Over the past few years, we have written a great deal about U.S. government-funded Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami charities and their ties to terrorism and extremism. Our critics, however, often accuse us of cherry-picking examples and exaggerating the enormity of the issue.
But given the huge amounts of taxpayers' money involved, and the clear ties we have uncovered (including American 501c3s' funding of Hamas, partnerships with the Pakistani terror group behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, among other things), we believe such reporting is vital, and that we are in fact only reporting a small proportion of the problem.
So we will continue to expose Islamist exploitation of the international aid industry. Our latest example also comes from Pakistan, where in 2017 and 2018, taxpayer-funded charities mingled with violent Islamist organizations, under a Turkish regime banner, to denounce the United States and United Kingdom.
The Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (UNIW) is a Turkish charitable organization created in 2005. According to Abha Shankar of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, UNIW was established "with [the regime's] blessing and boasts 340 NGOs from 65 countries, including in the United States. Through a global network of Islamist organizations, UNIW seeks to revive the global Muslim ummah and stand up to the U.S.-led world order. Its stated mission is 'to create an ummah consciousness' among its members and seek unity among Muslim nations 'against to [sic] the western world which want to weaken the Islamic World by their dirty tricks and try to separate it from each other although they are unions among themselves.'"
In 2017, UNIW and its member-bodies hosted a meeting in Islamabad, where it reported they "came together with our members NGOs and other NGOs from Pakistan. We evaluated the cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey and discussed how we can develop this cooperation in different areas."
At the conference, UNIW Secretary General Ali Kurt made the ideological position of UNIW very clear. He explained to UNIW's member bodies, including half a dozen Western Islamist charities, that "Our enemies are always united like UK, EU, USA, but they want us ununited [sic]."
UNIW and its members then visited the Pakistani offices, according to UNIW's own report, of Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD), an American 501c3 linked closely to the violent South Asian Islamist movement Jamaat-e-Islami.
In fact, as Abha Shankhar has previously noted, it seems UNIW has a particularly close relationship with Jamaat-e-Islami. And this 2017 meeting was no exception. The conference was preceded by a UNIW visit to the head offices of both Jamaat-e-Islami's head office and the Al Khidmat Foundation, Jamaat's official charitable arm. Al Khidmat publicly works with Hizbul Mujahedeen, the militant wing of Jamaat-e-Islami and a U.S-designated terrorist group. Al Khidmat also openly finances the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
So who was involved with this 2017 UNIW meeting? Alongside various Qatari, Pakistani and British Islamist charities, participating member-bodies of UNIW also included:
- Islamic Relief – this enormous international aid charity has been designated as a terrorist organization by the UAE and has seen its bank accounts shut down by UBS and HSBC. The German government has openly stated that Islamic Relief has "significant ties" to the Muslim Brotherhood, with a Swedish government report reaching similar conclusions. Islamic Relief's U.S. branch is run by senior Islamist operatives tied to Egypt's leading theocratic movement, the Muslim Brotherhood. One such official, Yusef Abdallah, left the organization after his virulent anti-Semitism was the subject of an international media scandal.
- Helping Hand for Relief and Development (HHRD) – a leading American proxy of Jamaat-e-Islami. In December 2017, HHRD organized a conference in Pakistan with the Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation and the Milli Muslim League, the charitable and political wings of the notorious Pakistani terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba, all of which are designated under U.S. law. HHRD has also partnered at least 214 times with Al Khidmat, which (as mentioned above) partners itself with designated terrorist organization.
The current chairman of HHRD in the U.S, Mohsin Ansari, is an alumnus of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami's branch in Pakistan. Ansari has shared photos of Jamaat-e-Islami rallies in Pakistan at which the crowds wave placards reading: "Death to Israel. Death to America." He also praised Jamaati terrorist operatives convicted for their roles in the 1971 mass killings in Bangladesh, claiming that the "Pakistani nation will remember these heroes for centuries to come."
The U.S. government has granted HHRD's parent organization, ICNA over $10 million of taxpayers' money.
- READ Foundation – this Pakistani charity, which operates offices in the U.K. and U.S, manages 374 schools in the Pakistani-controlled area of the Kashmir region, as well as in other Pakistani rural areas. ICNA and other U.S.-based Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) groups describe READ as their "partner." READ's "sister organizations" include the Al Khidmat Foundation and the Ghazali Education Trust, two terror-linked Jamaat-e-Islami organizations. READ schools have posted material in support of Islamist terror and which denounce "American Secular Terrorists . . . dirty people."
The U.S. government has granted the READ Foundation over $2 million of taxpayers' money.
- Muslim Aid – a British charity tied to Jamaat-e-Islami, with offices in Pakistan and the United States. In 2010, three years before the U.S. government handed over taxpayers' money to the charity, Muslim Aid admitted to funding organizations controlled by the terrorist organization Hamas, including a grant of over $18,000 to the al-Ihsan Charitable Society — which is designated by the U.S. government. In 2013, a U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal sentenced to death in absentia the founder of Muslim Aid, Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, for his part in the mass murder of teachers and intellectuals by Jamaat-e-Islami killing squads during Bangladesh's 1971 Liberation War.
Were these American, taxpayer-funded charities horrified to find themselves meeting with violent Islamist organizations? Were they alarmed by UNIW's reference to the U.K. and U.S. as their "enemies"?
Evidently not: the same charities, the Turkish regime and Jamaat-e-Islami were happy to repeat the conference again just a year later.