Saturday, 18 September, 2021

Covid Aid Scam (Part IV)

Muslim Aid Australia joins the looting

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 14 September, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

Yet another branch of charity came up as Muslim Aid Australia, which has also joined the looting.

The Terrorist - Muslim Aid Australia

Muslim Aid Australia, which was first established in 1991, was officially incorporated on December 3, 2012 (ABN number- 23056512958). Like sister concerns, Muslim Aid Australia started a fundraiser on the good old LaunchGood platform for helping India during the Covid-19 crisis.

However, they went one step ahead and as their star campaigner for this fundraising, Dr Bilal Philips, has alleged links with Hamas and Taliban. The Muslim Aid Australia launched its fundraising campaign on May 3, 2021 with a target of raising US$25,000. Its star attraction, Dr Bilal Philips, also made a post about the fundraiser on his personal Facebook page on the same day, asking for funds to face the Covid-19 crisis in India.

Charity doesn’t get better than this

To have an ‘impact’ on the fundraising, Muslim Aid Australia used a picture on LaunchGood which is available on Getty Images for US$499. The picture is of a tuberculosis patient from 2018, which Muslim Aid Australia used for the Covid campaign.

What did Muslim Aid Australia deliver?

As per the Facebook post of Muslim Aid Australia dated May 27, their consignment showed a total of 40 oxygen concentrators, but again there was no mention of the ultimate beneficiary hospital/clinic, ground volunteers, local partners and even district or state they are providing help for.

The philanthropist with terror links

Muslim Aid Australia’s celebrity campaigner Dr Bilal Philips (Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips) is a Canadian Muslim teacher who currently lives in Qatar. He is a former board member of Islamic Education Research Academy (iERA) which is known to have members of most hard-line radical Islamists in the world. He has also been known for his support to Taliban and Hamas. And while Muslim Aid Australia engaged Bilal Philips for promoting its fundraiser on LaunchGood, Bilal himself was banned or deported from several countries, including Australia!

The countries which have banned or deported him for having either terror connections or possessing extremist views are the US, the UK, Kenya, Australia, Denmark, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

*2007 – Australia- The national security agency along with Department of Immigration banned Philips from entering Australia in April, 2007.

*2010- Britain- In 2010, British Home Secretary banned Bilal Philips for having extremist views on killing of those involved in homosexuality and adultery and influencing the youth.

*2012- Kenya- In 2012, Kenya banned Bilal Philips from entering their country due to his potential terror links.

*2014- Philippines- In September 2014, the Philippines police authorities arrested Bilal Philips for his possible links with radical Islamic groups such as ISIS. He was later deported to Canada.

*2014- Bangladesh- In June 2014, Bangladesh also banned Bilal Philips for inspiring youths in jihad with suicide bombing.

*2017- Denmark- In 2017, the Denmark government banned Bilal Philips, along with five other foreign clerics for two years, because of their anti-democratic views.

He is also the co-conspirator of the 1993 World Trade Centre bomb blasts in the United States but has not been indicted.

The educationist with terror links

Bilal Philips worked in India during 2009-10 and founded two educational institutions i.e. Preston International College and Al-Fajr International School both in Chennai.

The managing team of both Preston International College and Al-Fajr International School comprises of the same members i.e. Ahmed Meeran S (Chairman), Jiffy Kasim MH (Correspondent) & Abdus Samad (Treasurer).

The core team of both institutions comprises of two common members – Mohammad Umar Sulaiman (Director of Operations), Azeezrur Rahman (Manager, Operations).

Muslim Aid UK

Muslim Aid UK was the very first front to be formed in 1985 with company No. CE012794 & Charity No. 1176462.

Change in board members during 2016-18

Just like Muslim Aid USA, the UK branch also saw a change in its regime during 2016-18. The reasons were possible financial fraud in the branches in Gambia and Sudan during 2010-12. Due to that, the UK Charity Commission ordered a complete revamp of the board in 2015. As a result, there were new faces in the board during 2016-18 as explained through the below graphic:

The current board members of Muslim Aid UK:

1. Iftikhar Awan, Chair

2. Sara Pantuliano, Deputy Chair

3. Mohammad Abdul Aziz

4. Aaqil Ahmed, Trustee

5. Mustafa Faruqi, Trustee

6. Salim Omar, (Trustee)

Fund collection

With the other fronts of Muslim Aid collecting funds for Covid-19 relief in India, the UK branch started a parallel fundraiser for the same. They promoted their fundraisers on three different dates on Facebook i.e. on May 23, 27 & June 10.

All the pictures used in their social media posts have been taken from Shutterstock or similar other sources costing around US$500. Many of these pictures are not only related to India’s Covid crisis for which the help was sought, but were not even from the country. A picture of Rohingya Muslim girls from Malaysia was used as India’s worsening Covid crisis!

Interestingly, unlike their US and Australia brethren, the only option of fund collection deployed by Muslim Aid UK was directly through their website, implying: No transparency and accountability. There have been no updates on any of their platform about any fund collection and subsequent deliveries.