Posts Tagged ‘Zakat Foundation’

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Leipzig court confirms IHH funded Hamas

April 29, 2012

A federal court has upheld Germany’s ban on the Turkey’s IHH, a major international Islamic charity, on the grounds that it funds Hamas.  It’s just further evidence that IHH complies with Islamic law by taking a portion of the zakat it receives from its donors and funnels it into jihad.

From the Jerusalem Post, h/t Tundra Tabloids:

German court affirms Turkish IHH ban because of Hamas ties

Leipzig’s Federal Administrative Court finds that Frankfurt-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief donated money to terror group

BERLIN – A federal court in Germany upheld the Interior Ministry’s ban on the Frankfurt-based Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) because the Turkish NGO contributed funds to Hamas.

Hamas is recognized by the European Union, Israel and the United States as a “terrorist organization” and Leipzig’s Federal Administrative Court found that the IHH donated money to the group.

The NGO challenged the decision of Germany’s former interior minister Thomas de Maizieres, who outlawed the IHH in July 2010. He said at the time that the IHH “fights against Israel’s right to exist.” Maizieres added that “organizations that operate from German soil, directly or indirectly, with the aim of fighting Israel’s right to exist, have forfeited their right to freedom of association.”

The IHH helped sponsor the 2010 flotilla, a convey that sought to break Israel’s naval blockade on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara was intercepted by Israeli naval commandos, which resulted in the deaths of eight Turkish and one Turkish-American activists, and injuries to Israeli sailors.

According to the Federal Administrative Court ruling, “the IHH sent a significant amount of collected money over a long period of time to the Islamic Society and the Salam Society for Relief and Development. These social organizations, which are active in the Gaza Strip, are, according to the Federal Interior Ministry, part of the overall structure of Hamas.”  The court concluded that Hamas engages in “terroristic actions and violence” against both Israelis and Palestinians.

Reinhard Marx, the attorney representing IHH, told the daily Tagesspiegel on Thursday that the “decision sends a catastrophic decision signal to the Muslim community” because it denounces charity as support for terrorism. Marx, a Frankfurt- based attorney who specializes in international law affecting foreigners, claimed that the IHH has provided support for 3,200 Palestinian orphans in 2009 since Israel’s Cast Lead offensive in Gaza sought to stop Hamas rocket attacks.

The German court viewed IHH’s “social engagement” as a way to enable Hamas to recruit activists, who would function as terrorists, and strengthen its organizational and political legitimacy in Gaza.

While the ruling focused on IHH’s ties to Hamas, IHH has also begun working with al-Shabaab in East Africa, and IHH claims to have spread its operations throughout 95 countries.  The court decision should serve as a wake-up call to civilized nations that IHH is not an organization to be partnered with.

Islamic charities in the U.S. and Europe should immediately cease any cooperation or joint projects that they may have ongoing with IHH.  The Illinois-based Zakat Foundation has reportedly passed funds through another foundation to IHH in the past.  If the Zakat Foundation or any other Western charity continues working with IHH despite the evidence presented in the German case, that means they are knowingly working with an entity that funds Hamas—-a terrorist group dedicated to the destruction of Israel.

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Four-star Islamic charity downgraded by nation’s leading charitable evaluator

February 27, 2012

Charity Navigator has lowered its overall rating of the Zakat Foundation.  The historically four-star rated Islamic non-profit organization received its first three-star rating late last year, which was reaffirmed by Charity Navigator’s second overall three-star rating of the Zakat Foundation on Feb. 1, 2012.

Historical ratings from Charity Navigator

Last fall, the Zakat Foundation—one of the five largest Islamic charities in America—received a two-star rating on accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator.  Deficiencies included the lack of a written policy by the Zakat Foundation against conflicts of interest.  Money Jihad believes this is an intentional decision by the Zakat Foundation because executive director Khalil Demir probably has his wife on the foundation’s payroll.

