Borrowed from The Cutting Edge - Thank you
By Rachel Ehrenfeld January 30th 2011
For the past five decades most funding to MB-affiliated organizations around the world – especially those involved directly in terrorist activities – has come from oil rich countries in the Middle East. However, Hamas, the MB Palestinian branch, designated as a terrorist organization by the E.U. and U.S., seems to derive large sums of money from the EU, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), of which the U.S. is the largest contributor. Individual countries also donate directly to the PA and Gaza (i.e. Hamas). The U.S. also aids the PA and Gaza through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
In fact, the world community facilitated Hamas victory in the 2006 PA election, when it allowed Hamas to run under the name "List of Change and Reform." In June 2007, Hamas took control over the Gaza Strip from the PA. Since then, despite repeated promises to cut off funds to Hamas, international aid organizations and many countries have continued funneling money to Gaza, purportedly for humanitarian aid, but more recently to fund the “Gaza Administration.” Hamas rule over Gaza does not seem to be an obstacle to funding it.
Although the U.S. designation of Hamas terrorists (individuals) is insufficient, the organization and its various entities are designated by the Treasury Department on its Specially Designated Nationals List (SDN). But the UN does not list Hamas as a terrorist organization. The UN lists only the Taliban and al Qaeda as terrorists. The May 2009 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report includes UNRWA's admission that it does not screen prospective staff or aid recipients for ties to Hamas, Hezbollah, the Islamic Jihad (IJG), or other local terrorist groups.
The GAO report stated: "According to UNRWA, the UN Security Council has various working groups for terrorism-related issues, but the Sanctions Committee’s UN 1267 list is currently the only such UN terrorist screening list available…the list is limited to those individuals or entities affiliated with Al-Qaida and the Taliban and thus does not specifically include major regional groups, such as Hamas and Hezbollah, which the United States has designated as foreign terrorist organizations."
UNRWA began its emergency food and shelter aid programs Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon in May 1950. Over the years, though its official mandate remained the same, UNRWA has been providing governmental and development services. UNRWA's former legal advisor and general counsel, James G. Lindsay, published in 2009 an important study: "Fixing UNRWA: Repairing the UN's Troubled System of Aid to Palestinian Refugees." Mr. Lindsay shows how UNRWA changed its function from status based (refugees) to need based (dependents). More than six decades later, and despite the establishment of an independent Palestinian governing body, the PA, UNRWA continues to operate in parallel with the government, both in the PA ruled West Bank and Hamas ruled Gaza.
By the end of 2007, UNRWA employed more than 29,000, less than 200 were listed as "international," the rest were Palestinian, organized in unions. UNRWA’s Arab workers union is controlled by Hamas. In 2003 Hamas won more than 90% of the votes. In 2005, UNRWA provided a large increase in salaries for its thousands of workers. Since HAMAS deducts 3%-5% of the UNRWA paid annual salaries as membership fees, the raise contributes directly to HAMAS’ coffers. Through another affiliate, the Islamic Bloc, Hamas also controls the UNRWA teachers union and UNRWA-funded schools in Gaza.
However this did not seem to disturb UNRWA’s former Commissioner Peter Hansen, who in October 2004 told the Canadian Broadcasting Cooperation “I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll, and I don't see that as a crime."
UNRWA facilities and personnel have also been tied to numerous terrorist attacks on Israel. Its schools have been used as meeting places for Hamas terrorists and weapons storage, and UNRWA’s Hamas affiliated staff members have used UNRWA equipment to transport arms for use in terrorist activities. For example, IDF captured documents and evidence during Operation Cast Lead in 2008, showed that the UNRWA school compound across from the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis was used by Hamas to launch rockets into Israel, and that other UNRWA schools were used to store weapons and to hide Hamas operatives.
