Islamic charity’s terrorism denial falls short

December 12, 2014

In response to the UAE’s designation of Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) as a terrorist entity, IRW has denied any link to terrorism.  Unfortunately, the global Islamic charity’s denial doesn’t go nearly far enough to clear the air.  The real follow-up questions to IRW should include:  what policies does the charity have in place, for example, with their Gaza and West Bank programs to vet partner charities on the ground and to conduct background screening on volunteers? What actual steps does IRW take to ensure that joint activities with terrorist groups such as Hamas does not happen, cannot happen, or to minimize the likelihood of it happening?

Any British-based company understands the risks of doing business internationally. They conduct due diligence on prospective clients, business partners, and customers to make sure that they are not violating international sanctions and that their partners doe not expose them to any undue risk for laundering money. But several Islamic charities in Britain have failed to take the same standards to heart. Again, what sort of due diligence is IRW carrying out on their charitable partners, employees, and volunteers?  What type of background screening do they do? What terms are in the contracts of the businesses and partner charities that they work with?

It’s not enough to merely assert that nothing untoward is occuring.  Even basic public relations skills would tell you that some type explanation of the standards IRW has in place would boost donor and regulator confidence.  So far IRW’s explanations have also failed to impress Israel either, which banned IRW from operating in the Palestinian territories earlier this year over concerns that the charity works with Hamas.

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