PHILADELPHIA – June 20, 2018 – A new Middle East Forum report reveals that Islamic Relief, a "charity" supported by European and American governments, finances Hamas front organizations.
Founded in 1984 in Birmingham, England, Islamic Relief, with branches in over 20 countries, is the largest Islamic charity in the West. It has received at least $80 million over the past ten years from Western governments and international bodies, including the United Nations. It received more than $700,000 from U.S. taxpayers during the past two years. Its officials are members of government advisory panels, while Western cabinet ministers, Eurpoean royalty, and Trump administration officials speak at its events.
Islamic Relief is, however, banned in both Israel and the United Arab Emirates because of links to terror. The MEF report, Islamic Relief: Charity, Extremism and Terror, confirms its ties to extremism in the West and to terrorism-linked groups in the Middle East.
The report details that:
- Islamic Relief branches work closely with violent Islamist organizations in the Middle East. In Gaza, it donates large sums to the Gaza Zakat Committee, an organization operating under Hamas control. In Yemen, it takes money from the Charitable Society for Social Welfare, founded by Al-Qaeda leader Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani
- Many Islamic Relief branches are run by officials from hardline Islamist networks.
- Islamic Relief is the principal financial institution of the Muslim Brotherhood.
- Egyptian prosecutors accused Islamic Relief co-founder Essam El-Haddad of "financing terrorism by using global charities such as Islamic Relief."
- Islamic Relief USA Chairman Khaled Lamada praised jihad by the Mujahidin of Egypt for "causing the Jews many defeats."
- Yousef Abdallah, a senior Islamic Relief official, has referred to Jews as "stinking" and has promoted stories glorifying the murder of Jews.
- Islamic Relief events have hosted such speakers as Abdullah Hakim Quick, who claims that the Islamic position on homosexuality is "death"; Haitham Al-Haddad, who describes Jews as "pigs and apes"; and Abdul Nasir Jangda, who defends sex slavery and advocates killing apostates.
U.S. officials are already looking into Islamic Relief's links to extremism and terror. The Office for Personal Management responded in January 2018 to a Freedom of Information Act for documents mentioning Islamic Relief with the statement that it is "withholding the records ... as they were compiled for law enforcement purposes and their disclosure could reasonably be expected to interfere with ongoing enforcement proceedings."
Sam Westrop, director of MEF's Islamist Watch project and principal author of the report on Islamic Relief, notes: "Moderate Muslims have long warned that Islamic Relief is dangerous. Public officials must stop funneling monies to this group. Plenty of Muslim charities do good works; they deserve taxpayer support."
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