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Muslim Aid and Al Badr: There’s more to this than meets the eye

Al Badr- a terrorist organisation, was responsible for systematic execution of Bengali intellectuals who supported the cause of an independent Bangladesh. This genocide by Al Badr was later declared a war crime. Muslim Aid, an organisation based in United Kingdom describes itself on its website as “a faith-based British international charity that provides help to people who are victims of natural disaster or suffering from poverty, hunger, discrimination etc. if such diverse organisations are being referred in a single sentence, there is a need for explanation. An ordinary eye may miss the correlation between Al Badr and Muslim Aid; however, a close look would reveal the ugly truth.

After a prolong hearing on war crimes, a special court in Dhaka, Bangladesh sentenced former leaders of Al Badr organisation to death in absentia for committing war crimes by killing thousands of Bangladeshi intellectuals in collaboration with Pakistani army around 1971. The leaders who were indicted are Ashrafuz Zaman Khan and Chowdhary Mueen-Uddin. Prima facie the case appears to be of an extremist organisation with links to Pakistan and Bangladesh. However, Chowdhary Mueen-Uddin’s future adventures tell a different story. In a classical case of turning black into white, Chowdhary Mueen-Uddin utilising his connections with Jamaat e Islami Pakistan and Jamaat e Islami Bangladesh escaped to London and joined a charity organisation named “Muslim Aid”, remained trustee/Board member in various capacities over subsequent years and even became its Chairman. After joining Muslim Aid, Chowdhary helped its expansion in USA, Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bosnia and Sweden.

Is Muslim Aid a cause of concern? Given the fact that its Chairman was a leader of dreaded organisation like Al Badr and banning of Muslim Aid by Bangladesh and Israel for its terror links points towards an answer in affirmation. While Muslim Aid claims it to be a charitable organisation, Spain has time and again accused Muslim Aid of funding the Mujahedeen fighters of Bosnia. Muslim Aid recently collected funds in the name of COVID-19 crisis in India. How much of that amount was actually sent to the real beneficiaries is certainly questionable as Muslim Aid is having no tangible base in India. However, as revealed in a recent investigation by EU DisinfoLab (An independent NGO focused on researching and tackling sophisticated disinformation campaigns targeting the EU, its member states, core institutions, and core values.), the fund collected is currently being utilized by an unholy nexus of Pak army establishment- and a set of families who have been running these organisations for generations. Feeding on the donation of common people, including large section of Muslim population, the families of Persons like Choudhary Mueen-Uddin enjoy lavish lifestyles in the developed countries like USA, Canada, Australia, UK etc.

Every year, millions of Muslims give charity amounting to millions by following the verse 2:215 of Quran which says “Whatever you spend of your wealth is for (your) parents and near relatives, and the (needy) orphans, the destitute and the wayfarer.” Do organisations like Muslim Aid having chairman with linkage to Al Badr fall in any of the above category? Turning a blind eye from reality is certainly not applicable on a Muslim. Charity must be given after due enquiry of the recipient. In this fast changing and highly polarised world, charitable amounts may certainly be used for activities other than the intended purpose. The onus lies on the donors to verify the name.

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