Posts Tagged ‘Muslim Aid’

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Audit finds charity watchdog unfit for duties

December 10, 2013

The National Audit Office (NAO) has found that the U.K. Charity Commission, the entity responsible for monitoring British nonprofits, is grossly understaffed and is too passive in exposing malfeasance.

The Charity Commission has never done anything to crack down on Interpal and Muslim Aid—two British-based charities that have funded Hamas.  The Charity Commission even went out of its way to discredit the allegations against Muslim Aid.  The NAO’s findings cast the Charity Commission’s defense of such charities in a new and disturbing light.

This is probably one of the biggest stories pertaining to terrorist financing in Britain that has come out in several years.  Scores of Islamic charities have established headquarters in the U.K., and have used favorable reviews by the Charity Commission as part of their fundraising appeals to send money overseas.

This isn’t just a story about regulatory ineptitude:  it reveals a major global avenue for charitable fraud.

From the Daily Mail (h/t to Ultrascan HUMINT) on Dec. 3:

Charity cash could end up in the hands of terrorists: Watchdog ‘failing to tackle abuses’

  • Critical report was compiled by the National Audit Office
  • Reveals the Charity Commission has just two members of staff to monitor voluntary organisations with just 42 probes launched this year
  • Labour MP Margaret Hodge warns commission is not ‘fit for purpose’ and ‘risks undermining public trust’ in charities

By Daniel Martin

3 December 2013

Money given to charity could be diverted to terrorists because a watchdog is not investigating abuses properly, a damning report has warned.

The Charity Commission monitors voluntary organisations over three areas of high risk: fraud, whether they safeguard beneficiaries, and counter-terrorism.

But it now has only two members of staff doing this work and just 42 probes were started last year, compared to 306 a year before the last election, increasing a ‘risk that serious concerns will go undetected’.

In a critical report, the National Audit Office spending watchdog said failings could damage public faith in good causes. The commission needs a ‘radical change of pace and rigour’, it said…

The NAO report also stated:

‘It [the Charity Commission] uses its information poorly to assess risk and often relies solely on trustees’ assurances.

‘Where it does identify concerns in charities, it makes little use of its powers and fails to take tough action in some of the most serious cases.

‘The commission is too passive in pursuing its objectives, letting practical and legal barriers prevent action, rather than considering alternative ways to prevent abuse of charitable status.’

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Dhaka: Muslim charity leader guilty of war crimes

November 11, 2013

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, a trustee of the charity Muslim Aid and a leader within the Muslim community in Britain, has been convicted of war crimes by Bangladesh for murders he committed there as an agent of Pakistani Islamists.

As of print, Muslim Aid has offered no comment on the conviction and sentencing of Mueen-Uddin.  Will they at least suspend him from the board, or is that too much to ask?

From Channel 4 on Nov. 3 (h/t Moinak):

British Muslim leader sentenced to death for war crimes

A prominent British-based Muslim leader has been sentenced to death in his absence at a special war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh.

A special war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh has sentenced to death two Bangladeshis living in Britain for crimes against humanity during the country’s independence war against Pakistan in 1971.

Chowdhury Mueen Uddin, who lives in Britain, and Ashrafuzzaman Khan, who lives in New York, have been found guilty by a three-judge panel of abducting and murdering 18 people, including nine university teachers, six journalists and three physicians.

The two were tried in absentia after they refused to return to Bangladesh to face trial.

East London link

Now resident in the UK, Chowdhury Mueen Uddin helped set up the Muslim Council of Britain and served as the director of Muslim Spiritual Care in the NHS.

He has also served as vice chairman of the East London Musque and London Muslim Centre.

The Home Office is unable to confirm if any extradition request had been made for Uddin.

A 1995 Channel 4 documentary, War Crimes Files, accused Uddin of being being involved in war crimes as a member of the paramilitary force Al-Badr during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War.

Deputy Attorney General MK Rahman said “All of the allegations have been proved in the trial. The tribunal has sentenced to death both the accused on all counts”.

Bangladesh says Pakistani soldiers and collaborators killed 3 million people and raped 200,000 women during the 1971 war.

