spoke about the Islamic Relief’s call in the US on two occasions to donate money.The coordinator of the “Islamist Watch” project, which deals with monitoring Islamic movements, Samantha Mendelez, referred to what CNN discovered about the long history of the Islamic Relief Organization of securing platforms to advocates of hatred and to secure funding networks for charities that act behalf of Hamas, the MB and Al Qaeda.
Researcher Mendelez emphasized that Islamist Watch, a research project of the American Middle East Forum, has written repeatedly about Islamic Relief in the US and its long history associated with the spread of extremism in North America, and that the organization used American taxpayer money to reach its goals, after spending years deceiving an audience that was not aware of the true nature of its activities.
But the reality is “more complex — and more catastrophic,” as Mendelez notes. The founder of this organization is an Islamic activist named Hani al-Banna, who admires the teachings of the founder of the MB, Hassan al-Banna, and the teachings of one of its most prominent theorists, Sayyid Qutb. Both advocated violent jihad and the establishment of an Islamic caliphate, which officials in the Relief organization endorsed on the same level as the extremism of Al-Banna and Qutb. Such as one of the organization’s trustees Ahmed al-Rawi, who called on Muslims to wage jihad against Western armies in Iraq, and the director of its activities on the east coast of the US, Youssef Abdullah, who wrote anti-Semitic slogans on his social media pages, and the chairman of the organization’s board of directors in US Khaled Lamada who publicly expressed his admiration for the terrorist movement of Hamas.
The researcher indicated that the Islamic Relief in the United States acts as an American arm for the mother organization in order to collect donations. It sends annually about 20% of its income to the mother organization. Financial reports issued by the relief organization in 2007 and 2009 indicate that it received tens of thousands of pounds from the association of Charity for Social Welfare. Its founder is Abdul Majid Al-Zindani, who is close to Osama bin Laden, and in 2004 the US Treasury placed him on the list of terrorism.
Reports issued in 2010 and 2011 prove that global Islamic Relief has received tens of thousands of donations from the World Islamic Charity, one of Hamas’s leading sponsors. This organization is considered as a front for the MB and hatred platforms around the world.
MB Fronts and hatred platforms
The long history of the MB and its various activities contributed to securing platforms for advocates of hatred and securing funding networks for charitable organizations under cover of humanitarian and relief names.
Those organizations act as fronts for Hamas, the MB and Al-Qaeda, and use media policies that suit Islamists and the host countries where the branches exist around the world.
World has recently become aware of organizations’ activity and began to scrutinize the all the MB organizations linked to fueling extremism and spreading hatred around the world. The links between members of terrorist networks cannot be covered with false slogans, and they cannot continue to be supported. French MP Julie Lechantoux indicated that the European Commission “is aware of the assessment of the German government issued between 2017 and 2019, on the personal relations of some former representatives of Islamic Relief in Germany with the MB, and the banning of Islamic Relief worldwide by the Israeli authorities.”
“It is also aware that the Financial Regulations contain rules for granting funds to bodies on the basis of objective criteria in the field of humanitarian aid, NGOs need to evaluate their systems, rules and procedures to become accredited partners in the EU,” she added.
“The commission does not discriminate on the basis of religion or belief and does not classify partner organizations according to their religious affiliation, and financing an Islamic association close to the MB with public funds is not a problem for the EU,” she continued. Which delays taking quick measures against it, despite the requests for briefing and criticism, as the European Commission is still consider the branch of the Islamic Relief Organization in Germany as a humanitarian partner for the period between 2021 and 2027, and has already given it 712,000 euros in grants, according to the German newspaper Die Welt.
And this is not the first time that the European Commission has funded these types of organizations: the Commission previously funded the European Muslims Network founded by Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of the MB. The Forum of European Muslim Student and Youth Organizations, and the Belgian Muslim Empowerment Organization, all of which linked to the MB.
According to German reports, protests have begun to abound. “At a time when Europe is witnessing a wave of terrorism from time to time, how can the European Commission finance an organization close to the MB and an integral part of Islamist networks?” the German news website Meteleurope wrote.
With the succession of reports, protests, and demands led by more than one party, the noose began to tighten against the Islamic Relief in Germany, then the organization gradually was put under the loop, to put it under scrutiny against the background of confirming its MB ties.
After the cessation of government funding granted to it, and stopping one of the most important sources of income for the organization by the German Foreign Ministry in April 2020, and the suspension of the largest charitable organization in Germany dealing with Islamic relief, the Al-Ain news website indicated that a large party began to exert pressure in Parliament to be placed under the control of the internal intelligence. The issue of spreading hatred and the presence of platforms for it in Germany is considered a dangerous matter for historical reasons that cannot be repeated.
Since the ideas of terrorism have been found and entrenched through many Islamic streams, the world has been suffering from the spread of hatred and fear of the hidden violence that the hotbeds of terrorism embrace. The danger increases when organizations spreading hatred under cover of humanity, such as the Islamic Relief Organization, to sow the seeds of violence that cannot be stopped unless the world work together to dry up the financial resources of its marketers and stop their exploitation of the need of the poor and turn them into supporters of a terrorist ideology that threatens all humankind.