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Parliamentary questions
25 October 2012
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 117
Mike Nattrass (NI)

 Subject:  Islamic Relief Worldwide

According to the Commission’s own records, the European Union granted EUR 22 547 138 to Islamic Relief Worldwide between 2007 and 2011.

Islamic Relief Worldwide was one of the founding members of the Union of Good, established in 2000. In 2008, the US Department of the Treasury designated the Union of Good as a terrorist organisation, stating: ‘The leadership of Hamas created the Union of Good […] in order to facilitate the transfer of funds to Hamas.’ The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs also noted in 2006 that Islamic Relief Worldwide itself ‘provides support and assistance to Hamas’s infrastructure’.

In 1999, Islamic Relief Worldwide received a payment of USD 50 000 from a Canadian charity that the US Department of the Treasury identified as a ‘Bin Laden front’. Around the same time, it was reported that Islamic Relief Worldwide had funnelled as much as USD 6 000 000 to al‐Qaeda-linked terrorists in Chechnya.

In anticipation of being assured that the EU only funds specific humanitarian projects as opposed to the organisations that coordinate them, I would draw the Commission’s attention to the findings of an independent evaluation of a major EU-funded project, which noted evidence of ‘weak monitoring by EC staff and poor knowledge of what projects are actually about, particularly at the Brussels level’. Furthermore, as NGO Monitor observes, ‘many of the organisations which receive funding from the EU are unelected, nontransparent, and unaccountable, which makes the funding process capable of being subject to abuse’. Consequently, there is no way of knowing that taxpayers’ money has not found its way into the hands of terrorists.

In light of these facts, will the Commission admit that it was unwise and dangerous to provide funding to Islamic Relief Worldwide, and undertake never to do so again?

 OJ C 310 E, 25/10/2013
Last updated: 11 December 2012Legal notice