An Arab business publication has reported that a well-known Saudi prince has made numerous financial contributions to a pan-Islamic interfaith dialog organization that is closely tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood. According to the report:
HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Foundation (KF), has contributed SR 704,000 two International Islamic Forum for Dialogue (IIFD) programs.The first contribution amounting to SR290,625 was for to the dialogue between the IIFD and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) and the second program was the Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee amounting SR413,700. The Prince’s donation came in response to a request from the President of the IIFD and Assistant Secretary General of the World Muslim Congress, Prof. Dr. Hamid bin Ahmad Al-Rifaie. The IIFD which is part of the International Islamic Council consists of more than one hundred Islamic organizations that includes Alazhar, Muslim World League, World Assembly of Muslim Youth, the Union of Islamic Organizations in Europe, the Union of Islamic Organizations in the United States of America, and the ministries of Islamic Affairs in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt, Kuwait, UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, Dar El-Fatwa in Lebanon and the Algerian Alliance of Civilizations Forum and others. As an avid supporter of peace all over the world, Prince Alwaleed has also donated SR825,000 to the IIFD in 2004 and SR1,169,530 in 2006 which contributed in the success of various dialogue programs that are also part of the forum which included Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) in the Vatican, the dialogue with the Institute for Middle East Peace and Development (MEPD) in New York, the dialogue with the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) in Beirut. In 2004, HRH contributed US75,000 to the IIFD for the their website development. HRH’s contributions to the IIFD extend from Prince Alwaleed’s belief in the importance of dialogue and the exchange of opinions. Moreover, HRH assured in many occasions that discussions and exchanging opinions through dialogue represents the Islamic and Arabic civilization.
The “Union of Islamic Organizations in Europe” is likely the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE), the umbrella group representing the global Muslim Brotherhood in Europe. the Muslim World League and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) are Saudi religious organizations that are also important components of the global Brotherhood. While there is no known organization operating as the “Union of Islamic Organizations in the United States of America”; Nihad Awad, a leader of the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is listed on the IIFD website as the manager of the IIFD office in the U.S.
The IIFD is headquartered in Cairo and describes itself as an Islamic “coordinate foundation” including more than one hundred Islamic NGO’s and NGO’s all over the world. The Catholic Liaison Committee (ICLC) is an organization formed in 1995 under the auspices of the IIFD and held numerous meetings with the 12th and last reported meeting held in Brussels in June 2006. FIOE officers appeared to have attended many if not all of the meetings. The President of the IIFD is Hamid Bin Ahmad Al- Rifaie who is also the Assistant-Secretary General of the Muslim World Congress. A statement by Dr. Al-Rifaie on the IIFD website indicates that the organization is not prepared to engage in dialog with the Jewish community:
We are prepared to conduct dialogue in every legitimat issue aimed at achieving the best for a safe and just human co-exitence with any party among them who shows commitment to the methods, values and standards of dialogue. This excludes those among them who resent the values of dialogue, and of course, such is the habit of most Jews, who insist today on pursuing the policies of conflict, violation of man’s dignity and suppression of his rights and factors o-f his existence in order to achieve the vagaries and ambitions of international Zionism.
Previous posts have discussed Prince Alwaleed bin Talal ‘s other contributions to global Muslim Brotherhood organizations and causes including to a scholarship program run by the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and a grant to the Georgetown University Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (CCMU), run by long-time Muslim Brotherhood supporter Dr. John Esposito.