Muslim Aid

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Muslim Aid
Muslim Aid Serving Humanity
Motto Serving Humanity
Formation 1 November 1985 (1985-11-01)
Type NGO
Legal status Charity
Purpose Healthcare, education, Disaster & Emergency, Shelter & Construction, Economic empowerment, Child sponsorship, Income generation, UK development
Headquarters London
Key people
Dr Manazir Ahsan MBE(Chairman), Dr Suhaib Hasan(Vice Chair), Dr Abdul Bari MBE (Secretary),Hamid Azad (CEO), Shuaib Yusaf (Assistant CEO)
Revenue (2014)
£34 million

Muslim Aid is a UK based Islamic charity NGO.[1] It currently is run by former senior staff of the Muslim Council of Britain.[2] It is a member of the Muslim Charities Forum, which lost funding from the British government in January 2015 due to its links to “individuals who fuel hatred, division and violence.”[3][4]

History and beginnings[edit]

It was first established in 1985 in response to the 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia, by 23 organisations based in Britain.[5] It was initially led by a committee including Cat Stevens and members from the Muslim Council of Britain.[6] Stevens served as chairman[7] until his resignation in 1996. Suhaib Hasan became the next chairman. Mahmood al-Hassan became executive director in 1993.[8] From 1995, Iqbal Sacranie was a trustee.[9] The following year, conflicts in Afghanistan and Palestine and floods in Bangladesh saw Muslim Aid expand its emergency relief operations. Over the past 25 years Muslim Aid has grown from a small office in London to an international UK NGO, providing relief and development programmes in over 70 countries across the globe.[10]

By 1989 Muslim Aid’s operations had expanded considerably and over £1 million of emergency aid had been distributed throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. As the charity grew, the scope of its work expanded.[10]

Whilst continuing to carry on its commitment to emergency relief work Muslim Aid also began to implement long-term development programmes. Today, water, healthcare, shelter and construction programs.[11]

Muslim Aid believes that in order to really help people, the causes, not just the symptoms of poverty must be addressed. By 1994 long-term development projects accounted for almost 50% of Muslim Aid’s relief activity. As well as helping people overcome crises Muslim Aid provides skills and resources to assist people to move forward to a better life.[12] Muslim Aid works closely with the communities to deliver its programmes and remains committed to working in collaboration with all its beneficiaries to ensure that the solutions are not imposed from the outside. All solutions are culturally sensitive, practical and owned by the beneficiaries.[13]

In April 2013, three men were convicted of planning terrorist attacks in UK. They raised funds by criminally posing as Muslim Aid workers; the matter was pursued by the police and prosecutions were made. A small amount of funds was recovered and passed onto the Charity.[14][15]

Countries of operation[edit]

They have field offices in 13 countries namely, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Myanmar. Fully functioning offices are also being established in India and Philippines. Muslim Aid has also registered and has functioning offices in Sweden and the USA. The Head Office is based in Whitechapel, London (UK). The Muslim Aid aid delivery footprint extends over 70 countries and is one of the largest of any INGO.[16]

Over the years, Muslim Aid has developed a “world-wide network” of international partners—both corporations and humanitarian organisations—including British retail chain ASDA, the Islamic Bank of Britain, the Qatar-based Al Asmakh Charity, and the US-based United Methodist Committee on Relief. In 2014, Muslim Aid was part of an international, interfaith coalition of aid organisations that traveled to the Central African Republic to assess and raise awareness of the growing humanitarian crisis in that country.[17][18][19][20][21]

Recent work[edit]

It has carried out its work in areas such as Indonesia, following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake (tsunami) and then the two earthquakes in Java, one in May 2006, the other in July that year.[22] It also worked in Bosnia following the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s.[23] It worked in Pakistan following the 2005 Kashmir earthquake to build seismically resistant sustainable housing in conjunction with UK architectural charity Article 25, and has continuously worked in the Palestinian territories, as well as Darfur, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Lebanon, India and Bangladesh. It also worked in China following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake.

