Over the last several days, we have been following reports from American Center for Democracy, articles that have been dealing with the connection/alleged collaboration between Islamic Relief Worldwide and a charity with definitive ties to Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization based in Palestine.
The latest article by ACD was particularly interesting, as it stated in IRCs released official financial statements that Islamic Relief Canada works independently and in partnership with Islamic Relief Worldwide (“IRW”) and other local and international partners to fund ongoing programs . Reports have also been published of IRW allegedly funding terror, so the connection between IRC and IRW was concerning.
Our interest was thoroughly peaked today when we saw an article put out by anti Islamism group Pegida Canada, an offshoot of the German group PEGIDA, known for their large rallies against the large influx middle Eastern and North African migrants into Germany and the mismanagement of the government that facilitated this.
According to Pegida Canada’s report, they were equally concerned with the possible connection between IRC and IRW and possible connection with a terrorist group, albeit rather removed, as they had received a press release from The Center for Near East Policy Research that allegedly suggest that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), Islamic Relief Worldwide, Turkey’s IHH and Mercy Malaysia worked in coordination with the Charitable Association For Palestinian Relief – CAPR, affiliated with the Palestinian terrorist group the Islamic Jihad.
Pegida Canada were concerned enough to contact Islamic Relief Canada and Islamic Relief Worldwide, and ask them specific questions about the press release and the subsequent articles in question. Following is an excerpt from Pegida Canada’s article, showing a detailed descriptive of the email communication between Islamic Relief Canada and Pegida Canada:
“On January 10, 2019 at 9:52 am, Pegida Canada sent to Islamic Relief Canada and Islamic Relief Worldwide a media inquiry that included CNEPR’s press release and the following questions:
- Do Islamic Relief Worldwide and Islamic Relief Canada work in cooperation with the Charitable Association For Palestinian Relief – CAPR?
- Are Islamic Relief Worldwide and Islamic Relief Canada aware of the reports that suggest that the Charitable Association For Palestinian Relief is a front organization of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad that was designated as a unlawful/ terrorist group by Canada?
- Does Islamic Relief Canada transfer any moneys to Islamic Relief Worldwide?
We also phoned the office in Burlington, Ontario, advising them of the incoming email, so they would be aware. The receptionist assured us that she would pass the email on to the appropriate parties. We requested that they respond to this email by 12 pm January 10, 2019. We asked them to let us know if they needed more time to respond. We let them know we would be writing an article on the CNEPR’s press release.
We did not receive a reply to that email.
The following day, January 11, 2019, we became aware of two articles published by ACD which covered this press release. This prompted us to once again ask for clarification about the original press release, asking the same questions we had in the previous email. We included the two articles in question. We reminded them of the previous email, asking them once again to let us know if they needed more time. We advised them once again that we would be writing an article on this matter. This email was sent out on January 11, 2019 at 3:55 pm, and we requested that they answer by January 12, 2019, 12:00 pm.
Once again, we received no reply. We also received no response from Islamic Relief Worldwide.
On Sunday, January 13, 2019, we became aware of another article, dealing with the same subject matter, and we became more concerned. We sent another email January 14, 2019 at 8:08 am, with additional questions relating to the new information, and reminding them of the previous emails, and asked them to respond by 12:00 pm January 14, 2019. Once again, we let them know an article would be published. Following are the additional questions:
- CAPR has acknowledged that Islamic Jihad has funded some of its projects. IRW has working in cooperation with CAPR. Would you like to comment on that?
- IRC’s executive director Mahmood Qasim encouraged the disparagement of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a facebook post of a video by Boonaa Mohammed. Do you have any comments on that?
Islamic Relief Canada responded (and CCd to Islamic Relief Worldwide) to Pegida Canada’s email and provided a brief statement on January 14, 2019 at 11:22 am. Following is the statement given by Islamic Relief Canada:
“Islamic Relief Canada is one of the world’s leading development charities working to end poverty and suffering in over thirty countries around the world. We abhor terrorism in all its forms, and we categorically reject any allegation of links to terrorism and any such accusations that have been made. We are a registered charity in Canada and are governed by all rules and regulations under the Canada Revenue Agency.”
Islamic Relief Canada answered questions that were never asked. Pegida Canada did not ask Islamic Relief Canada in a general manner about its position regarding terrorism or “links to terrorism”, but rather focused on very specific issues.”
The subsequent eventual reply from Islamic Relief Canada was interesting, in that they did not reply to any of the specific questions, but simply gave a broad statement about their abhorrence for terrorism.
What we also found particularly interesting was that the cover photo for Islamic Relief Canada’s facebook page shows the Charity logo with the following words “2019 we’re coming clean”
To claim transparency but ignoring specific questions put to them is curious.
We will continue to watch this closely.