On January 12, 2009, Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter stated that Shifa Hospital, Gaza City's main medical center, has become the de facto Hamas headquarters, and that: "Shifa Hospital has long ago ceased to be just a hospital, just as the UN humanitarian and health services in Gaza long ago ceased to be just humanitarian services providing food and medical services." Still, UNRWA's response was: "Where any abuse of UN installations is discovered the UN carries out disciplinary action, including dismissals."
In 2009, following Israel’s operation Cast Lead, conducted to stop Hamas & Islamic Jihad rockets attacks on Israel, the European Commission pledged at least $554 to Gaza in “humanitarian aid.” In June 2010, the Obama administration promised $400 million in aid to the West Bank and Gaza. In March 2009, the U.S. pledged $300 million earmarked for Gaza and $600 million to the West Bank. UNRWA annually transfers about $200 million in cash to Gaza.
Not surprisingly, in January 2011, Hamas announced that it won 70.5 percent of Gaza’s Nursing Association’s representatives vote. Their competitors, another terrorist designated groups, the Islamic Jihad (IJG), won 29.5 percent. UNRWA pays their salaries.
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad sends $120 million a month from its budget (most of which comes from foreign aid) to Gaza. In September 2010, he openly stated that he had sent Gaza $4.3 billion over the previous three years, part of which pays the salaries of Hamas municipal employees. According to Mr., Fayyad, 54 percent of the PA’s $3.17 billion 2010 budget went to Gaza.
In addition to international funds that find their way to Hamas coffers, the terror group's supporters have found Britain a hospitable place from which to operate. The London-based Palestinians Relief and Development Fund, better known as Interpal, was outlawed by Israel in 1997, and designated by the United States as a supporter of terrorism in 2003. Despite mountains of evidence, Interpal used a well-oiled propaganda machine (and apparently Gordon Brown’s Palestinian leaning government) to escape unscathed from a UK inquiry into its Hamas ties in 2009. An earlier investigation in 1996 similarly exonerated the group, despite its open affiliations with the Qaradawi-led Union of Good, an umbrella group of over 50 charities that funnels money to Hamas. The U.S. only designated the Union of Good as a terrorist entity in 2008.
The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) is another MB offshoot that operates throughout Europe from its base in Britain. Israel banned the PRC on December 27, 2010, because of its involvement “in initiating and organizing radical and violent activity against Israel in Europe, while de-legitimizing Israel's status as a nation among the European community. For example, in 2008, the PRC hosted its sixth Palestinians in Europe conference in Denmark’s capital Copenhagen, featuring a video address by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, and appearances by Raid Salah, the head of the Islamic movement in Israel, and the former head of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammad Akram al-Adlouni.
The same Danish leadership that allowed the PRC conference is now prosecuting Lars Hedegaard, the President of the Danish Free Press Society and The International Free Press Society for publicly criticizing some Muslims behavior.
PRC co-founded the European Campaign to End the Siege on Gaza (ECESG), an entity established by MB’s European umbrella organizations, the Federation of Islamic Organisations in Europe (FIOE). ECESG helped coordinate the Gaza flotilla affair in 2010, which ended in some casualties and fatalities after members of another MB ‘humanitarian’ organization – Turkish Humanitarian Relief (IHH) -- attacked Israeli soldiers who boarded to prevent the boat from breaking the blockade around Gaza. Israel banned the IHH in 2008 for its links to Hamas and the Union of Good, and recently asked the United States to follow suit. The Obama Administration is taking its time.
Dr. Arafat Madi heads both PRC and ECESG, which share office space and a telephone number. PRC’s leadership reads like a who’s who of Hamas and MB membership. It includes Zaher Birawi, the former chairman of the MB-linked Muslim Association of Britain, a trustee of a Union of Good’s member organization, Education Aid for Palestine (EAP), and the current spokesman for George Galloway’s Viva Palestina, among other associations. The PCR leadership also includes Ghassan Faour, who is associated with Interpal, and Majdi Akeel, who was identified as a Hamas activist in the Holy Land Foundation case.
The list goes on.
