Islamic Relief Worldwide & Islamic Relief USASeptember 7, 2011
The Obama administration’s Department of Agriculture has gotten in a bit of trouble lately for touting its relationship with Islamic Relief USA. IR-USA is the biggest Islamic charity in the U.S., and defenders of the USDA policy will no doubt point to IR-USA’s four-star charity rating and its shining reputation as one of America’s best Muslim nonprofit organizations.
But unpleasant information has been coming out lately about both IR-USA* and its parent organization, the U.K.-based Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW). Today, Money Jihad highlights the cash flow and financial closeness between the supposedly separate IR-USA and IRW organizations.
IRW has always been troublesome because of 1) its cooperation with Union of Good (pro-Hamas) charities, 2) the ties of its leaders to the Muslim Brotherhood; as the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report recently noted:
Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) is headquartered in the U.K. where one it’s trustees listed in U.K. charity records is Ibrahim El-Zayat, a leader in both the European and the German Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. El-Zayat is also a trustee of the U.K. branch of Islamic Relief. Islamic Relief Worldwide is also listed as a company in the U.K where records indicate that Dr. Ahmed Al-Rawi, the former head of the Federation of islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) and President of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) has been a director at one time. Both FIOE and the MAB are part of the U.K. and European Muslim Brotherhood. Another former director of the company Islamic Relief Worldwide is Issam Al-Bashir who, as previous posts have discussed, is a former Minister of Religious Affairs in the Sudan and who has held numerous positions associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. In a number of European countries, the local branch of Islamic Relief is also tied to the local Muslim Brotherhood organization.
3) Pamela Geller recently alleged more concrete nefarious activity by IRW:
- “IRW received $50,000 from a front for Osama bin Laden in 1999, and has given millions to the jihadists in Chechnya.”
- “IRW official Iyaz Ali has admitted to aiding Hamas while serving as project coordinator at IRW’s Gaza branch in late 2005 and early 2006.”
- “The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs also noted: ‘The IRW provides support and assistance to Hamas’ infrastructure.’”
But what is the precise legal and financial relationship between IRW and IR-USA? IRW itself calls IR-USA a “fundraising partner” in a map they created to show their global reach:
IR-USA, obviously aware of the questionable status of IRW, goes out of its way on its website to describe itself as one of IRW’s “legally separate and independent affiliates (also referred to as ‘partner offices’).”
Nevertheless, IR-USA also applauds IRW as “the catalyst, coordinator and implementer of the Islamic Relief family’s relief and development projects around the globe”:
However, as we have noted before, Islamic Relief USA is one of Islamic Relief Worldwide’s largest non-governmental donors. IR-USA gave $9.4 million to IRW in 2009, $5.9 million in 2008, and $4.8 million in 2007.
IR-USA can use lawyer-speak to prove that they’re legally separate entities, but money talks. IR-USA wouldn’t simply give $20 million over a three-year period to an organization that it wasn’t close to.
* A high-ranking Department of Justice official recently impugned Islamic Relief USA as a conduit for terrorist funds.
Additionally, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report writes:
The IRUSA website identifies Dr. Yaser Haddara as a member of the IRUSA board since 2006 and its chairman until May 2011. According to his profile, Dr. Haddra has been active in the Muslim Society of America (MAS), the Islamic Society of North America, and the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). Previous posts have discussed the relationship between Islamic Relief USA and the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, an Islamic charter school with strong connections to the Muslim American Society (MAS). The MAS was established in 1993 by leaders of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and a Hudson Institute report has discussed the relationship of the MAS to both the Egyptian and U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The same Hudson report also identifies ISNA as an important part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Other posts have explored the Muslim Brotherhood ties of the MAC.