Germany cuts funding for Islamic Relief aid group over ties to Muslim Brotherhood

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The German government has ceased funding to aid organization Islamic Relief Worldwide over its alleged ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Interior Ministry said in response to a request for information from an opposition party.

A spokesman for the ministry told journalists it had information that both Islamic Relief Worldwide and Islamic Relief Deutschland (IRD) had “significant personal links to the Muslim Brotherhood” or related organizations and affiliates.

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The Muslim Brotherhood - a transnational Sunni Islamist organization founded in Egypt by Islamic scholar and schoolteacher Hassan al-Banna in 1928 – has long been denounced as a terrorist organization by Germany.

In 2018, a local German news outlet, citing German Intelligence and security sources, said an official report has concluded that German security authorities consider the Muslim Brotherhood group as “more dangerous” to Germany’s democracy, compared to the ISIS.

The ceasing of aid followed a question from Germany’s Free Democratic Party on donations by the government to Islamic Relief Worldwide , earmarked for the implementation of humanitarian aid in Syria, in particular to support health facilities with medicines and medical supplies

The decision to stop donations follows news reports in August that IR’s leadership resigned en masse after the discovery that the aid organization’s new director had labeled terrorists “heroes”.

The director had described leaders of the Hamas extremist group as “great men” who were answering "the #divine and holy call of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The comments were made in social media posts between 2014 and 2015 and uncovered by terrorism researchers.

Headquartered in Birmingham, UK, Islamic Relief describes itself on its website as “an international aid agency that has served humanity for over 30 years by striving to make the world a better, fairer place.”

It adds: “We remain guided by the timeless values and teachings of the Quran and prophetic example. As such, you don’t need to be a Muslim to work for us, but you will need to show a commitment to our faith-inspired values – sincerity, excellence, compassion, social justice and custodianship.”

The organization employs more than 2,000 staff across 40 offices around the world.

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