The White House blog has announced that Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) has a “collaborative partnership” with the USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and that IRUSA has pledged to host 50 sites as part of a Michelle Obama initiative. According to the announcement:
August 10, 2011 at 10:24 AM EDT Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), a faith-based disaster relief and development organization, celebrated the inauguration of its Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) with a ribbon cutting on Thursday, July 21, at An Nur School in Lanham, Maryland. The ceremony also marked the IRUSA’s support of Let’s Move Faith and Communities, First Lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to engage faith-based and secular non-profit organizations in feeding kids over the summer when school is out. The First Lady has challenged faith and community leaders to host 1,000 new SFSP sites, where kids gather to eat a healthy breakfast or lunch. IRUSA has pledged to host 50 new sites this summer. The ribbon cutting ceremony marked the opening of An Nur School’s summer feeding program as well as 30 other new SFSP sites supported by IRUSA! The IRUSA ceremony highlighted its collaborative partnership with USDA’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. “We’re proud to join USDA and members of the faith-based community to help make sure children in our neighborhoods don’t go hungry in the summer,” said Abed Ayoub, IRUSA’s CEO. IRUSA’s mission is to alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy, and disease regardless of color, race, gender, or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner.
The IRUSA website identifies Dr. Yaser Haddara as a member of the IRUSA board since 2006 and its chairman until May 2011. According to his profile, Dr. Haddra has been active in the Muslim Society of America (MAS), the Islamic Society of North America, and the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC). Previous posts have discussed the relationship between Islamic Relief USA and the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy, an Islamic charter school with strong connections to the Muslim American Society (MAS). The MAS was established in 1993 by leaders of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and a Hudson Institute report has discussed the relationship of the MAS to both the Egyptian and U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The same Hudson report also identifies ISNA as an important part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. Other posts have explored the Muslim Brotherhood ties of the MAC.
Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) is headquartered in the U.K. where one it’s trustees listed in U.K. charity records is Ibrahim El-Zayat, a leader in both the European and the German Muslim Brotherhood. Mr. El-Zayat is also a trustee of the U.K. branch of Islamic Relief. Islamic Relief Worldwide is also listed as a company in the U.K where records indicate that Dr. Ahmed Al-Rawi, the former head of the Federation of islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) and President of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) has been a director at one time. Both FIOE and the MAB are part of the U.K. and European Muslim Brotherhood. Another former director of the company Islamic Relief Worldwide is Issam Al-Bashir who, as previous posts have discussed, is a former Minister of Religious Affairs in the Sudan and who has held numerous positions associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood. In a number of European countries, the local branch of Islamic Relief is also tied to the local Muslim Brotherhood organization.
In May 2006, the Israeli government announced the arrest of an IRW worker for activities related to supporting Hamas and said that IRW activities in the Palestinian territories ” are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives”:
The Israel Security Agency (ISA) and the Israel Police, on 10 May 2006, arrested Iyaz Ali, a Pakistani-born British national, born in 1970. He admitted to being a member of the UK-based Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), which is suspected of supporting Hamas. He admitted to working for IRW’s Gaza branch as a project director since December 2005; he worked to transfer funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organizations, including the Al Wafa and Al Tzalah associations, which have been outlawed in Israel. He also admitted that he worked in Jordan and cooperated with local Hamas operatives. Incriminating files were found on Ali’s computer, including documents that attested to the organization’s ties with illegal Hamas funds abroad (in the UK and in Saudi Arabia) and in Nablus. Also found were photographs of swastikas superimposed on IDF symbols, of senior Nazi German officials, of Osama Bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as well as many photographs of Hamas military activities. The IRW was established in 1984 in the British city of Birmingham. It has branches in Gaza and Ramallah. The IRW provides support and assistance to Hamas’s infrastructure. The IRW’s activities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip are carried out by social welfare organizations controlled and staffed by Hamas operatives. The intensive activities of these associations are designed to further Hamas’s ideology among the Palestinian population. These associations’ educational and religious institutions incite against the State of Israel and advocate terrorist actions against it and its citizens. The associations provide support to the families of terrorists who were wounded in actions against Israel, and to Hamas prisoners and detainees. These associations thus promote Hamas’s goals including the destruction of the State of Israel. Ali admitted that he was aware that several of the organizations supported by the IRW in Judea, Samaria and Gaza were indeed identified with Hamas. By agreement, Ali was released today (Monday), 29 May 2006, with restrictions on his movements. He will be deported from Israel in the coming days and will be barred from returning.
It should be noted that according to a NEFA Foundation report, Islamic Relief was one of the founding members of the Union of Good, described as a “coalition of Islamic charities that provides financial support to both the Hamas ‘social’ infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities.” The Union of Good is headed by global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi and most of the trustees and member organizations are associated with the global Muslim Brotherhood.