Over the past twenty years, Muslim organizations have played an increasingly prominent role in the delivery of international humanitarian aid. Their growth has been underpinned by the striking generosity of growing Muslim communities in North America and Europe and by zakat – the religious obligation to give 2.5% of disposable income to charity.
My own organization, Islamic Relief, is one of the largest. We have offices in over 40 countries, and invested $250 million in humanitarian aid and development programs in 2014. Around three-quarters of our aid and development expenditure goes on emergencies such as … providing life-saving food, shelter and medical aid. The rest funds education, health care, clean water, orphan sponsorship and projects to help families earn their way out of extreme poverty.
Islamic Relief prides itself on its commitment to humanitarian principles of impartiality and neutrality and on its multi-faith approach, working from Haiti to the Philippines with partners as diverse as the Lutheran World Federation and World Jewish Relief. We are trusted by hundreds of thousands of individual donors around the world to assist people in need, as well as by UN agencies, the US and UK governments and the European Union.
The truth is that none of these major donors would come near us if we were “directly linked to financing terrorism”, as alleged in a recent article in the Washington Times.
Islamic Relief is a purely humanitarian organization that abhors terrorism. Our work is subjected to dozens of independent audits mandated by donors each year, and not one has found a shred of evidence of terrorist links. Read more