Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) is headquartered in the UK where until recently, it’s chairman of the board of trustees was Ibrahim El-Zayat, a leader in both the European and the German Muslim Brotherhood. Sometime in 2016, El-Zayat was replaced as Chairman by South African national Tahir Salie, a former IRW Treasurer while El-Zayat remains as a trustee of the UK branch of Islamic Relief. The new IRW Chairman Tahir Salie has his own connections to the Global Muslim Brotherhood and to Hamas. According to another Islamic Relief website, Salie serves on the Board of Governors of the International Business Forum (IBF) based in Istanbul The IBF has been described by the Oxford Business Group as follows:
The International Business Forum (IBF), which has been organized every year since 1995 under the patronage of H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is a platform where economic and business related issues are discussed by leaders, decision makers, bureaucrats, academicians, and journalists.
In addition to its ties to Erdogan, the IBF is also close to MUSIAD, an Islamist Turkish businessman’s association described in a report authored by the GMBDW editor as also supported by Erdogan, pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel, and with a strong relationship with the Middle East through its Foreign Relations division. The IBF is known to have a close relationship with the Palestinian Business Forum (PBF) that holds its meetings in conjunction with the IBF and is reported by confidential sources to serve as a Hamas support network. The website of the Muslimische Jugend in Deutschland (MJD), the youth arm of the German Muslim Brotherhood, reports additionally that Salie had been expected to meet with the group for four days in 2013.Islamic Relief Worldwide is also listed as a company in the UK where records indicate that Dr. Ahmed Al-Rawi, the former head of the Federation of islamic Organizations in Europe (FIOE) and former 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 member of the board of Islamic Relief Worldwide is Essam El-Haddad, a longtime Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood member a former adviser to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. El-Haddad is also known to have been a member of the IBF Board of Governors. A third former member of the Islamic Relief company was Issam El-Bashir, a Sudanese national with multiple ties to the Global Muslim Brotherhood.
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.
In June 2014 , the GMBDW reported that the Israeli Defense Minister had banned Islamic Relief Worldwide from operating in Israel saying that it is involved in sending cash to Hamas.