During the war the two men were members of Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamic party and ally of the country’s main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, headed by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, a rival of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina…

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Muslim Aid trustee charged with war crimes

May 5, 2013

Islamic charity leader indicted for killing 18 intellectuals

Money Jihad has been contacted by Muslim Aid on a couple occasions in the past (see here and here) to insist upon the innocence of their philanthropic endeavors and to disclaim their organization’s membership in the pro-Hamas network of charitable fronts known as the Union of Good.  Will Muslim Aid also claim to be unaware that at least one of their trustees is a war criminal?

From BBC (h/t to Jurist with a special nod to Mahadib who told Money Jihad that Mueen-Uddin could be indicted) on May 2:

UK community leader Mueen-Uddin indicted in Bangladesh

A British community leader has been indicted in Bangladesh for his alleged role in the killing of 18 people during the 1971 liberation war from Pakistan.

Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin strongly denies any role in the murder of 18 intellectuals in December of that year.

He is alleged to have been a member of the Al-Badr group, which identified and killed pro-independence activists.

He is accused with another alleged Al-Badr member, Ashrafuzzaman Khan, a United States citizen.

His lawyers have rejected all the allegations against him. They say that none of the accusations have ever been formally put to him and there has been no attempt to question him.

“The statements made by members of the government of Bangladesh are grossly defamatory to my client, wholly untrue and are refuted in their entirety,” his lawyer Toby Cadman told the BBC.

Mr Cadman’s website carries a detailed rebuttal of all the allegations against Mr Mueen-Uddin.

Holding dual British and Bangladesh citizenship, Mr Mueen-Uddin is a trustee of the UK charity Muslim Aid and played a prominent role in setting up the Muslim Council of Britain.

His website says that he is also the director of Muslim Spiritual Care Provision in the UK’s National Health Service.

State prosecutor Syed Haider Ali told the AFP news agency that he “has been indicted for crimes against humanity and genocide”. He said that Mr Mueen-Uddin fled Bangladesh soon after the end of the war.

Mr Khan, now believed to be living in the US, faces the same charges.

An arrest warrant was issued by the International Crimes Tribunal in Dhaka on Thursday for both men, who are accused of “directly taking part” in the killing of the 18 intellectuals between 10 December 10 and 15 December 1971.

Charges were initially put before the tribunal last month – on Thursday it accepted them and ordered their arrests.

Nobody knows exactly how many people were killed in the 1971 war. Bangladesh says up to three million people died, mostly in massacres by the Pakistan army and their local Islamist allies, the Razakar and Al-Badr forces…

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Muslim NGOs demand “unrestricted” Gaza access

December 2, 2012

Members of terror funding network among those seeking waiver from charitable restrictions

A coalition of Islamic charities in Great Britain is insisting on unfettered access to distribute “humanitarian aid” to Gaza, which is code for the freedom to work with any entity in Gaza, even if it includes Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, PFLP; any other terrorist organization or their affiliated foundations, schools, orphanages, and hospitals; or for that matter, armories, safehouses, munitions depots; or whatever other group or facility these “charities” decide to work with.

The “restrictions,” which are pretty mild and reasonable, on transferring cash to Gaza (or to any overseas location for that matter) are in place for a reason.   Now is not the time for unmonitored, undisclosed, un-taxed financial transactions to Gaza under the guise of “humanitarian aid.”

The Nov. 19 letter from Muslim Charities Forum to foreign minister William Hague is signed by 17 Islamic charities.  Of these, at least three—Human Appeal International, Muslim Hands, and Muslim Aid—have been previously implicated for membership in Yusuf Qaradawi’s Union of Good—a network of charities known to fund Hamas (a charge which Muslim Aid denies).  Other signatories include the Muslim Charities Forum, which is itself an umbrella organization that unites several pro-Hamas charities in Britain; Islamic Relief, whose bank account with UBS was recently closed due to terror finance concerns; and the Ummah Welfare Trust, whose bank account with Barclay’s was closed in 2009 for the same reason.  Quite the group…

The Rt. Hon. William Hague MP
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs
Foreign & Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London, SW1A 2AA

Monday 19 November 2012

Statement of concern regarding escalating conflict in Gaza

Dear Foreign Secretary,

We are writing to you regarding the recent upsurge in violence and military activity in Gaza.