In spite of these radical associations, the ECESG website lists numerous supporters among members of the UK government and elsewhere. In January 2010, ECESG arranged for a 50-person delegation of current and former MPs and politicians to travel to Gaza. The delegation met with Ismail Haniya, the head of Hamas’s so-called political wing in Gaza, John Ging, the Director of Operations for UNRWA, and others. Last year, PRC and ECESG head Madi reportedly discussed Israel policy in Gaza with the President of the European Parliament.
Britain’s willful blindness to the MB’s subversive agenda, and its acquiescence to its vitriolic propaganda is not merely a local disease. MB’s vast reach extends to other countries as well. Unfortunately the U.S. seems to be following in the footsteps of England, unwisely ignoring the growing influence of the MB in its borders.
Despite renewed attention in recent years on MB-affiliated groups operating in the U.S. radical Islamic organizations disguised as “mainstream Muslims” are now presenting their Islamic agenda to the government and appear on a regular basis in the media. These groups include the Council on Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Students Association (MSA), the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), the Muslim American Society (MAS), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), and the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA).
CAIR’s terror ties have been confirmed in numerous court cases, the most recent of which is the Holy Land Foundation (HLF) case of 2009, which exposed HLF as a Hamas fundraising front.
During the HLF trial, the FBI identified CAIR as part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestinian Committee, which was tasked with funneling financial support to Hamas, and obstructing prospective peace deals in the Middle East.
The FBI also listed CAIR’s co-founders, Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad, as members of the MB’s affiliated, U.S. based Palestine Committee that lobbies on behalf of Hamas. Ahmad and Awad formerly headed the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), member organization of the Palestinian Committee. Now defunct, IAP was shut down following a civil suit against it and other HAMAS fundraising entities by the family of an American teenager murdered by terrorists in the West Bank. Ahmad left CAIR leadership in 2005, with the title of “chairman emeritus,” but his biographical information is no longer available on CAIR’s website. Awad is still involved as CAIR’s Executive Director.
At least 15 other CAIR officials have been identified in terror investigations, including Ghassan Elashi, also a founding member, who was involved in the HLF case.
Despite criminal ties, known connections to the American ‘Wahhabi lobby’, and blatant MB affiliations, CAIR boasts of its reputation as the preeminent Muslim civil rights group in the U.S.
The myth on CAIR has been accepted and parroted by media and government alike. CAIR has links to the highest level of government. For instance, in 1997, Vice President Al Gore appointed Awad as a member of the Civil Rights Advisory Panel to the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security. According to CAIR’s website, Awad is also “a regular participant in the U.S. Department of State’s “International Visitors Program”, which welcomes foreign dignitaries, journalists and academics who are currently visiting the President of the United States.”
Like CAIR, ISNA — another unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF case — has been warmly embraced by the Obama Administration. ISNA President Ingrid Mattson has spoken at various White House functions, including the presidential inauguration, and was invited to join the White House Council on Women and Girls. In February 2010, another ISNA member, Eboo Patel, was appointed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood partnerships.
ISNA has released publications and hosted conferences featuring speakers that support jihad, terrorism and radical Islam, as documented in a recent report by the Investigative Project on Terrorism. ISNA has been described as “one of the chief conduits through which the radical Saudi form of Islam passes in the United States.” Among its many functions, this powerful group holds the deed to anywhere from 50 percent to 80 percent of the mostly Saudi funded mosques in the United States through its affiliate organization, NAIT.
ISNA was the primary endorser of imams assigned to federal prisons until the federal Bureau of Prisons suspended it in 2003, when the FBI conducted investigations unto ISNA’s terror ties. ISNA’s former chaplain-endorsing agent, Dr. Louay Safi, is affiliated with the terror-linked IIIT, an organization that has close ties with both Anwar and Qaradawi. Safi was also an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of Sami Al-Arian, who was convicted of fundraising for terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). In addition, Safi was an instructor to Major Nidal Malik Hassan, at the Fort hood military base, where Hassan massacred 13 people on the in 2009, yelling “Allahu Akbar.”