In 2010 Muslim Aid responded to the destructive earthquake in Haiti and the devastating floods in Pakistan. It raised nearly £600,000 and £3 million respectively to help those who afflicted by the disasters. It is continuing its reconstruction work in these countries ensuring long-term prosperity of those living there.[24]

25th anniversary[edit]

In 2010 Muslim Aid celebrated 10 years since it began its work. The year was marked with events and initiatives to highlight its achievements and plot its future course.[25]

The year was headlined by the 25th Anniversary Dinner held at the Natural History Museum in March 2010. Over 600 guests attended Muslim Aid’s 25th Anniversary event. Speeches were given by Northern Ireland Secretary, Shaun Woodward MP; Shadow International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell MP; Shadow Foreign Secretary Edward Davey, MP and Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Chairman of Muslim Aid.[26]

Government Minister the Rt. Hon. Sadiq Khan MP, Minister of State for Transport also delivered a speech and was joined by distinguished guests from the media, diplomatic community, political, development and community organisations.[25] Renowned nasheed artist Ahmed Bukhatir performed on the 3 nights which raised over £300,000 in the events in London, Manchester and Birmingham.[27][28]


Controversy surrounding Muslim Aid has centered mainly on allegations of its role in the financing of terrorist or extremist organizations. In 2002, a Spanish police report alleged the organisation to have used funds to send mujahadeen fighters to Bosnia.[29] In 2010, the organisation was investigated by the Charity Commission for England and Wales for allegedly funding groups linked to a banned terrorist organisation.[30] The investigation cleared the organisation and said that the claims were unsubstantiated. The Sunday Telegraph criticised the outcome saying that the Commission cleared the organization “without examining any of the evidence presented,” that the organisation has admitted funding two organisations linked to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and alleging that Muslim Aid is “closely linked to the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe, which wants to create a sharia state in Europe.” [31][32]

In 2003, ABC News established a link between a Muslim Aid Australia and the Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah Indonesia (DDII) which is linked to the Islamist group Jemaah Islamiyah.[33] In 2008, their offices in Lakemba were raided by the police over allegations that funds were being sent through Interpal to help get money into Gaza during Israeli border closures.[34]

In 2008, the organisation was banned in Israel, due to its alleged ties to the Union of Good.[35] A 2009 report by the US-based think-tank Nine Eleven Finding Answers Foundation, also alleged the charity was part of the Union of Good.[6][36] Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies also said they funded Hamas.[37]

On the 2 May 2013 an international arrest warrant was issued for its long time trustee Chowdhury Mueen-Uddin for war crimes. He was subsequently found guilty in absentia of murdering 18 Bangladesh intellectuals as a leader within Al-Badr, a pro-Pakistan Islamist paramilitary force in the Bangladesh liberation war.[38]

The government of Bangladesh investigated the organisation for allegedly funding militants in the country.[39][40][41] In December 2013, Mozammel Hossain, the head of the Rangpur branch of Muslim Aid, was arrested for financing "subversive activities".[42][43] In April 2014, Bangladeshi politician Sayed Ashraful Islam of the Awami League Central Working Committee warned funds from the organisation were being used to spread "religious fanaticism".[44] Again in September 2014, Major general Abdur Rashid said they funded extremism.[45]

In 2014, the Charity Commission for England and Wales announced it was part of a "statutory inquiry".[46] According to the charity, the investigation was caused after they reported "non-compliance with some operational aspects in two field offices".[47][48] The Statutory Inquiry report has not yet been published.

Awards and nominations[edit]

In January 2014, he was nominated for the Charity of the Year award at the British Muslim Awards.[49]


