Con­sider the ac­cu­sa­tions be­fore giv­ing to this group

The Calvert Recorder - - Community Forum -

Amer­i­cans who un­selfishly opened their wal­lets to aid vic­tims of the re­cent Cal­i­for­nia wild­fires may un­wit­tingly have con­trib­uted to an al­leged far darker cause, in my opin­ion.

Is­lamic Re­lief USA is the North Amer­i­can branch of Is­lamic Re­lief World­wide, a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion based in the United King­dom.

Some of IRW’s of­fices have been ac­cused of hav­ing fund­ing ties to IHH Hu­man­i­tar­ian Re­lief Foun­da­tion, an al­leged Ha­mas front or­ga­ni­za­tion based in Tur­key, and do­na­tions to Is­lamic Re­lief’s USA of­fice are routed through Tur­key, ac­cord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton-based non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion Clar­ion Project.

Is­lamic Re­lief World­wide was founded by Dr. Hany El Banna, who in an in­ter­view claimed to be an ar­dent ad­mirer of Mus­lim Brother­hood leader and rad­i­cal Sayyid Qutb, whose teach­ings are said to have in­spired Osama bin Laden.

Es­sam El Had­dad, a for­mer as­sis­tant to for­mer Egyp­tian pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Morsi, co-founded Is­lamic Re­lief World­wide. He is cur­rently con­fined to Al-Aqrab prison for his re­ported role in an at­tempted coup d’etat.

In 2015, the Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment warned on its of­fi­cial web­site that Mus­lim Brother­hood op­er­a­tives inside the U.S. were pos­ing as civil rights and so­cial ser­vice of­fi­cials.

Some of IRW’s lead­ers ap­pear in a list of al­leged Mus­lim Brother­hood op­er­a­tives pub­lished in an Egyp­tian news­pa­per in 2013, and trans­lated on the Clar­ion Project’s web­site. Among them are:

• Ah­mad Es­mat El Bendary, for­mer chair­man and CEO of Is­lamic Re­lief USA (1993-2006) and past pres­i­dent of the Mus­lim Amer­i­can So­ci­ety, which was iden­ti­fied as an “overt arm of the Mus­lim Brother­hood in the United States,” by fed­eral prose­cu­tors in a 2007 court fil­ing (U.S. vs. Sabri Benkahla);

• Dr. Mo­hamed Amr At­tawia, for­mer vice pres­i­dent of the Mus­lim Amer­i­can So­ci­ety and cur­rent board mem­ber of Is­lamic Re­lief USA who was al­legedly listed in a 1992 phone di­rec­tory as director of New Eng­land’s Mus­lim Brother­hood; and

• Khalid La­mada, cur­rent chair­man of Is­lamic Re­lief USA who for­merly served as a co-chair­man of the na­tional con­ven­tion of the Is­lamic Cir­cle of North Amer­ica, which has also been ac­cused of hav­ing ties to ter­ror­ism, though ICNA re­jects them.

Ed­ward C. Daven­port, Drum Point

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