Saudi IIRO Plans International Image Campaign


Arab News has reported on a meeting of the General Assembly of the Saudi International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) which discussed plans by the organization to enhance its international reputation. According to the report:

The International Islamic Relief Organization Saudi Arabia (IIROSA) is making strenuous efforts to be among the world’s top three relief agencies by extending the best possible services to refugees, orphans, the downtrodden and victims of natural and man-made calamities all over the world, said Adnan Khalil Basha, its secretary-general. Speaking to Arab News following a meeting of the IIROSA’s General Assembly in Jeddah on Thursday, Basha highlighted his organization’s efforts to achieve international recognition. “We will go ahead with our various humanitarian programs for the benefit and welfare of people around the globe with the support of the Almighty despite the challenges and obstacles we face,” he said. Abdullah Al-Turki, secretary-general of the Muslim World League, who presided over the function, said Saudi Arabia has been at the forefront of nations in providing assistance to the poor and extending relief to victims of natural catastrophes. He thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Crown Prince Sultan, second deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, for their continuous support of IIROSA. “Saudi Arabia is involved in such humanitarian activities inspired by the teachings of Islam, which is a religion of mercy and benevolence,” Al-Turki told the meeting, which was attended by prominent Saudi businessmen and other dignitaries from within the Kingdom and abroad.

Following a discussion of IIRO activities inside the Kingdom, the Arab news report goes on to discuss IIRO’s “new strategy” to improve its “international image”:

He said IIROSA’s general assembly is expanded every year including prominent and influential personalities in the Islamic world to receive their support and advice. “We would like to have partnership with more UN agencies and international organizations to benefit from their experience. This will give us an opportunity to learn from them. They can also learn from us and this interaction will help us become more professional in our mission,” he said. Speaking about IIROSA’s efforts to strengthen its international reputation, Basha said: “We have given top priority to transparency and accountability and qualitative services. We are ready to establish partnership with organizations that are well-established in the field. We have already joined hands with WHO, UNRWA, UNHCR and other leading international organizations.” The IIROSA chief described the general assembly meeting as successful. “It was a transparent meeting that has taken some important decisions in order to take the organization to new heights,” he said. “We wanted to be very efficient, especially when we are confronted with obstacles here and there. We will go ahead with our projects and will not stop in front of obstacles.” He referred to IIROSA’s new strategy. “We have appointed a counselor for two important projects; one to improve our international image; and second to establish a training center, which will play a big role in capacity building and cover engineering and mathematics.” Basha said IIROSA was doing its best with its limited resources.  He disclosed plans to establish six endowment towers in Makkah at a cost of SR500 million to receive an annual return of SR50 million, which will cover at least one third of its budget.

A likely player in the IIRO relationship with the UN is Mr. Malik Sardar Khan who describes himself in his resume as a member of the Muslim World Congress (MWC) since 1978 and Councillor for the U.S. and Main Representative of the MWC to the United Nations since 1988. As discussed in an earlier post, Mr. Khan is also the Registered Agent for the new US office of the IIRO, registered at a shopping mall in Northern Miami, Florida likely owned by Mr. Khan. Mr. Khan is also associated with the International Islamic Council for Da’wa and Relief (IICDR), many of whose affiliated organizations are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas fundraising, or support for Al Qaeda. IIRO is also affiliated with the IICDR.

IIRO is an affiliate of the Muslim World League (MWL) which was established in 1962 as a means for the propagation of Saudi “Wahabbi” Islam. Muslim Brothers played an important role in its founding and, to date, the League has been strongly with the Brotherhood. The MWL, together with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), are Saudi organizations believed by U.S. government officials to have helped to spread Islamic extremism around the world as well as sponsoring terrorism in places such as Bosnia, Israel, and India. In 2006, the U.S. Treasury Department designated the Philippine and Indonesian branch offices of the IIRO as well as one of its executives in connection with fundraising for al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliates. Previous posts have discussed the history of the IIRO in the US and its ties to the US Muslim Brotherhood as well as the recent registration of its new US office in Florida.

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