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Muslim Charities Forum

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The Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) is an umbrella organisation for UK based Muslim-led charities whose primary goal is to provide humanitarian aid and assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable people around the world.[1] It is also an associate member of Bond [2] (British Overseas NGOs for Development), the UK membership body for non-governmental organisations and a member of NCVO,[3] National Council for Voluntary Organisations, an organisation with 11,000 members that champions the voluntary sector and volunteering.

The Chairman[4][5] of the Board of Trustees of the Muslim Charities Forum is Dr. Hany El Banna OBE, co-founder of Islamic Relief, and the Secretary is Syed Lakthe Hassanain,[6] Chairman of Muslim Hands.

The organisation has come under heavy scrutiny for their member’s ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.[7]

BackgroundModifica

The Muslim Charities Forum was founded by the initiative of Dr Hany El Banna [8] and was formally registered as a charity[9] in November 2008. Its members include well-known UK based International Muslim-led NGOs such as Al Imdaad Foundation, Human Appeal International, Human Relief Foundation, Islamic Help, Islamic Relief UK, Muslim Aid, Muslim Charity, Muslim Hands, Orphans In Need and Read Foundation.

ActivitiesModifica

The Muslim Charities Forum will help its members provide better services and raise awareness of the work members are doing abroad.[10] It aims to improve British Muslim charities' contribution to international development by promoting the exchange of experience, ideas and information amongst the members, between networks of NGOs in the UK and internationally, with the Governments, and other bodies with the interest in international development.[11]

On 4 November 2009, the Muslim Charities Forum organised a workshop on Zakat, or giving alms, one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The focus of the workshop was to find a common view for the understanding of Zakat between several organisations working in relief and international development. The workshop concluded with a consensus that further sessions were needed with scholars and delegates on the concept of Zakat and to provide a general narrative on the general understanding of Zakat and other charitable giving and its uses.[1]

On 10 December 2009, the Muslim Charities Forum organised a workshop on Institutional Funding & Partnerships. The aim of the workshop was firstly to identify opportunities to build stronger relationships between institutional donors and Muslim-led NGOs, and secondly, to promote partnerships both between Muslim-led NGOs and other types of organisations. The event was highly successful and very well attended, with participants from both Muslim and non-Muslim organisations, including the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), Bond, Muslim Hands, Euclid Network, Islamic Relief, DFID, CAFOD, and Oxfam GB.[6]

On 22 January 2011, the Trustees of the Muslim Charities met with Prime Minister of Pakistan Yusuf Raza Gilani. The Prime Minister said that it was heartening to note that the Islamic charitable and humanitarian organisations are performing well to serve the cause of humanity in different parts of the world. He also lauded the contribution of representatives of the Muslim community in UK and elsewhere both for their community as well as for the country they are living in. The charitable organisations, he added, serve as a bridge between the country they are living in and the country of their origin.[12][13][14][15]

On 9 December 2014, Dr. El-Banna told MPs and peers scrutinising the draft Protection of Charities Bill that Anti-terror legislation could make it impossible to deliver overseas aid to certain locations.[16]

On 5 March 2015, the Overseas Development Institute, in a report compiled with support from the Muslim Charities Forum, argued that Counter-terrorism legislation is making banks increasingly reluctant to deal with charities working in conflict zones, particularly in Muslim countries, and without government action their access to funds could dry up.[17]

ControversyModifica

The organisation has received £110,169 from the UK's Department for Communities and Local Government, and was scheduled to receive a further £140,000 under the Faith Minorities Action Project, an initiative aimed at encouraging integration by promoting inter-faith work, improving the role of women in faith, reducing youth crime, and offering child protection training.[18] This was withdrawn after concerns had been raised about events held by MCF members at which individuals with extremist views had been invited to speak.[19] In a written statement to Parliament, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said that the “Muslim Charities Forum has failed to reassure us that they have robust measures in place to investigate and challenge their members”.[20] The organisation responded that they were "unfounded allegations".[21]

Allegations of extremist connectionsModifica

Of the 10 charities under the umbrella of Muslim Charities Forum, 6 have funded Hamas organisations that can also be linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.[22] Some of the organizations that are part of Muslim Charities Forum and also have alleged extremist ties include Muslim Aid, which has admitted to funding organizations that are run by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Islamic Help and Muslim Hands, which both work closely with and fund Hamas front organizations, and Human Appeal International, which has been accused by the FBI and CIA or funding Hamas.[23] Another member organisation, Islamic Help, has been accused of having connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.[24]

Six of the Muslim Charities Forum’s members are also members of the Union of Good, which is also known as the 101 Days Campaign. The Union of Good is designated by the U.S. Treasury Department as a terrorist organisation that is “created by Hamas leadership to transfer funds to the terrorist organisation.”[25]

ReferencesModifica

  1. 1,0 1,1 Template:Cite news
  2. Bond Membership Directory. 2009.
  3. NCVO
  4. PR.com. January, 2009.
  5. Template:Cite news
  6. 6,0 6,1 Template:Cite news
  7. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/11398538/How-the-Muslim-Brotherhood-fits-into-a-network-of-extremism.html
  8. Template:Cite news
  9. Template:Cite news
  10. Template:Cite news
  11. Template:Cite news
  12. Template:Cite news
  13. Template:Cite news
  14. Template:Cite news
  15. Template:Cite news
  16. Template:Cite news
  17. Template:Cite news
  18. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/integration-update
  19. Template:Cite news
  20. https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/integration-update
  21. Template:Cite news
  22. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/11398538/How-the-Muslim-Brotherhood-fits-into-a-network-of-extremism.html
  23. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/11398538/How-the-Muslim-Brotherhood-fits-into-a-network-of-extremism.html
  24. http://nonprofitquarterly.org/2015/01/13/uk-cuts-funding-to-muslim-charities-accused-of-extremist-ties/
  25. http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/hp1267.aspx

External linksModifica

https://www.muslimcharitiesforum.org.uk

Peace and Democracy in the Middle East Rely on a Thriving Civil Society Says Stephen Bubb, Member of the Clinton Global Initiative

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