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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormon Church, is the single largest donor to the U.S. branch of Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), also known as Islamic Relief. In the past year, it donated $1.6 million to the charity.
But Islamic Relief is not just any charity. The Israeli government says it is a HAMAS front group. It is also under investigation by the American government.
IRW was founded in 1984 by Dr. Hany El Banna. He is a relative of Hassan El Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist group–from which HAMAS, Yasser Arafat, and Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command Ayman Al-Zawahiri emanated.
I note that they are talking about "goods and services" and not much about money. It also sounds as though they are behaving pretty much the way we would hope all Americans would act to Muslims.
The Mormon Church has become the biggest contributor to Buena Park-based Islamic Relief, touted by its administrators as the West's largest Muslim-based charity. Relief officials say the church has donated $20 million in goods and services since the 2004 tsunami, equal to about 20% of the charity's annual budget.
And Mormons and Muslims say they often are co-hosts of educational and social programs at which, though some may be angling for long-term doctrinal influence, very little open proselytizing of each other seems to take place. "We have a very close and friendly relationship," said Keith Atkinson, West Coast LDS spokesman.
Mormons "explain our faith to anyone who will listen" and "treat Muslims like anybody else," said Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, one of the church's top governing bodies in Salt Lake City. But Oaks added that "we don't preach to people who would be disenfranchised" or likely offended.
I agree they could be selling the relief supplies once they get there, but I'm still looking for a little more evidence that they're "funding a terrorist organization."
SALT LAKE CITY — The LDS Church shipped an estimated 400,000 pounds of food, blankets and other relief aid Friday to flood-ravaged Pakistan.
"We're loading 10 containers that will be shipped to Pakistan," said Nate Leishman, the church's manager of emergency response. "We're doing this in conjunction with one of our partners, which is Islamic Relief."
Under an arrangement between the Mormons and Islamic Relief, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is donating physical goods while Islamic Relief oversees shipping and distribution.