More British charities linked to Hamas charitable front
In April, Stand for Peace uncovered that three UK charities involved with Syrian ‘aid convoy’ efforts – Children in Deen, the Abu Faisal Trust and One Nation – were funding projects in Gaza through the Al-Falah Benevolent Society (a.k.a. Al-Falah Society or Al-Falah Charitable Society), which, according to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre, is one of “Hamas’s charitable societies”.
Al-Falah is run by Ramadan Tamboura (aka Ramadan Tanbura), whom Ha’aretz newspaper describes as a “a well-known Hamas figure”. One of Al-Falah’s Directors, Jamal Hamdi al-Haddad, also manages one of Hamas’ Hebrew-language education programmes, entitled “Know Your Enemy”.
Stand for Peace can now reveal that additional British charities are also funding the Al-Falah Benevolent Society’s projects:
- Project Akhirah – an Islamist youth group that fundraises through Islamic Help and Muslim Aid, two British Islamist charities. Project Akhirah promotes hate preachers such as Bilal Philips, described by the US government as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 al-Qaeda attack on the World Trade Centre; Shabir Ally, President of the Islamic Information & Dawah Centre International, who describes homosexuality as “sinful” and claims those who commit “such acts” will be “destroyed”; and Muslim Belal, a “performance poet” who composes nasheeds [an Islamic song without instruments] that promote terrorists such as Aafia Siddiqui, a convicted murderer who, when arrested, was found with documents planning chemical attacks against civilian targets.
- Islamic Relief – the largest Islamic charity in Britain, which Stand for Peace has previously revealed to have financial links with groups connected to terrorism. In 2004, 2007 and 2009, IRW accounts revealed donations of tens of thousands of pounds from the Charitable Society for Social Welfare [CSSW], a charity founded by Al Qaeda terrorist and “Bin Laden loyalist” Abdul Majeed Al-Zindani. In May of 2006, Israeli police arrested IRW’s Gaza coordinator, Ayaz Ali. The Israeli Government stated Ali had assisted Hamas-related institutions that were designated terror organisations in Israel. According to the Israeli Government, Ali also said that he had cooperated with local Hamas operatives in Jordan (find our full profile of Islamic Relief here).
Islamic Relief sponsors a number of Al Falah Society projects.
- Save an Orphan – a small British charity whose sole patron, Myriam Francois-Cerrah, is an Islamist sympathiser who has worked with MEND, a Palestinian NGO whose trustees include the editor of pro-PLO newspaper Al-Quds and at least one former PLO terrorist. Francois-Cerrah also served as Assistant Editor of the Islamist Emel magazine, which supports the extremist East London Mosque, and worked for the European Muslim Research Centre, a Muslim Brotherhood institution. The current CEO and Editor of the aforementioned Emel publication, Sarah Joseph, is also listed as a “supporter” of Save an Orphan, as is Nabil Ahmed, former President of the Jamaat-e-Islami- and Muslim Brotherhood-linked Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS).
According to Al Falah’s own website, other charities that “support” the Society (the nature of that support is unclear) include:
- Interpal – a large British Islamic charity, but a designated terrorist organisation under US law. Interpal’s trustees openly work with senior leaders of the terrorist group, Hamas. Interpal officials conduct regular “convoys” to Gaza. Named “Miles of Smiles,” these convoys serve to support the Hamas government’s welfare programs. Interpal trustee Ibrahim Hewitt has referred to the “so-called Holocaust” and, in a pamphlet written by Hewitt, he advocates the killing of apostates and adulterers, and demands that homosexuals suffer “severe punishments” for their “great sin.” [Ibrahim Hewitt, What does Islam Say?, The Muslim Educational Trust, April 2004]
- Muslim World League – a Saudi charity that promotes fundamentalist Islam and is accused of providing financial support to a considerable number of terrorist organisations, including Hamas, Abu Sayyaf group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Jemaah Islamiyya and Al Qaeda.
- World Assembly of Muslim Youth – a Saudi youth organisation that US government agencies and officials claim has helped spread Islamic extremism around the world and has sponsored terrorism in places such as Bosnia and Israel. The US Government accused the charity of having links to Bin Laden. WAMY was named in the lawsuit filed by the survivors of the victims of September 11, who accused the group of supporting al-Qaeda. Further, law enforcement officials in India and the Philippines have also accused WAMY of financing terrorism in their countries. In 2003, Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin thanked the World Assembly for their continued financial support. WAMY has a long history of producing extreme anti-Semitism and anti-Shia publications.
- Qatar Charity – the largest charitable organisation in Qatar. In 1993 Osama bin Laden named the charity as one of several groups used to fund al Qaeda’s overseas operations. In 1995, after a failed attempt by al Qaeda operatives to assassinate President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Bin Laden complained that Qatar Charitable Society funds had been used in that operation and that he was concerned that al Qaeda’s abilities to use charities to fund operations might be compromised as a result. Qatar Charity is also accused of funding Chechen Islamists and the Bangladeshi jihadist organization Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
- OPEC Fund for International Development – a multinational finance institution, whose website notes that the Al Falah Benevolent Society is funded by “institutions in the Arab, Islamic and international world who believe in the right of the Palestinian people to liberate their land”.
Al-Falah is part of Hamas’ da’wah efforts, a network of welfare provision and social services infrastructure – such as education, healthcare and unemployment payments – which are designed “to reshape the political consciousness of educated youth.”
Counter-terrorism expert Matthew Levitt writes that the social infrastructure produced by da’wah activities “are crucial to Hamas’ terrorist activity: they provide cover for raising, laundering, and transferring funds, facilitate the group’s propaganda and recruitment efforts, provide employment to its operatives, and serve as a logistical support network for its terrorist operations.” [Matthew Levitt, Hamas, London: Yale University Press, 23-24]
By providing these social services, Islamist groups such as Hamas enjoy a degree of moral legitimacy among their constituents, which extends to the terror group’s patrons in the West. Even if British charities do not provide money directly to Hamas’s terrorist activities, the contributions are fungible: they enable the release of funds, originally allocated for other services, to be used instead for terrorism. The funding of social programs in Gaza serves to legitimise and strengthen Hamas’s rule.
Al-Falah doesn’t attempt to hide its associations to terrorism. Its Facebook page includes photos of Hamas rallies featuring Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas Prime Minister, and Yusuf Al Qaradawi, the “spiritual leader” of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Additional photos on the Al-Faleh website show kindergarten graduation ceremonies organised by the charity, during which young children dressed up as Hamas fighters, complete with toy guns.