Islamic Relief Awarded £398,000 By Scottish Government Despite Recent Bank Account Closure


U.K. media is reporting that Islamic Relief Worldwide was  given £398,000 last year by the Scottish government despite the recent closure of a bank account held by the organization. According to a Daily Express report:

‘February 25, 2013 Islamic Relief Worldwide was given £398,000 last year as part of the Scottish Government’s £9million International Development Fund. But concerns have been raised after it emerged that a bank recently closed an account held by IRW and blocked all transactions because of regulations to prevent funds reaching rogue states. It was also revealed that a project director with IRW in Gaza was deported by Israel in 2006 for allegedly providing ‘funds and assistance to various Hamas institutions and organisations’. Politicians must ensure that the necessary checks are made into an outside organisation’s legitimacy whenever handing them taxpayers’ money. Jonathan Isaby, of Taxpayer Scotland It has raised serious questions over whether the ‘necessary checks’ are being made on organisations funded by Scotland’s controversial foreign aid scheme, which has cost taxpayers more than £33million since the SNP came to power in 2007. London-based IRW was named among last year’s beneficiaries of the Scottish Government’s International Development Fund in a list revealed by SNP External Affairs minister Humza Yousaf last week. But it emerged that just four months ago, UBS bank closed an account held by IRW under counter-terrorism rules. Previously, the charity had sparked controversy after a senior staff member was arrested in Israel and deported over alleged links to terrorist group Hamas. In 2006, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Iyaz Ali, a Pakistani-born British national, was caught with ‘documents that attested to the organisation’s ties with illegal Hamas funds abroad’. The Ministry said ‘

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Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) is headquartered in the U.K. and its chairman of the board is Essam El-Haddad who was recently appointed as one of four Egyptian Presidential assistants with responsibility for foreign relations and international cooperation. Dr. El-Haddad is a U.K-trained physician and long-time Muslim Brotherhood member who was appointed to the Guidance Bureau in February 2012, later becoming responsible for Foreign Relations on behalf of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. A post from earlier this month reported that Dr. El-Haddad was one of two of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s closest advisors that are employed by a Mideast consulting firm with U.S. owners. Another IRW  trustees 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.'” It should also 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.

A post from November 2012 reported that Islamic Relief had recently had its bank account close by UBS in connection with counter-terrorism concerns. It was not clear from that report whether the closure applied to the Islamic Relief Worldwide and/or its U.K. subsidiary:

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