As Muslim-led humanitarian agencies, we are deeply concerned for the safety and well-being of the people of Gaza following the renewed intensification of conflict and violence within the region. Gaza is still in the process of reconstruction following the previous war that ended in January 2009, where 1,400 people were killed, 5,000 injured and 40,000 forced out of their homes. Based upon our experience of supporting those affected by conflict and disasters, we fear that the recent escalation in military action threatens to cause further untold damage and human suffering to the civilian population of Gaza.

Our paramount concern is to ensure that the people affected by this conflict are protected from direct and indirect consequences of the violence, and that those in need have unimpeded access to humanitarian aid and medical services. We therefore urge the British Government to emphasise to all parties involved in the conflict that they comply with their obligations under International Humanitarian Law with respect to safeguarding the lives and dignity of the civilian population. In addition, we stress the need for affected civilian populations in Gaza to have unrestricted access to humanitarian aid as necessary, and to ensure that all humanitarian workers, medical staff and hospitals are protected.

Humanitarian agencies are committed to providing aid and relief to the most vulnerable communities regardless of the operating conditions, striving to prevent and alleviate human suffering and ensure that basic needs are met. The British Government also has a duty to ensure that those affected by conflict are not directly targeted by parties involved and are protected from the impact of fighting.

We hope the British Government can assist humanitarian organisations in providing relief to the civilian population in Gaza caught in the conflict.

Yours faithfully,

The Undersigned

Dr. Hany El-Banna OBE, Chairman, Muslim Charities Forum
Abdul Ahad Miah, UK Country Director, Al-Imdaad Foundation UK
Imam Qasim Ahmed, Chairman, Al Khair Foundation
Khalid Al-Fawaz, Chairman, Al Muntada Al Islami
Abdul Razzaq Sajid, Chairman, Al Mustafa Welfare Trust
Anjum Layla Tahirkheli, CEO, Basic Human Rights
Othman Moqbel, Chief Executive, Human Appeal International
Masood Alam Khan, Chairman, Islamic Help
Jehangir Malik OBE, Director, Islamic Relief UK
Saif Ahmad, CEO, MADE in Europe
Syed Sharfuddin, CEO, Muslim Aid
Sabooh Uddin, CEO, Muslim Charity
Syed Lakthe Hassanain, Chairman, Muslim Hands
Tufail Hussain, CEO, Orphans in Need
Tahir Begg, Chairman, Read Foundation UK
Zahid Parvez, President, UK Islamic Mission
Mohammed Athar, Secretary of Trustees, Ummah Welfare Trust

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Muslim Aid had collection license for terrorists

November 1, 2012

Three Muslims, two of whom previously underwent terror training in Waziristan, knocked on doors in Leicester to collect £13,000—most of which was intended to fund jihad overseas. This evidence has been presented at an ongoing trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

The “Birmingham” men had collection authorization from Muslim Aid, a charity that has previously contacted Money Jihad to deny the organization’s documented ties to the Hamas-funding network of charities known as the Union of Good.

Officials assert that the men were merely “posing” as Muslim Aid workers to “beguile,” “trick,” and “dupe” the public into making donations.  But the evidence shows that Muslim Aid had a license for their collection, although the men continued collecting after its expiration.  Reportedly, the men only turned in to Muslim Aid a portion of what they collected.

Excuse me, but who is really being duped?  Those who believed the men were working at Muslim Aid’s behest, or those who believe they weren’t?

From BBC News on Oct. 23:

Terror trial: ‘Public duped into funding bomb plotters’

Irfan Naseer, Irfan Khalid and Ashik Ali
The general public unwittingly donated thousands of pounds to a group of men planning to carry out suicide attacks in Britain, a court has heard.

Three Birmingham men posed as collectors from a genuine charity – Muslim Aid – and went door-to-door in the city and Leicester, it heard.

But the charity received a fraction of the money, Woolwich Crown Court heard.

Irfan Naseer, 31, Irfan Khalid, 27, and Ashik Ali, 27, deny engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts.

The court heard detectives found notes which suggested they had collected £12,100 but lost £9,149 of it after engaging in foreign currency trading.

