The British government is, incredibly, still continuing to fund charitable UK-based organizations with links to the Muslim Brotherhood, terrorist groups and domestic extremism. Simultaneously, lawmakers seem to be having trouble thinking of ways to tackle extremism and terrorist incitement within Britain's Muslim communities.
In early 2014, the Department for Communities and Local Government provided a grant of £18,000 ($29,000) to the Muslim Charities Forum [MCF], a charitable body and umbrella group for a number of leading Islamist charities, most of which are members of the Union of Good, a fundraising body established by the Muslim Brotherhood to raise money for the terror group Hamas.
The MCF is made up of nine member organizations, all of which stand accused of funding terror or promoting extremism:
Human Appeal International – a UK-registered charity accused by the CIA and FBI of being "a fundraiser for Hamas." The charity is a proscribed "Hamas-affiliated" organisation in Israel, and both the US Internal Revenue Service and State Department consider it to be a terror-funding entity.
Human Appeal International has often promoted extremist preachers in Britain. In 2011, for instance, the charity hosted an event with Haitham al-Haddad, an Islamist preacher who regards Jews as "enemies of god, and the descendants of apes and pigs" and has stated that, "Allah's law [will] govern the whole earth, and for no other law to remain."
Islamic Relief – an enormous British charity, which, in 2012, raised over £100 million [over $160 million].
Islamic Relief has received donations from terror-connected Yemeni charities, such as the Charitable Society for Social Welfare, which was established by the US-designated terrorist and "Bin Laden loyalist" Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani.
In Gaza, Islamic Relief's branches have supported Hamas-run institutions, including the Islamic University of Gaza and the Al-Falah Benevolent Society.
Islamic Relief's Directors have included Ahmed Al-Rawi, the former President of the Muslim Brotherhood's chief lobby group in Britain, who, in 2004, signed a declaration in support of jihad against British and American forces in Iraq.
Between 2011 and 2014, the British Government granted £1.5 million of taxpayers' money to Islamic Relief's UK branch.
Human Relief Foundation – a charity named by the leading Middle Eastern newspaper Gulf News as a key part of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood's network of charitable support in the UK.
Human Relief officials include senior members of Al Islah, a United Arab Emirates-based branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Human Relief Foundation has promoted extremist speakers, including Abdurraheem Green, an Islamist preacher who has spoken of a "Jewish stench" and claimed it is permissible to beat women to "bring them to goodness."
Islamic Help – a charity that funds the Islamic Society of Gaza, a Hamas-run organization of which leading officials have included Ahmad Bahr, a senior Hamas leader who has said: "Oh Allah, vanquish the Jews and their supporters. Oh Allah, count their numbers, and kill them all, down to the very last one."
After the US invasion of Iraq, Islamic Help established an office within Baghdad's Abu Hanifa Mosque, which was, at the time, a stronghold for the Sunni terrorist insurgency.
Muslim Aid – a charity established by activists from Jamaat-e-Islami, the sub-continental cousin of the Muslim Brotherhood. Founding members included Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin, the British Muslim community leader recently convicted by the Bangladesh war crimes tribunal for his involvement in the mass-murder of teachers and intellectuals during the 1971 Liberation War.
In 2010, The Daily Telegraph reported that Muslim Aid had funded charities connected to Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. These funds included a grant of £13,998 to the al-Ihsan Charitable Society, designated by the U.S. government as a "sponsor of terrorism."
Muslim Hands – an Islamic charity that raised £13 million in 2013. Muslim Hands' chairman, Musharaf Hussain, stated in 2010 that it is a "wise cause" to fight non-believers "because they are tyrants," and encouraged Muslims to "take part in this jihad."
In Gaza, Muslim Hands has funded a number of Hamas charitable fronts.
Orphans in Need – a newly-established charity, which has promoted preachers such as Zahir Mahmood, who has claimed that, "Hamas are not terrorists; they're freedom fighters, they're defending their country."
The charity's CEO, Tufail Hussain, has expressed support for the Al Qaeda "recruiter," Shaker Aamer. Orphans in Need funds the Gaza-based Palestinian Welfare House, the Director of which, Jomah Al Najjar, has claimed that anti-Zionist Jews, such as Neturei Karta, cannot be trusted because "Jews will always be Jews." Al Najjar has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map," and has attributed the success of Hamas's terror activities to the piety of its fighters.
In addition, the READ Foundation has promoted a number of extremist speakers at its fundraising events. These speakers include Uthman Lateef, who has expressed support for Al Qaeda terrorists; and Sulaiman Gani, a Muslim chaplain with links to Hizb ut-Tahrir, who has voiced backing for convicted terrorist Aafia Siddiqui, described by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller as "an al-Qaeda operative and facilitator."
In spite of these activities, in 2013, the British government granted £189,550 to the READ Foundation.
Al-Imdaad Foundation – a South African charity, the British branch of which has previously partnered with Viva Palestina, the pro-Hamas charity established by George Galloway and that included Hamas activists among its staff.
In 2012-13, Al-Imdaad's British branch raised over £400,000 for the IHH, a Turkish charity widely accused of funding terrorism and that publicly supports Hamas. Al-Imdaad UK has also given over £50,000 (over $80,000) to the Zamzam Foundation, a Somali charity run by the Saudi-funded Somali Muslim Brotherhood.
In addition, events organized by Al-Imdaad UK have included speakers such as Maulana Sulaimaan Ravat, a South African preacher who has propagated conspiracy theories that Jews overthrew Libya's dictator, Colonel Gaddafi, in order to steal Libya's oil reserves.
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It is not just the government that affords credibility to Islamist charities; Jewish community charities have also offered their partnership. On September 3, Islamic Relief hosted an event with World Jewish Relief to "show solidarity with the people of Iraq." At the event, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, who heads the British Jewish community's Reform movement, spoke alongside Ibrahim Mogra, the assistant general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, an organization run by activists from the Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami.
Mogra has previously refused to share a platform with an Ahmaddiyah Muslim, an impressively moderate sect of Islam, and one which Islamist movements regard as heretical. Mogra was, however, apparently happy to share the platform with Azzam Tamimi, an academic described as Hamas's "special envoy" to the UK.
British politicians and the media seem to be trapped in an endless debate over the question of curbing both violent and non-violent extremism within the Muslim community. The government appears to be stuck for good ideas – it most recently announced that it would send jihadists returned from Syria to "deradicalisation classes." Instead, a truly useful measure might be to end the provision of state funding and legitimacy to terror-linked extremist charities.