Islamic Relief Worldwide: The Muslim Brotherhood, And Anti-Semitism

Written By Roderick Karl G. Addun, Posted on August 24, 2020

The entire board of directors of the United Kingdom’s largest Muslim charity have resigned, the second major turnover of senior members of the organization in less than a month. Both events are related to issues of terrorism glorification and anti-Semitism.  

Previously, the head of Islamic Relief Worldwide was forced to resign on 23 July 2020, after labelling Jews ‘grandchildren of monkeys and pigs’ and calling Egypt’s president a ‘Zionist pimp.’  The now former trustee and director of Islamic Relief Worldwide,  Heshmat Khalifa, had put the comments on social media between 2013 and 2015, but they came to light in late July 2020 as a result of a report by the Times of London.

Mr Khalifa, who had previously been the Chairman of Islamic Relief Australia, also used social media to describe Hamas as  ‘the purest resistance movement in modern history’.  The 63-year-old had been with the charity since 1999 and had held a number of senior roles within the organization, which over the past five years, has had an annual income of £570 million.  In the most recent decade for which IRW’s accounts have been published, from 2009 to 2018, the UN gave the global charity £24.1 million. The UK Charity Commission has now opened a compliance case into Islamic Relief.

Now, on 22 August 2020, the entire board of Islamic Relief Worldwide has resigned following another scandal involving terrorism glorification and anti-Semitism.  It has been revealed that Islamic Relief Worldwide had replaced the disgraced trustee with a man who had labelled terrorists as “heroes” and described Israel as the Zionist enemy.  Social media posts by the new replacement director of Islamic Relief Worldwide,  

Almoutaz Tayara, also called leaders of the Palestinian group Hamas as ‘great men’ who responded to the ‘divine and holy call of the Muslim Brotherhood’.  According to the United Arab Emirates, Islamic Relief Worldwide and Islamic Relief UK are Muslim Brotherhood front groups. 

Mr. Tayara also glorified terrorist attacks on Israel and showed former American President Barack Obama in clothing branded with the Star of David.  Mr. Tayara was also the chairman of Islamic Relief Germany.  The posts by him were initially discovered by a German researcher, Sigrid Herrmann-Marschall, who published them in a 2017 blog post.  Islamic Relief Germany admitted that it had known of Dr Tayara’s posts since 2017 but allowed him to continue as its chairman after he apologized, deleted the posts, and closed his Facebook account. 

While in 2019, officials in Germany had accused Islamic Relief Germany of having “significant” connections to the Muslim Brotherhood which had triggered concerns over the diversion of official funds to Islamists. 

It is believed Islamic Relief Worldwide did not know of the posts by Mr. Tayara until The Times approached Islamic Relief Worldwide on 17 August 2020. Islamic Relief also stated that the entire board will not stand for re-election, and will be replaced by a new board.

In Canada, the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center is calling on the Canadian government to monitor the expenditure of public money allocated to Islamic Relief, which is part of a “Humanitarian Coalition” of charities to assist with Beirut disaster relief, due to its alleged ties to Hamas and history of antisemitism.  The Centre stated that “For a number of years, Islamic Relief has faced allegations from Germany, Israel, UAE – as well as other countries and major global institutions – that the organization has ties to extremist groups including Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood.” 

In July of 2020, the French Senate reported the Muslim Brotherhood as the number one Islamist enemy of France.  In May of 2020, a German intelligence report on the Muslim Brotherhood said it was more dangerous to Germany than ISIS or al-Qaeda

A British government report of 2015 stated that the Muslim Brotherhood’s foundational texts call for the progressive moral purification of individuals and Muslim societies and their eventual political unification in a Caliphate under Sharia law. It also stated that membership of, association with, or influence by the Muslim Brotherhood should be considered as a possible indicator of extremism.

Roderick Karl G. Addun

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