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Joined at the Hips: Islamic Relief and Muslim Brotherhood

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Hamas fighters take part in a rally marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement, in Gaza City, on December 14, 2017. (Photo: MOHAMMED ABED / AFP / Getty Images)
Hamas fighters take part in a rally n Gaza City marking the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Islamist movement on December 14, 2017. (Photo: MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)

As Clarion has been saying for more than a decade, Islamic Relief is a very problematic organization. Now Germany says the organization is joined at the hips to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is deemed a terrorist organization by several countries.

The United Arab Emirates designated Islamic Relief Worldwide as a terrorist group in 2014.

Islamic Relief Worldwide is banned in Israel for financing the Hamas terror group, which is an offshoot of the Brotherhood. Jerusalem believes Islamic Relief Worldwide “funnels millions of dollars a year to Hamas institutions. The decision to designate the charity as an ‘unlawful association’ is part of Israel’s action to curb Hamas terror activity.”

Berlin fears “significant” connections to the Brotherhood mean some donations to Islamic Relief end up in Islamist hands and not necessarily where the charitable donations should be headed.

Germany is clamping down on Islamist organizations. It carried out widespread raids of Ansaar International premises earlier this month.

With this growing awareness, a German newspaper just reported on the activities of Qatar Charity and Qatar Foundation, which it claimed are funding secretive educational and cultural programs in Germany.

The Germans are also well aware of the Hamas connection, according to analysts.

“It is important to note the security and intelligence forces in Germany have been following the activity of Hamas supporters for more than 10 years in organizations that claim to be civilian,” said Clarion Shillman Fellow and Arab Affairs Analyst Ran Meir.

“A few years ago, Hamas said it’s not part of the Muslim Brotherhood, but it appears that on the ground, especially in a country like Germany, they are working together to raise funds and spread their ideology.”

Germany is just the latest to express concern about Islamic Relief’s connections. Clarion reported four Islamic Relief-USA (IRUSA) officials had ties to the Brotherhood back in 2013. IRUSA is the American branch of Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), which is based in the United Kingdom.

Our National Security Analyst Ryan Mauro triggered a U.S. government investigation into Islamic Relief in 2014.  Three different government agencies presented serious evidence against the organization. Yet, Obama Administration’s Justice Department astounded the agents involved by declining to prosecute.

While Germany takes Islamic Relief’s terror ties seriously, the United Kingdom has chosen to embrace the organization. London just agreed to provide $2.58 million in matching funds for an Islamic Relief Ramadan appeal in the country.

It is clear that Islamic Relief, the Muslim Brotherhood and others are joined at the hips. Some, such as the Germans, Egyptians and Emiratis are taking the connection and the threat very seriously. Other Western nations including the United States are still playing catch-up.

 

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