The Zakat Foundation also received low marks from Charity Navigator for not recording the minutes of board meetings, for its records retention policy, for its process of determining Khalil Demir’s salary, and a lack of accessible audited financials on its website.  Charity Navigator found that the Zakat Foundation has made a few improvements to its website since last fall, and has slightly increased its transparency rating, but still scores three stars overall.  Without any federal agency overseeing U.S. nonprofits, Charity Navigator is widely regarded as the nation’s top charitable evaluator.

Charity Navigator's low marks for transparency at the Zakat Foundation

Previously, Money Jihad uncovered the Zakat Foundation’s 2010 work with Muslim Hands, a British-based charity accused by Israel of funding Hamas.  FrontPage Magazine has alleged that the Zakat Foundation sponsored a grant to IHH, another “Union of Good” pro-Hamas charity.

A Zappos customer recently reported to Money Jihad that the Zakat Foundation was the beneficiary of $1,300 that was taken from his bank account without his authorization.  The pilfered money was “refunded” after an arduous process described by the Zappos customer.

The downgrading by Charity Navigator is just the latest black mark against the Zakat Foundation, which as recently as Jan. 2010 was hailed by Hillary Clinton’s State Department as a valued partner in disaster relief overseas.

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Scam victim says Zakat Foundation took $1,300

February 6, 2012

Money Jihad has been contacted by a consumer who says his bank information was compromised, and that $1,300 was transferred out of his account to the Illinois-based Zakat Foundation without his consent in the wake of the Jan. 15 Zappos security breach.

Our tipster says that the Zakat Foundation has finally “refunded” his $1,300 after a lengthy slog, but he was still concerned about how many other people may have been affected and for what purpose the transactions were made.  Money Jihad is unable to verify the allegation against the Zakat Foundation independently, but details provided privately by the consumer about his experience are consistent with aspects of the Zakat Foundation that are unknown to the general public.

The Zakat Foundation is one of the nation’s five largest Islamic charities.  Its tax filings with the IRS indicate that its largest program expenditures overseas are in sub-Saharan Africa, where the Zakat Foundation says it is actively involved in relief camps, food distribution, and digging wells in the Horn of Africa.

Previously, Money Jihad has documented the Zakat Foundation’s cooperation with the British-based Muslim Hands, an organization identified by Israel as a member of the Union of Good network of charities that supports Hamas.  The U.S. Treasury Department has designated the Union of Good as a Hamas-funding entity.

If you have been a victim of online fraud that has resulted in an unauthorized payment to the Zakat Foundation or to any other entity, you should pursue an immediate refund through your credit card company or bank.  Charities are regulated by states, so you should also promptly file a complaint with your state’s charitable regulator (which in the case of the Zakat Foundation is the Illinois attorney general).  Alerting law enforcement may be necessary depending on the circumstances.

In this modern Internet era, you should also go public with your complaint so that fellow web users are aware of which entities are benefiting from online security breaches.  Get the word out and spare other citizens the heartache!

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More question marks for the Zakat Foundation

July 29, 2011

FrontPage Magazine has posted a somewhat unevenly researched (and unfortunately, not the best written) article on the connections of the Zakat Foundation.  I am excluding the portions of the text that I cannot substantiate through my own research or by following the hyperlinks included in the orginal article.  What remains is the Zakat Foundation’s financial role in the anti-Israel flotilla escapades:

…[T]here is the question of how the Zakat Foundation distributes its funds. The Caipirinha Foundation, the  charitable organization created by anti-Israel documentarian Iara Lee and her billionaire husband George Gund III, utilized Zakat as a  fiscal sponsor for a grant to the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief (IHH). The IHH is part  of the “Union of Good,” an umbrella coalition of Hamas-affiliated organizations led by Qaradawi. The Foundation supports the IHH’s efforts to disrupt Israel’s self-defense, describing last year’s controversial flotilla as a “heroic effort.”

