Since 2012, extremist preacher Yasir Qadhi has been active speaking at events for Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) as well as its American branch Islamic Relief-USA (IRUSA).
IRW also received $370,000 in federal funding between 2015 and 2016.
Last week, Representative Ron DeSantis (R-FL), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced an amendment to the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act to block U.S. funding to the organization.
“U.S. tax dollars cannot go to groups involved in funding terrorism. Any group tied to Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood should be ineligible for funding. It is a slap in the face of the American taxpayer to allow such groups to receive federal funding,” DeSantis said.
IRW, which operates 16 affiliates and is based in the UK, is the largest Islamic charity in the West and has a long history of links to terrorism.
Three IRW offices have a confirmed relationship with IHH, a Hamas affiliate in Turkey. IRUSA says it delivers aid to Syria “through Islamic Relief partner offices in Turkey,” indicating the U.S. branch may also work with IHH.
The IRW leadership has numerous Muslim Brotherhood links, including with one official who used to be the minister of religious affairs in Sudan. In 2014, the United Arab Emirates banned IRW as a terrorist organization.
In 2006, Israel arrested the project coordinator of IRW’s Gaza office, Iyaz Ali, for funneling money to Hamas. The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “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’ ideology among the Palestinian population.”
In 2013, an Egyptian newspaper published a list of 30 alleged Muslim Brotherhood operatives in the U.S. that included five IRUSA leaders.
In 2012, the Swiss bank UBS closed IRW’s bank account and blocked its customers from donating to it. In 2016, the British bank HSBC, also shut its door to the organization. IRW’s finance and services director subsequently announced many other banks stopped doing business with the organization.
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