Hany El-Banna

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Hany Abdel Gawad El-Banna OBE[1] (born 9/12/1950)[2] is the co-founder of Islamic Relief, the largest Western-based international Muslim relief and development NGO, established in 1984 in Birmingham, UK.

Education and Islamic Relief[edit]

Born in Egypt, Dr El-Banna completed his MBBCh Medicine at Al Azhar University, Cairo, where he also obtained a Diploma in Islamic Studies in 1976. Dr Hany El Banna was awarded the Hamilton Bailey Prize in Medicine at City hospital (previously known as Dudley Road) in 1981, Birmingham UK. He then went on to further his medical training and completed a Doctorate of Medicine (MD) in foetal pathology from the University of Birmingham Medical School in 1991. A pathologist by education, Dr. Hany attended a medical conference in Sudan in 1983 during a time of famine in the region. The poverty and desperation he witnessed compelled him to return to the UK and set up Islamic Relief as an organisation to help people in need.

Muslim Charities Forum, International HIV fund and Zakat House[edit]

Since leaving Islamic Relief in 2008, Dr. El-Banna founded the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF), of which he is Chairman and The Humanitarian Forum where he is President of the board of trustees. The Humanitarian Forum seeks to foster partnerships and closer co-operation among the humanitarian and charitable organisations from Muslim countries and their Western counterparts. More recently he founded the International HIV Fund, an organisation to build and improve networks of HIV organisations and Zakat House, a social enterprise helping new and growing charities. Dr El-Banna has visited over 60 countries on behalf of these organisations.

Dr El-Banna is also a Chairman of Muslim Charities Forum (MCF)[3] a registered charity that aims to improve British Muslim charities' contribution to international development by promoting the exchange of experience, ideas and information amongst the members, between networks of NGOs in the UK and internationally, with the Governments, and other bodies with the interest in international development.

The organisation has been the subject of controversy in the United Kingdom. It was stripped of £250,000 in funding from the British government for its alleged ties to extremist organisations, and has been described in the British media as “an umbrella group for a number of leading Islamic charities, some of which allegedly have links to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and other terrorist organisations.”[4][5]

Some of its members are also members of the Union of Good, an umbrella organisation consisting of over 50 Islamic charities and funds. It has also been named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the US Department of the Treasury.[6]

According to The Guardian, MCF and its members “fiercely deny any links to terrorism."[7]


Dr El-Banna was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004;[8] in the same year Dr El Banna also received Ibn Khaldun Award for Excellence in Promoting Understanding between Global Cultures and Faiths (UK). It was also in 2004 that the Egyptian Medical Syndicate awarded him for his services to humanity and medicine. In 2005 he received the Kashmiri and Pakistani Professional Association Award and in 2006 he was awarded the Asian Jewel Lifetime Achievement Award. Acknowledging his worldwide work and influence in 2007, the UK Muslim Power 100 awarded him with their lifetime achievement award and the University of Birmingham has awarded him an honorary doctorate.

In January 2013, he was nominated for the Muslim in the Community award at the British Muslim Awards.[9]

Centre for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty[edit]

He was a Founding Partner and Board of Trustees member and President of the Centre for Interfaith Action on Global Poverty (CIFA) as of June 2010 but as of March 2013 no longer appears to be associated with CIFA.[10]


External links[edit]