November 7, 2011 Islamic Relief Worldwide released its 2010 annual report in October showing an 89 percent increase in zakat donations for the organization’s efforts since 2006, excluding grants and institutional transfers. IRW received £50 million in private, voluntary donations in 2010 plus £14 million from other sources as one of the charts in their report illustrates (Chart from IRW 2010 Annual Report, p. 53) Donations are up despite Islamic Relief Worldwide’s record of assistance to Hamas, cooperation with Union of Good (pro-Hamas) charities, its leadership ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and alleged acceptance of $50,000 from an Osama bin Laden agent in 1999. The findings, along with evidence of double-digit revenue growth for Islamic Relief USA, cast serious doubt on claims of an international chilling effect on Islamic giving and the alleged criminalization of humanitarian engagement by Western counter-terrorism laws.
An earlier post reported that a northern Virginia man is suing a U.S. intelligence agency alleging that it revoked his security clearance because his wife attended the Islamic Saudi Academy and works for Islamic Relief USA.
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.