Gilligan returns to witch-hunt of Muslim Aid

Hamas link of charity praised by Brown

By Andrew Gilligan

Sunday Telegraph, 28 March 2010

A charity praised last week by Gordon Brown and the Prince of Wales has channelled hundreds of thousands of pounds to groups linked to Hamas, the banned terrorist organisation, according to security sources.

The Prime Minister and the heir to the throne personally praised Muslim Aid, whose own accounts show it has paid at least £325,000 to the Islamic University of Gaza, where leading Hamas figures teach, and £13,998 to the al-Ihsan Charitable Society, designated by the US government as a “sponsor of terrorism” and a front for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group.

Security sources also claim that Muslim Aid has helped channel a further Pounds 210,600 to six other organisations in the Gaza Strip since July 2009, all of which they say are linked to Hamas.

Muslim Aid is banned from the West Bank by the Israeli government, which says it is a member of the Union of Good, an alliance of charities that raise money for Hamas. Hamas is banned throughout the EU as a designated terrorist organisation.

In a video address to Muslim Aid’s 25th anniversary dinner on Wednesday, Mr Brown praised the charity’s “valuable work” and said: “I wish Muslim Aid and its passionate and committed staff and supporters the very best for another 25 years of achievement.”

According to invitations sent out by Muslim Aid, Mr Brown had been due to speak in person at the dinner, but cancelled at the last minute. However, another member of the Cabinet, Shaun Woodward, the Northern Ireland Secretary, did speak, as did a member of the Conservative front bench, Andrew Mitchell MP. Two other ministers, Sadiq Khan and Gareth Thomas, attended the dinner.

The Prince sent a message saying that “our country is incredibly fortunate to be able to count on organisations like Muslim Aid, who bring not only help, but hope to those most in need”.

Update:  See “Muslim Aid rejects false allegations printed in theSunday Telegraph“, Muslim Aid press release, 29 March 2010