It might have benefited the author to take a look at Money Jihad’s article on the Zakat Foundation here, which exposed with visual evidence the ties between the Zakat Foundation and a charity that funds Hamas.

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U.S. Muslim charities gain foothold in Libya

May 2, 2011

At least four major Islamic charities based in the U.S. are operating or sponsoring relief efforts in Libya.  If these groups can truly assist refugees, that is commendable; but the origins, leadership, and troublesome links of these charities do not inspire trust and confidence in their operations.

  1. Islamic Relief USA will provide relief to displaced Libyans fleeing the country.  The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report says that Islamic Relief USA has a close relationship with an Islamic charter school tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.  Islamic Relief Worldwide was involved with the founding of the pro-Hamas Union of Good charity network.  Recently, a Department of Justice official revealed that Islamic Relief has become a successor to the defunct Holy Land Foundation in terms of funding Hamas.
  2. The Zakat Foundation already operates a camp for 200 refugee families passing through from Libya to Tunisia.  The Zakat Foundation currently features an article written by a Chicago-area nurse about her experiences volunteering in Libya, and a link to a WBEZ radio interview with the nurse.  The nurse’s name is Donna Neil Demir, and WBEZ describes her as a “medical consultant” for the Zakat Foundation.  Donna has the same last name as Khalil Demir, the executive director of the Zakat Foundation.  Khalil Demir was caught on videotape and exposed by Money Jihad for working with Muslim Hands, a pro-Hamas Muslim U.K. charity, during relief operations in Haiti.  Khalil’s name is also sometimes spelled Halil.  Real estate records indicate that Halil I. Demir and Donna Neil Demir purchased a house together in Oakland Park, Illinois, for $355,000.  It is not unusual for Muslim charity directors to hire their own relatives and put them on the payroll.
  3. LIFE for Relief and Development has deployed a “caravan” to rebel stronghold Benghazi and is soliciting donations of $1,000 or “other amount.”  Before meeting the end of the hangman’s noose, LIFE was Saddam Hussein’s favorite American charity.
  4. Mercy USA says it is seeking donations to help them sponsor doctors working in Libya.  Mercy USA is chaired by Iman Elkadi (also spelled al-Qadi), the daughter of a founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the widow of a founder of the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Muslim Students Association.  The current CEO and president of Mercy USA, Umar al-Qadi, is a possible relative of Iman and another example of Islamic charity nepotism.

We’ll see if the State Department publishes a press release trumpeting the Islamic charities’ work the way State did with Haiti.

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Zakat Foundation & Muslim Hands unite

August 27, 2010

The Zakat Foundation touts itself as a transparent, four-star Islamic charity about whom Charity Navigator stated, “The Zakat Foundation has demonstrated exceptional financial health, outperforming most of its peers in its efforts to manage and grow its finances in the most fiscally responsible way possible.”  The Chicago Tribune recommended it as an organization that readers could make donations to for Haiti earthquake relief in January.  And Hillary Clinton’s State Department bragged about the Zakat Foundation’s efforts in its servile America.gov coverage of Muslim American charity in Haiti.

It’s the kind of organization that you would donate zakat to this Ramadan.  An organization that would never sully itself by consorting with nefarious pro-Hamas charities of Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s Union of Good charity network, right?

Wrong.

In a Zakat Foundation video from January, the foundation’s national director, Khalil Demir, is seen in the Dominican Republic consulting with Muslim Hands official Abdul Latif about how to get aid to Muslim Haitian earthquake victims.  Muslim Hands is a member of the Union of Good meaning they fund Hamas.  Notice the Muslim Hands t-shirt:

Khalil Demir and Abdul Latif

Zakat Foundation's Khalil Demir (left) with Muslim Hands official (right)

 A separate YouTube video confirms the identity of the Muslim Hands official as Abdul Latif (wearing the same t-shirt): Read the rest of this entry ?