Subway withdraws sponsorship of extremist charity fundraiser
On 31 October, the Human Relief Foundation will hold a fundraiser, “Reviving Gaza,” in Manchester. The event was initially sponsored by the fast food chain, Subway, but which withdrew its support once aware of extremist links.
Guest speakers are advertised as Yusuf Zahaby, Muslim Belal and Rahim Jung.
Yusuf Zahaby, a graduate of a Deobandi seminary, is a leading member of Al Hikma Media, an Islamist organisation run by extreme preachers. These include: Shady Suleiman, who calls for the killing of women who engage in pre-marital sex; Abdur Raheem Green, who speaks of a “Jewish stench” and claims that it is permissible to beat women to “bring them to goodness,” and Suhaib Webb. Webb, according to FBI surveillance documents, spoke at a dinner in 2001 alongside the late Al Qaeda operative Anwar Al-Awlaki, and raised £100,000 in donations for the legal defence of Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, an Islamist radical who shot and killed two police officers in Georgia, USA.
Muslim Belal is a “performance poet” whose real name is Ashley Chin. He composes nasheeds (an Islamic song without instruments) that promote fundamentalist Islam, one of which expresses support for Aafia Siddiqui, a murderer who, when arrested, was found with documents planning chemical attacks against civilian targets. During her trial, Siddiqui tried to fire her lawyers because they were Jews, who she claims are “cruel, ungrateful, back-stabbing.” She was convicted and later described by FBI Director Robert Mueller as “an al-Qaeda operative and facilitator.”
Rahim Jung is a presenter on the Islam Channel. According to the counter-extremism Quilliam Foundation think tank, “Several presenters on the Islam Channel are … active members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a global movement which is dedicated to establishing a totalitarian state in which women and religious minorities would be systematically deprived of their basic human rights.” The Islam Channel, in addition, was found to have advertised DVDs of al-Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki’s sermons, and in 2010 was censured by Ofcom for advocating violence against women and marital rape.
The Human Relief Foundation (HRF) is 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. HRF officials include senior members of Al Islah, a United Arab Emirates-based branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In a statement released to Stand for Peace, a spokesperson for Subway stated: “All SUBWAY stores are owned and operated by franchisees who look to be part of the communities in which they live and work. This was part of a sponsorship a franchisee entered into independently and said he was not aware of any links to alleged extremist activities. He has since asked that the SUBWAY brand be removed from this flyer.
The SUBWAY brand does not have any political affiliations or support any organisations of this nature.”