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Entire board at UK’s top Muslim charity resigns over official’s praise for Hamas

Almoutaz Tayara of Islamic Relief Worldwide sorry for social media posts; predecessor also quit over anti-Semitic messages

Illustrative: A man enters Islamic Relief Worldwide's headquarters in Birmingham, UK. (video screenshot)
Illustrative: A man enters Islamic Relief Worldwide's headquarters in Birmingham, UK. (video screenshot)

The entire board of the UK’s largest Muslim charity was set to resign Sunday after it was revealed that its new chairman described Israel as the “Zionist enemy” and praised the Hamas terrorist group, the Times newspaper reported.

Islamic Relief Worldwide trustee and director, Almoutaz Tayara, who joined the board last month after his disgraced predecessor quit over anti-Semitic comments, has described the leaders of Hamas terror group as “great men” who were answering the “divine and holy call of the Muslim Brotherhood.”

“The al-Qassem heroes did not graduate from the military academies of the UK and the US, unlike the rulers and royals of the Arab world who, there, were nurtured on cowardice and allegiance to the foreigners — the UK and the US,” Tayara wrote, referring to the Hamas military wing.

The comments were made in social media posts in Arabic from 2014 and 2015, which were discovered by terrorism researchers.

There was also a caricature depicting former US president Barack Obama wearing a blue tie branded with a white Star of David, the British newspaper reported.

Islamic Relief Germany, where Tayara was chairman, told the Times that it had known about the social media posts since 2017, but had nonetheless allowed Tayara to continue in his role after he deleted them and closed his Facebook account.

Tayara told the newspaper that he was “deeply ashamed.”

“I do not support any terrorist movement. I do not support the Muslim Brotherhood or the Izz al-Din al-Qassem Brigades. I am not an anti-Semite,” he said.

Based in Birmingham, Islamic Relief Worldwide has branches in 40 countries and is one of the largest Islamic charities in the world.

Last year, the German government said that the charity had “significant ties” to the Muslim Brotherhood, which the charity denied, the Times reported.

Heshmat Khalifa (Courtesy)

Last month, the Times found posts from 2014 and 2015 in which the charity’s then-board member Heshmat Khalifa said the Jews were “grandchildren of monkeys and pigs,” a common refrain among anti-Semitic Muslims, based on a controversial Quranic verse.

In other posts, he called Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi a “Zionist Pimp” for his support of Israel, as well as a “Zionist pig,” a “Zionist traitor” and a “Zionist criminal.”

He also called the Hamas terror organization, responsible for thousands of deaths of Israeli civilians, “the purest resistance movement in modern history.”

He was then replaced on the board by Tayara.

Last month, after the revelation Khalifa had posted anti-Semitic messages, IRW said it was “appalled by the hateful comments,” adding that they condemned anti-Semitism and terrorism.

In the wake of the revelation of Tayara’s posts, the organization said that they too were to be condemned.

The Charity Commission for England and Wales said last month that it was launching a probe into the matter and has now requested an urgent meeting with the new incoming board.

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