Under the Microscope of Censorship: Islamic Relief

Position

The report of the European Center for Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence Studies in Germany and the Netherlands did not stop at referring to the organization’s leaders, but rather moved to search for sources of funding and support for the organization in Britain. The report noted that the organization was the first specialized Islamic charity to receive projects from the British Government on the African continent in 1994, with the government granting the organization £3.2 million in 2013, according to the BBC on 12 December 2014.

Since the inception of Islamic Relief in 1984 in Birmingham, the organization has operated in Britain on two levels: Level I ostensibly as a relief and development charity, Level II as a hidden and secret supporter of the MB in implementing their agenda and expanding their influence within the British society.

In addition to the organization’s involvement in Britain in cooperation with extremist ideological groups, leaders were involved in fanning the feelings of racism and hatred and promoting extremism.

Leaders of the Islamic Relief Organization

After Islamic Relief drew attention to itself, various reports began to come in about its activities and leaders. A report issued by the European Center for Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence Studies in Germany and the Netherlands revealed that the International Islamic Relief Organization (IRW), an international organization headquartered in the United Kingdom, is a supporter of terrorism. The organization began in Birmingham, as a major global charity in Britain, ostensibly operating as an “international charity for relief and development”, and was co-founded by a group of graduate students, mainly by Hani Al-Banna in 1984 and still its director.

Hani Al-Banna and other senior officials of the organization enjoy relationships with heads of state, ministers, senior civil servants and with the media in the countries, in which they are located, in addition to the organization’s confirmed presence on the agenda of international aid and the United Nations, owning several offices spreaded all over the world. The report mentions the names of the leaders of the commission, with an introduction to them:

Heshmat Khalifa:

Member of the Board of Trustees of the organization, considered one of its most prominent leaders since 1991, holding a British citizenship. He held the position of director of the organization in Australia and of its branches in Germany and South Africa and was forced to step down in August 2020.

Ahmed Al-Rawi:

Former Director of IRW, former President of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) and President of the Muslim League in Britain, both of which are “considered to be part of the MB in Europe”.

Issam Al-Haddad:

Founding partner of the International Islamic Relief Organization and former member of the International Islamic Relief Organization and Islamic Relief UK. He was a senior official of the leaders of the MB.

Adnan Abdul Rahman Saif:

An IRW Trustee and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Muath Trust, a UK-based Yemeni charity with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Relief funds from governments and donors

The report of the European Center for Counter-Terrorism and Intelligence Studies in Germany and the Netherlands did not stop at referring to the organization’s leaders, but rather moved to search for sources of funding and support for the organization in Britain. The report noted that the organization was the first specialized Islamic charity to receive projects from the British Government on the African continent in 1994, with the government granting the organization £3.2 million in 2013, according to the BBC on 12 December 2014.

It is estimated that the organization from its annual campaign during Ramadan in Britain alone collects more than 10 million pounds annually, and its resources were estimated at about 570 million pounds, including several donations, such as those of the UN, Britain and the EU. The organization gets its funding from a combination of individual, business donations and from the government.

The British newspaper “The Times” also confirmed on August 22, 2020, that the Board of Trustees of the authority in Britain submitted a collective resignation, after its members used racist expressions and praised the MB organization, which prompted the Charitable Institutions Commission in the UK to begin an investigation into the organization’s promotion of extremist preachers, and its relationship in Britain with extremist groups.

In her response to a request for a briefing in the European Parliament, French MP Julie Lechantoux has revealed that the Islamic Relief organization is still receiving EU funding and is linked to a cooperation contract with the EU and that the European Commission approves the Relief branch in Germany as a humanitarian partner for the period between 2021 and 2027, granted already 712,000 Euros in form of grants, according to the German newspaper, Die Welt.

This shows the difficulty of dealing with these organizations, since the European Commission “does not discriminate on the basis of religion or belief, and does not classify partner organizations according to their religious affiliation.”

In early September 2020, the German newspaper Die Welt quoted an unnamed spokesman, saying that “Deutschland Hilft” (Germany is helping) suspended the membership of Islamic Relief until further notice, after the federation in 2019 collected donations that reached 36 million euros, 2.5 million euros of which went to Islamic Relief.

In April 2020, the German Foreign Ministry cut off one of the organization’s most important sources of income, which is domestic government aid. “The organization no longer receives funding from the German government, whether for a project to support medical care in Syria, or others,” the ministry said to the German news site Youngle World.

The ministry pointed out that the decision to stop funding came after the FBI took over the audit of the relief organization for a whole year. But the ministry refused to publish the results of the review, saying that “disclosure of this information could be detrimental to the interests of the Federal Republic of Germany.”

Islamic Relief: Connections with the Brotherhood under German censorship

The financial aid that Islamic Relief was seeking was not a start to reveal its hidden papers, but rather its suspicious activities. In December 2016, municipal authorities in Berlin reported that Islamic Relief had acted several times as a sponsor of organizations close to the MB. In a memorandum to parliament in April 2019, the German government stated that German Islamic Relief had “close personal relations with the MB or related organizations.”

A German parliamentary document was also issued, dated October 6, 2020, which revealed that Stefan Tome, a member of the Parliamentary Committee of the Free Democratic Party (liberals and at that time opposition), submitted a request to place the organization under the censorship of the Constitutional Protection Authority (internal intelligence). According to the document, a copy of which was seen by Al-Ain News, the request is due to the organization’s personal and institutional affiliation with the terrorist Brotherhood organizations and individuals who represent a major threat to democracy and aim to undermine the political system are usually subject to the oversight of the Constitutional Protection Authority.

“The money of the relief organization in Germany goes to the accounts of the International Relief Organization (based in London) and from there to the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip,” the German media network “Deutsche Welle” quoted Tome last week.

“It is difficult to understand the delay of the Constitutional Protection Authority in imposing oversight on the organization,” Tome considered.

Tome’s statement came a few days after his Free Democratic Party submitted a request for a briefing, which was seen by Al-Ain Al-Akhbarya, asking for clarifications from the government about the measures it had taken against Islamic Relief, after its relationship with the MB was proven.

“The German government confirmed in a memorandum to parliament in April 2019 that Islamic Relief in Germany and International Islamic Relief have strong personal relations with the MB and its close organizations,” the request states.

This pressure came about a month after a union of charitable organizations in Germany decided to suspend all its dealings with the Islamic Relief Organization because of its institutional and personal association with the terrorist MB.

Conclusion

In general, the various reviews and reports have proven that the ability of the MB and Islamic Relief to hide is no longer useful, when some European circles realized the dangers of the groups in creating ideological and religious environments that adopt and support extremist ideas. In addition, an investigation began into their agenda and plans, to bring down their leadership in the political arena. The Brotherhood’s strategy of deceiving people by presenting one of their faces to others has become less fragile in misleading European societies that have realized the nature of this group.

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