Charities Aid Foundation has refused to deny reports that it has closed the online donation page for Islamic Relief Worldwide in the wake of its designation as an “unauthorised association” by Israel.
CAF says it cannot comment on its relationship with individual organisations so is unable to confirm or deny the claim, reported yesterday.
Islamic Relief has also declined to comment on the report, though it has refuted a connected allegation that CAF Bank had closed its bank account. “Islamic Relief has never had a Charities Aid Foundation bank account,” it said.
A search for Islamic Relief Worldwide on the CAF Donate web page returned no results today, but a recent advertisement for a supporter relations assistant at Islamic Relief UK describes part of the job description as “processing payroll giving and CAF donations” – suggesting the charity was registered with CAF at some stage.
The charity issued a statement: “On 19 June 2014 Israel’s Minister of Defence issued a declaration listing Islamic Relief Worldwide as an ‘unauthorised association’ in Israel and the West Bank, claiming that Islamic Relief Worldwide is linked to Hamas. Islamic Relief Worldwide is a purely humanitarian organisation and categorically denies these allegations.
“No organisation is investigating Islamic Relief Worldwide as a result of these allegations, and no financial institution has closed any of our accounts. Islamic Relief has never had a Charities Aid Foundation bank account.
“As a responsible organisation we are looking into this matter thoroughly to ensure that our processes for aid delivery have been followed. Islamic Relief decided independently that it will not draw down any funds from the DEC Gaza Crisis Appeal until our review is completed.
CAF also issued a statement: “We are currently supporting organisations of all faiths working in conflict zones in the Middle East and all over the world as we have for many years.
“CAF currently supports around 400 Islamic charities and have added nearly 50 Islamic charities to our list of validated charities over the past year.
“We are absolutely neutral and would never discriminate against any particular cause in any way. We are absolutely committed to supporting all organisations undertaking humanitarian work, regardless of faith or mission, within our UK and international obligations.
“It would be wrong for us to discuss our processes, but like any financial intermediary, we have robust systems in place to ensure we comply with our UK and international obligations to protect against fraud, money laundering, bribery and corruption and terrorism financing while working with charitable organisations to support their work in conflict zones and elsewhere.”