Brian Altman QC, prosecuting, said the men wore Muslim Aid T-shirts and tabards to “beguile the public into believing this was legitimate charity collecting, when it wasn’t.

“That money was stolen and… was not intended by the defendants to be used for any other legitimate purpose other than terrorism.”

eBay accounts

On the opening day of the trial the jury was told two of the men had received terror training in Pakistan and the trio planned to set off a series of suicide bombs in an attack which prosecutors said would have dwarfed the 7 July 2005 bombings in London.

Mr Altman said the collections took place after Mr Naseer and Mr Khalid returned from training in the Taliban stronghold of Waziristan, in Pakistan, in July 2011.

Mr Altman said Muslim Aid had had a licence for collecting door-to-door on a day in August 2011 but Mr Ali, Mr Naseer and Mr Khalid illegally collected cash over a longer period without the charity’s knowledge.

A charity collector in Birmingham
Charity collection: The men allegedly tricked local people into handing over funds

Mr Altman said they gave £900 to a madrassa, or religious school, in Bordesley Green, Birmingham, and kept the rest to finance their terror plot.

The jury has already been told that 12 people were arrested in September 2011 and six men had pleaded guilty to preparing for acts of terrorism.

The court has heard that one of the men who had pleaded guilty, Rahin Ahmed, had taken charge of more than £13,000 which had been raised by the group when they posed as legitimate charity workers…

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The world’s 20 biggest Muslim NGOs

March 5, 2012

From a 2011 University of Coopenhagen paper by Marie Juul Petersen entitled “For humanity or for the umma? Ideologies of aid in four transnational Muslim NGOs”:

Sizable Muslim bodies

The author of the paper excluded the well-heeled Aga Khan Foundation because that foundation does not describe itself as a Muslim NGO.  Italicized organizations are closed because of counter-terrorism prosecution.  Budget data comes from 2005 to 2009.

I disagree with some of the amounts and order listed, but overall find this to be a handy, helpful table.

The top organization listed, Islamic Relief, has fallen under increasing disrepute for its work with Hamas and the ties of its leadership to the Muslim Brotherhood.  Several of the other charities listed are no better.

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Muslim Aid distances itself from UoG, MWL

August 2, 2011

Responding to our post last week about a conference of the Muslim World League (the leading sponsor of Wahhabism on earth), a Muslim Aid spokesperson has contacted Money Jihad in an attempt to deny their links to the Union of Good (a pro-Hamas network of charities) and the MWL.  Muslim Aid tells us that it’s all based on a “misunderstanding.”

Muslim Aid’s credibility is questionable, but it is quite interesting and satisfying to see them throw UoG and MWL under the bus so quickly.  From Muslim Aid’s Communications Department through our “Contact us” page on July 26:

Name: Inlia Aziz
Email: inlia@muslimaid.org
Website: http://www.muslimaid.org
Message: Dear Sir/ Madam

I would like to bring your kind attention to the blog “World Muslim League plays host” which was published on your website on 25th July 2011.

I would like to inform you that Muslim Aid has never been a member of the Union of Good. It is based on a misunderstanding. Our regulator, the UK Charity Commission is aware of this unfortunate association which we strongly reject.

I would also like to inform you that our CEO did not attend the conference of the Muslim World League in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. He is currently at Muslim Aid headquarters in London.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries.

Thank you

Kind regards

Inlia Aziz
Communications Department
Muslim Aid | PO Box 3, London E1 1JX | Tel: 020 7377 4200 Fax: 020 7377 4201 | Web: http://www.muslimaid.org

A few final notes.  First, it’s true that the U.K. Charity Commission is “aware,” of Muslim Aid, but it is also true that the Charity Commission has made an international laughingstock of itself for whitewashing Muslim Aid’s financial improprieties.

Second, Inlia Aziz may well be correct that Muslim Aid’s CEO did not attend the conference.  The Saudi Gazette reported that Muslim Aid’s assistant CEO was a participant.  I corrected that portion of my blog post accordingly, and followed up with an email back to Inlia Aziz, also on July 26.  I asked, “Did your organization send anybody to the conference in question?”

As of yet, no response.