Arab media has reported further on the financial difficulties reported by leaders of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) who said that the organization had downsized its operations in Western countries. According to a report in the Arab news:
RIYADH: The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), a major Islamic charity of Saudi Arabia, has downsized its operation in the US, Canada and in many other Western countries because of the stringent restrictions imposed by the respective governments on the fundings of Islamic aid organizations. The WAMY, an UN-recognized NGO, had a “symbolic presence in the US, while it has closed its offices in Canada,” according to Saleh Al-Wohaibi, WAMY’s secretary-general. Al-Wohaibi, however, said that the WAMY values its partnership with the US and will continue to work with the community stakeholders in that country. The WAMY chief was speaking during the charity’s annual dialogue and iftar party, attended by about 500 guests including 51 ambassadors and diplomats as well as businessmen and donors. Johannes Wimmer, Austrian ambassador, and Syed Omar Al-Saggaf, Malaysian ambassador, were keynote speakers. On behalf of the businessmen, Yousef Al-Yousef, a leading Saudi businessman, addressed the audience. Referring to the problems faced by WAMY, especially the financial constraints, he said that it was becoming increasingly difficult to meet the operational costs of 26 offices in Saudi Arabia and 38 WAMY chapters across the globe. “Our office in Washington is currently manned by only three aid workers,” said Al-Wohaibi, adding that the Islamic workers associated with WAMY’s Washington chapter were laid off in a staggered schedule after the 9/11. “The workers there in the US,” he said “seems to be terrified even today.” Asked about the absence of US diplomats from the WAMY’s function, he said, “WAMY invited the US embassy officials, but there was no response … maybe because of security reasons.” “I am planning to visit the US embassy after Eid Al-Fitr holidays to renew my contacts with them and to discuss if there is any misunderstanding,” said the WAMY chief. Al-Wohaibi pointed out that WAMY had 39,000 orphans under its sponsorship program across the world. This is in addition to 2,800 scholarships granted by WAMY for poor meritorious students in several countries. He said that the charities today needed more international support. “We, the humanitarian organizations, are mainly concerned with human suffering resulting from poverty and disasters,” said the WAMY chief. In cases of displacement of millions of people as in the case of Pakistan now, the need for relief work becomes more pressing, he added.
A previous post reported on concerns expressed by the WAMY leader over what was described as a “steep shortfall” in the organization’s budget.
Muslim Brothers were instrumental in the founding of WAMY and the organization continues to enjoy close relations with the global Muslim Brotherhood. U.S. government agencies and officials have argued that WAMY has helped spread Islamic extremism around the world as well as sponsoring terrorism in places such as Bosnia, Israel, and India. Numerous previous posts have discussed WAMY’s activities throughout the world.