Sam Westrop on the „Sinister“ Mission of Islamic Relief

„Sam Westrop, director of the Middle East Forum’s Islamist Watch project, spoke to participants in an August 14 Middle East Forum Webinar (video) about the dangers posed by Islamic Relief, one of the largest Islamic charities in the world.

Westrop, who has been closely studying Islamic Relief for the past decade, produced an extensive report for the Middle East Forum showing that beneath its cultivated charitable façade, the global organization is a major force promoting the spread of Islamist ideology and indirectly financing jihadist terrorism. „Islamic Relief is the flagship institution of the global Muslim Brotherhood … [and] Islamism in the West.“ It is the „primary vehicle“ for moving money and providing logistical support for spreading Islamist ideology across the globe.

„Charity and welfare is key to the Islamist ideal,“ said Westrop. Islamic Relief was founded in the UK in the 1980s by students who belonged to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood movement spread Islamist ideology not just through the mosque, but also by infiltrating community centers, youth groups, and other social institutions that assist the needy. In the UK, Islamic Relief raised money to assist those affected by conflict and famine around the world, but the modus operandi was the same: „advanc[ing] Islamist ideology using charity as a shield, dressing extremists as philanthropists.“

Islamic Relief began as a volunteer organization, but it has grown into a global professional NGO that raises over $200 million annually, about half of this in the U.S. alone. Taking pains to „maintain a reasonable reputation“ by partnering with other interfaith charities and cultivating its media-savvy profile, Islamic Relief has garnered much support beyond Muslim communities. Over the last decade, Western governments have donated $17 million of taxpayer money to Islamic Relief. Even the Trump administration has donated to the charity.“ (…)