The Islamic Relief charity bills itself as a humanitarian organization, winning praise and backing from governments and media outlets across the world. However, a new report suggests that Islamic Relief is tied to several Islamic terror organizations.
According to a 36-page report from the Middle East Forum, the founder of Islamic Relief, Hany El-Banna, has been involved with several organizations with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, including once serving as the trustee of the Muslim Aid charity that has funneled money to Hamas. As a student, El-Banna was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood organization Federation of Student Islamic Societies. El-Banna has also praised the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Hassan Al Bana for being “held in so much awe and respect.”
The co-founder of Islamic Relief, Essam El-Haddad, was sentenced to life in prison in Egypt for being a Muslim Brotherhood leader who collaborated with Hamas and Hezbollah and provided intelligence to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.. Egyptian media also reported that Haddad used Islamic Relief to funnel money to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Current high-ranking officials in Islamic Relief have expressed support for Islamic terror groups. Khaled Lamada, who heads Islamic Relief USA, proudly wears his Muslim Brotherhood insignia. On social media, Lamada has praised Hamas and engaged in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood because he’s a Jewish puppet. Lamada is also the founder of Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights, a lobbying arm of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Officials in other Islamic Relief branches have similar backgrounds. Maali Turk, an official for Islamic Relief Palestine, openly called for genocide against Jews on social media: “I ask god to paralyze the pillars of the Jews and cut their legs and paralyze their hands.” Abdallah Salah, the director of Islamic Relief Sweden, has engaged in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that include accusing Jews of being behind the Holocaust in order to establish the state of Israel.
Islamic Relief has also partnered with organizations with ties to Hamas, including the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (HRF) and the Islamic University of Gaza.
And yet, Islamic Relief still receives support from Western governments. The organization has received a total of $704,662 in grants from the U.S. government. Islamic Relief USA President Anwar Khan became an advisor to the federal government in October 2016 and continues to serve in the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Additionally, in September 2017, Islamic Relief lobbied Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) to advocate against an amendment that would have prevented Hurricane Irma funding from going to Islamic Relief. Ellison did their bidding, and the amendment failed.
In total, Islamic Relief has received at least $80 million from Western governments –including Britain, Canada, and Germany – and the United Nations.
Read the full report here.