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Terrorism in the name of philanthropy: The dark underbelly of Charity Business

An organization is collecting funds in the name of charity from India. However, the same organization changes the setting of its Facebook page in such a way that a donor (or any other person) cannot access it from India. Consider this, Dr Bilal Philips, a Canadian Muslim preacher known for his extremist views and open support for terrorist organizations like Taliban and Hamas is hired as star campaigner for raising funds in the name of helping Covid 19 patients in India. Both the stories have a common link in the form of self-acclaimed charitable organization named Muslim Aid.

Similar to the plot of any Hollywood thriller showing financial fraud, the Australia branch of Muslim Aid (Muslim Aid Australia) launched a fund raising program/campaign on May 2021 for helping India during the Covid 19 pandemic. As revealed by the DisinfoLab (an independent NGO focused on researching & tackling sophisticated disinformation campaigns) in its recent report, Muslim Aid, Australia in one of its Facebook posts (May 27) said that their consignment of total 40 oxygen concentrators reached India, however, no information was given on the ultimate beneficiary hospital/clinic, ground volunteers, local partners and even state or districts they are providing help in.

To give boost to its fund raising campaign, Muslim Aid Australia availed the service of Dr Bilal Philips who is suspected by CIA to have links with several terrorist organizations including ISIS. Dr Bilal is also the board member of Islamic Education Research Academy (IERA) which is known throughout the world for having the most hardline radical Islamists in the world as members. The biggest irony of the campaign being run by Muslim Aid Australia is the fact that while Dr Bilal is helping to raise funds for the Australia based organization, he himself stands banned/deported from Australia since 2007!

The DisinfoLab further revealed that apart from Australia, Britain banned Dr Bilal for having extremist views on killing of those involved in homosexuality & adultery & influencing the youth. Kenya banned Dr Bilal due to his potential terror links. Philippines went one step ahead and arrested & later deported him to Canada for his links with terrorist groups like ISIS. The cycle of banning/deporting didn’t stop here, as recent as 2014, our immediate neighbor Bangladesh (a Muslim majority country) banned Dr Bilal for inspiring youth in Jihad and suicide bombing. To add to it, Dr Bilal is also the unindicted co-conspirator of the 1993 world Trade Centre bomb blasts in USA. Muslim Aid Australia’s engagement with a person like Dr Bilal Philips raises some serious questions- What was the end use of the funds collected in the name of Covid crisis in India and secondly, those who donated in the name of charity, did they unknowingly helped in terror funding? These are questions affecting the national security and hence must be answered as soon as possible.

Mahatma Gandhi once said: “We must not see evil, hear no evil and speak no evil. The question is- can we afford to close our eyes & ears while donating to shady organizations like Muslim Aid? Unless the donors gather courage and ask Muslim Aid about the targeted beneficiary of their donations, the burden will remain on their shoulders if the money is not being used for constructive purposes.

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