Islamic Relief accused of funnelling funds to ‘Hamas-controlled organisations’
Categories: Latest News
Thursday September 04 2014
Civil Society Media, Third Sector and the Jewish Chronicle all report on the claim that Islamic Relief Worldwide has had its donation page removed from the Charities Aid Foundation amid accusations made by the Israeli Defence minister that it has channelled funds to ‘Hamas-controlled organisations’.
The charity has been designated an “unauthorised association” by Israel and has been barred from carrying out operations in the West Bank occupied territory.
Both Civil Society Media and Third Sector note that the charity no longer has an online donation page on the Charities Aid Foundation website though the CAF has denied that its decision to remove IR’s page was in any way an act of discrimination against the Muslim charity.
Third Sector further reports that the Muslim Charities Forum, of which IR is a leading member, is aware of two other charities, who do not wish to be identified, that have had facilities withdrawn from CAF, including bank accounts.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Islamic Relief have voluntarily chose not to disperse funds raised for Gaza during the recent Disasters Emergency Committee appeal until its investigation into internal procedures is satisfactorily concluded.
A spokesman for the British Muslim charity stated that it “categorically denies” the allegations made by Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s Defence Minister. He added:
“No organisation is investigating Islamic Relief Worldwide as a result of these allegations, and no financial institution has closed any of our accounts. Islamic Relief has never had a Charities Aid Foundation bank account.
“As a responsible organisation we are looking into this matter thoroughly to ensure that our processes for aid delivery have been followed. Islamic Relief decided independently that it will not draw down any funds from the [Disaster Emergency Committee] Gaza Crisis Appeal until our review is completed.”
The Jewish Chronicle further observes that a Charity Commission spokesman confirmed that they were not investigating the charity because they “are satisfied that the charity is responding appropriately to the incident.”
This is not the first time Islamic Relief has had to struggle against interference in its operations. In 2012, UBS closed its bank account with its finance director telling an audience of charity regulators that its incoming and outgoing transactions were stopped on a daily basis, either temporarily or permanently, by regulators and banks nervous about anti-terror legislation.
Dr Hany Al-Banna, the charity’s founder, has also spoken about the negative impact the Charity Commission’s announcement of statutory inquiries into charities was having on the reputation and fundraising capabilities of Muslim charities.