German government suspends funding for Islamic Relief aid organisation


The German government has stopped funding aid organisation Islamic Relief over its ties to the banned 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 Germany (IRD) had "significant connections to the Muslim Brotherhood or related organisations".

The Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Islamist organisation founded in Egypt, strives for a social order based on Islamic law. According to Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the group had around 1,350 supporters in Germany in 2019.

The IRD has maintained that it is undergoing a review process to absolve itself of allegations of ties to the Islamist organisation.

"We are doing everything we can to create clarity and hope for the support of the federal government," IRD managing director Tarek Abdelalem told journalists. "We hope that in the future we will be able to carry out aid projects ... with the support of the Foreign Ministry," he said.

Headquartered in Birmingham, Islamic Relief is an international aid agency that provides humanitarian relief in over 40 countries. It claims to serve communities in need regardless of race, political affiliation, gender or belief.    (dpa)

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