Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 14 December 2019

Qatari charity head gives millions to European Muslim Brotherhood-linked bodies

Some of the money has gone to groups linked to a hate preacher banned in the UK

The app features an introduction by Yusuf Al Qaradawi . AFP
The app features an introduction by Yusuf Al Qaradawi . AFP

The head of a Qatari charity that founded a website instructing Muslims to hate Jews and Christians is behind more than £28.2 million (Dh131.4 m) in donations given to a UK benevolent fund.

Some of the money has recently been given to a group with links to hate preacher Yusuf Al Qaradawi, who is banned in the UK and is believed to be the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. Millions have also been used to build a mosque whose trustee is a former president of the Muslim Brotherhood’s European arm.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which began in Egypt in 1928, has been outlawed in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE and is shortly due to be added to the US’s list of banned organisations.

The organisation is not banned in the UK but a 2015 report for the British government made a series of damning assessments of its activities in the country.

The Nectar Trust has given the Institute European des Sciences Humanitarian (IESH), a France based Islamic education institution, almost £1m in the last three years. A sum of £86,196 was spent by the Nectar Trust last year to benefit the IESH, which publishes fatwas following the guidance of the European Council on Fatwa and Research (ECFR).

The former president of the council is Al Qaradawi who recently courted controversy for creating an app in which he made derogatory references to Jews. The ECFR has promoted a controversial fatwa guidance App on Apple Store and other sales platforms. Despite demands for it to be pulled, the platform remains available. Apple has said it is conducting a review.

Al Qaradawi, who lives in Qatar, is banned from the US, UK and France for his extremist views.

The Qatar Charity in Doha (also known as QC), which has also been connected with the Muslim Brotherhood and designated a proscribed organisation within the Arab Quartet for its links to terrorism, handed British charity the Nectar Trust £28.2m between 2017-2018.

The CEO of QC, Yousef Al Kuwari, is also the former chief executive of the Nectar Trust, the British arm of the Qatari body, which is behind a number of projects to build some of the largest multi-million-pound mosques across Europe.

He previously founded Islamweb, a website that issued edicts stating that it is “forbidden” to swear an oath to gain British citizenship and warned of Jews and Christians: “It is incumbent to hate them for the sake of Allah.”

Just a month prior to his links being made public in October 2017, the charity changed its name from the Qatar Charity UK to the Nectar Trust.

Despite Al Kuwari’s resignation, the Nectar Trust’s latest accounts reveal that during the period of the revelations the multi-million-pound funds were being pumped into the charity from Qatar Charity – which Al Kuwari ran at the same time.

In the last few years, the Trust has given £2.2m to the Emaan Trust in Sheffield to build one of the UK’s largest mosques. The project has also been steeped in controversy after it was revealed the construction was being overseen by a Kuwaiti official who claimed Jews orchestrated the September 11, 2001 attacks and that board members of the group had criminal records.

A trustee of the Emaan Trust, Ahmed Al-Rawi, is the former president of the Federation of Islamic Organisations, believed to be the European arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. He has previously signed a statement supporting attacks on coalition troops in Iraq.

His brother Kharum was the director of the European Institute of Human Sciences and ran the school in Wales attended by terrorist Michael Adebowale who killed British soldier Lee Rigby.

The school’s curriculum was linked to Al Qaradawi, whose books were found in its library. It led to the University of Wales severing ties with the institute.

The accounts also show the Nectar Trust gave almost £15m to build two mosques in France – one in Mulhouse is believed to be the largest in Europe and can accommodate 800 students and 50,000 worshippers.

In April, an investigation alleged that the lavish funding was actually tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The book, Qatar Papers - How the emirate finances Islam in France and Europe, written by two French journalists, publishes evidence that cheques and money transfers from Qatar have been used to underwrite more than 140 projects around Europe, where the Muslim Brotherhood has sought to expand its influence.

Qatar Charity did not respond to comment but told The Telegraph that during Al Kuwari’s time as Islamweb chairman “he was not involved in the development or moderation of the website’s content or in its daily management.

“The views and contents expressed in the website do not reflect the views of Mr Al Kawari and cannot be attributed to him. They certainly do not reflect the views of and cannot be attributed in any way to QCUK.”

Updated: June 29, 2019 05:45 PM

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