As of December 2010, ISNA was listed as one of the two organizations that vet Muslim chaplains in the American military.
There’s more. ISNA is part of the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO), another MB affiliated organization in the United States that included terror-tied groups such as CAIR, IIT, the Dar al Hijrah Mosque, and MPAC. According to Bigpeace.com, the Obama administration reportedly hosted a group from CCMO in 2010 in order to teach participant groups how to “cut through red tape” to “receive direct access” to “funding, government assistance and resources.” News of the financial workshop made the press not because the Obama Administration reported it, as transparent government should have done, but because an ISNA e-mail leaked.
The West’s response to Anwar and Qaradawi is par for the course in its approach to the MB’s rapidly growing and metastasizing influence. Despite the vast MB infrastructure in the U.S. and the UK, both countries are turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to the growing incitement and activities of their homegrown Islamist organizations.
Qaradawi remains a worldwide media figure with access to students at some of the most prestigious American universities, although his violently anti-Western statements have not dampened in the slightest. In January 2009, Qatar’s mouthpiece al Jazeera, aired one of many similar Qaradawi speeches in which he said: “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers."
Qaradawi concluded: "The only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of Jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair. I will shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom. Praise be to Allah."
Qaradawi’s radical views did not deter Prominent British Labor party politician and former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone from welcoming him into City Hall, in July 2004. Livingstone lavishly praised Qaradawi and compared his scholarly rank to “the position of Pope John XXIII.” Livingstone also opined that Qaradawi is “an absolutely sane Islamist.”
The MB’s political Islamic agenda encompasses both Sunni and Shiite. Not surprisingly, Qaradawi who is Sunni also calls to defend Shiite Iran. In 2007, he stated that Muslims should mobilize internationally to “resist any possibly attack the US might launch against Iran. Iran is a Muslim country which all Muslims should defend while the US is an enemy of Islam that has already declared war on Islam under the disguise of war on terrorism…”
Incredibly, such statements do not offend MB apologist John Esposito. The director of Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, Esposito’s involvement with the MB and his successful advocacy on their behalf has been thoroughly documented in a 2009 report: “John Esposito Defending Radical Islam,” issued by the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT). According to the report, Esposito has intimate working relationship with several Hamas front organizations. Two organizations, CAIR, and the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR), directed by the Hamas Prime Minister’s political advisor Ahmed Yousef, were named as in evidence provided by the government during the HLF 2008 trial. Both groups were identified as part of Hamas financial support network in the U.S.
Esposito’s links to MB brotherhood affiliated organizations are not limited to the Middle East. He has a close affiliation with Malaysia’s Saudi-funded opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, the Honorary President of the Bin Talal Center. Anwar was a Distinguished Visiting Professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 2006.
Esposito describes Qaradawi, a friend and business partner of Anwar Ibrahim, as a “moderate” who represents "a cross-section of Muslim thinkers, religious leaders and mainstream Islamic movements from Egypt to Indonesia, Europe to America." Furthermore, he praises Qaradawi for his "reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism and human rights."
Esposito’s efforts to launder Qaradawi’s anti-American and anti-Semitic statements seem to fit an effective PR campaign to whitewash Qaradawi’s true nature. A 2008 Foreign Policy Magazine poll ranked Qaradawi third on a list of the world’s top twenty public intellectuals.
The well-oiled MB, as the Saudi propaganda machine has succeeded in portraying virulent, anti- Semitic, anti- American, anti-West Muslim organizations and leaders as “moderate” Muslims and “reformers.” How much longer can the West afford to ignore the Muslim Brotherhood’s efforts to replace Western democracy with an oppressive Islamic Caliphate?
Rachel Ehrenfeld, Director of the NY based American Center for Democracy, and author of Funding Evil; How Terrorism is Financed - and How to Stop It. This is a combined and updated version of articles that were published on January 13 & 14, 2011 by Family Security Matters