The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is reporting that its overseas relief branch has visited Southern Europe and Istanbul where it was said to have assessed the needs of Syrian refugees. According to the ICNA report:
NEW YORK, NY (October 29, 2015) – An exploratory team of Helping Hand for Relief and Development USA (HHRD), the overseas relief branch of ICNA concluded a visit to Southern Europe last week to assess the ongoing refugee crisis.
The team joined by ICNA Secretary General Muhammad Tariqur Rahman and led by HHRD Director of International Emergency Relief Irfan Khurshid visited the border region of Macedonia and Greece where 4 to 7,000 refugees are arriving daily where they board trains to Serbia. They also visited Kosovo, Albania, and Turkey, which has taken in half of the 4 million Syrian refugees. There are over 3 million refugees from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries are now in Turkey, Macedonia and other parts of Europe.
‘The arrival of such a large population of refugees is putting an extraordinary strain on the local infrastructure’ said Rahman who along with Khurshid had extensive relief experience in the region during the Kosovo war. ‘With Allah’s Will, we will soon establish a regional office to coordinate its efforts’ said HHRD President Farrukh Raza.
The team also visited Turkish refugee camps at the border with Syria. The camp is run by the government and has good facilities. Despite this, a majority of the refugees live in the Turkish cities. This is now creating enormous employment, housing and other burden on the local infrastructure. ‘Only 20,000 out of 50,000 Syrian children go to school’, said Rahman.
The HHRD team met 20 Syrian NGOs who are working among the refugees. The HHRD team also discussed the situation in a meeting with 15 Turkish NGOs in Istanbul.
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The GMBDW reported in May of this year that ICNA had announced the latest phase of what the organization now calls its “Historic National Billboard Campaign.” We reported in February 2014 on an iCNA billboard campaign that was being being conducted under the auspices of an organization by a different name. We first reported on the ICNA billboard campaign in 2008 and 2009.
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) is a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and considered to be closely tied to the Jamaat-e-Islami organization of Southeast Asia, itself allied with the Global Muslim Brotherhood. ICNA is particularly close to the Muslim American Society and the two organizations have been holding joint conferences in recent years.