  1. ^ Muslim Aid Souvenir Brochure, (2010) Published by Muslim Aid, London
  2. ^ "Muslim help for poor investigated by charity chiefs". The Times. 
  3. ^ "Muslim charity stripped of state funding over extremism fears". 11 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Gilligan, Andrew (2015-02-08). "How the Muslim Brotherhood fits into a network of extremism". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2015-02-19. 
  5. ^ Clarke, Matthew. Development and Religion: Theology and Practice. pp. 160–169. ISBN 0857930737. 
  6. ^ a b "Government donation to Muslim Charities Forum denounced as "madness"". 23 September 2014. 
  7. ^ New Straits Times - Mar 1, 1985
  8. ^ Charitable Crescent: Politics of Aid in the Muslim World. p79-80.
  9. ^ Marie Woolf (16 August 2012). "Sir Iqbal Sacranie: 'There can never be justification for killing". The Independent. 
  10. ^ a b Emel Muslim lifestyle magazine (April 2010), London P.32
  11. ^ Emel Muslim lifestyle magazine (April 2010), London P.33
  12. ^ Emel Muslim lifestyle magazine (April 2010), London P.34
  13. ^ Emel Muslim lifestyle magazine (April 2010), London P.35
  14. ^ Paul Peachey (26 April 2013). "Bomb plot: Life sentence for Irfan Naseer, ringleader of Birmingham". The Independent. 
  15. ^ "Terror trial: 'Public duped into funding bomb plotters'". BBC News. 
  16. ^ "Register Home Page". 
  17. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Muslim Aid. 
  18. ^ "Corporate Partners". Muslim Aid. 
  19. ^ "Muslim Aid and Al Asmakh Charity, Qatar sign MoU for Humanitarian Activities". Muslim Aid. 
  20. ^ Gerard Clarke. "Trans-faith Humanitarian Partnerships: The Case of Muslim Aid and the United Methodist Committee on Relief". 
  21. ^ "Muslim Aid warns of food crisis in CAR as part of interfaith aid coalition". Muslim Aid. 
  22. ^ "BBC NEWS - Asia-Pacific - Asian disaster: How to help". 
  23. ^ "Announcements". 
  24. ^ [1][dead link]
  25. ^ a b [2][dead link]
  26. ^ "Muslim Aid Media Centre". Muslim Aid. 
  27. ^ Muslims Aid 25th Anniversary Event
  28. ^ "The Children’s Night of Empowerment with Ahmed Bukhatir". Muslim Aid. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  29. ^ " - Spain charity terror link alleged - Dec. 8, 2002". 
  30. ^ "Muslim Aid charity under investigation". Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. 
  31. ^ "Charity watchdog loses its bite". 25 December 2010. 
  32. ^ "Charity governance and trustee news - News - Civil Society". Civil Society - Governance. 
  33. ^ McKenzie, Nick (2003-06-24). "Claim money from Aust sent to organisations linked to terrorism". ABC News (Australia). Retrieved 2014-12-30. 
  34. ^ Welch, Dylan (2008-07-25). "Federal police raid Islamic charity". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2014-12-30. 
  35. ^ "Defense Minister signs order banning Hamas-affiliated charitable organizations". GxMSDev. 
  36. ^
  37. ^ Cordesman, Anthony (2002). Peace and War: The Arab-Israeli Military Balance Enters the 21st Century. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 247. ISBN 0275969398. 
  38. ^ "Bangladesh finds UK and US accused guilty of war crimes". BBC News. 
  39. ^ "NGOs under scanner for 'funding militancy'". 
  40. ^ "Hasina: No vote rigging by AL-backed candidates - Dhaka Tribune". 
  41. ^ "Ten Islamist outfits to face ban - Dhaka Tribune". 
  42. ^ "One succumbs to injuries from blockade arson - Dhaka Tribune". 
  43. ^ "The Independent - Online Edition". The Independent Online and Print Version. 
  44. ^ "ALCWC warns people against cyber war of fanatic forces". Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (Dhaka). 2014-04-05. Retrieved 2015-01-05. 
  45. ^ Islam, Rabiul (2014-09-12). "Agencies asked to unearth source of militant financing". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 2015-01-05. 
  46. ^ "Charity Commission names further charities under investigation". 
  47. ^ "Charity Commission announces statutory inquiry into Muslim Aid". 
  48. ^ "Muslim Aid’s statement on Charity Commission Inquiry". Muslim Aid. 
  49. ^ "British Muslim Awards 2014 winners". Asian Image. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2015. 

External links[edit]