How does Islamic Relief USA respond to allegations that Islamic Relief USA is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood?
At Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA), our vision is to work together for a world free of poverty. To this end, our mission is to provide relief and development in a dignified manner regardless of gender, race, or religion, and to work to empower individuals in their communities and give them a voice in the world. In doing so, we operate on the following five humanitarian values: excellence, sincerity, compassion, custodianship, and social justice.
Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) is a wholly independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has operated in the United States since 1993. IRUSA is a purely humanitarian organization and does not engage in any religious proselytization or further any political or religious standpoint. IRUSA therefore does not have any affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood, and further maintains no improper links to any external political or religious organization. IRUSA categorically denies any allegations implying the existence of any inappropriate influence by or links with external political organizations and/or religious movements.
As 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, IRUSA does not participate in partisan politics nor endorse any political party or organization. In addition, as an international humanitarian organization and signatory to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Code of Conduct, IRUSA and its officers adhere to strict standards of impartiality and neutrality in all aspects of its operations. IRUSA also maintains comprehensive conflicts of interest policies and employs robust grant management systems that require extensive vetting and multi-level approval processes to safeguard against undue influence from any one individual or entity. Thus, these controls operate to ensure that IRUSA delivers aid on the basis of need alone, regardless of race, creed or nationality of the recipients, and does not consider or further any political or religious standpoint. No external organization unduly influences Islamic Relief USA in any manner. Further, no individual IRUSA staff member, managing executive or board member may use IRUSA’s projects or donor funds to pursue his or her own personal or political interests or agenda.
Any claims that IRUSA is connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, or any external third party, are false and not grounded in fact. These types of false implications undermine IRUSA’s politically neutral and impartial status as a humanitarian organization, and compromise our ability to deliver essential relief and development to the most vulnerable individuals in need, both at home and abroad.
How does Islamic Relief USA respond to allegations that it has ties to terrorist or extremist organizations?
Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA) acknowledges that certain fringe organizations and baseless online media outlets promote false claims that IRUSA and/or its partners have ties to extremist or terrorist organizations. However, these allegations are categorically false and completely without merit. IRUSA and its partners unequivocally condemn terrorism and violence manifested in any form.
IRUSA is a duly registered, independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that has been operating in the United States to deliver humanitarian relief and development since its formation in 1993. IRUSA’s activities and financial records are therefore subject to routine audits, and the results are made public to ensure compliance with rigorous local, state, and federal laws and regulations. In addition to routine audits conducted by government bodies and accounting firms, IRUSA periodically undergoes voluntary self-elected audits by third parties to assess and strengthen the quality and effectiveness of its internal controls and practices. Finally, as a donor-driven institution, we are committed to full transparency and accountability and regularly invite our trusted and loyal donor base to closely examine our financial records and annual reports that are made available on our website.
Because of our underlying commitment to transparency and good business practices, IRUSA has been consistently recognized as a top-rated U.S. charity by trustworthy institutions such as Charity Navigator, the Better Business Bureau, GuideStar Exchange, and GreatNonprofits. Furthermore, IRUSA is also a member of the United States Government’s Combined Federal Campaign (CFC#: 10154), which directly enables government employees to make charitable donations to the organization, thereby indicating we have met a broad array of requirements and regulations. Thus, any claim that IRUSA has any affiliation whatsoever with any terrorist or extremist entities are frivolous and not grounded in fact.
How is Islamic Relief USA dealing with Islamophobia and negative rhetoric against Islam and Muslims?
Islamic Relief USA responds to Islamophobia and negative rhetoric against Islam by continuing our commitment to providing humanitarian relief and development to the most vulnerable individuals both at home and abroad, thereby demonstrating our core values of compassion, social justice and sincerity. We categorically condemn and abhor violence and extremism in any form. Following the tradition of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we endeavor to overcome divides and unify communities through our humanitarian work, partnerships and advocacy efforts. We allow the essential work we do to speak for itself. By focusing on our humanitarian mission, and serving the world’s most vulnerable people, we showcase what Islam truly is about.
We want people to know the truth about our work and why we do it. We believe that investing in advocacy allows us to eliminate obstacles that could otherwise prevent us from doing our work effectively and reaching people in need all across the world. With the various challenges Muslims in America face, we recognize that we need to advocate for issues that are relevant to our mission and impact all domestic charities working to respond to humanitarian needs. That is why, in addition to continuing our programmatic humanitarian work, we have focused in recent years on increasing our advocacy efforts and dedicated resources to the task. We want to be part of the conversation, so we engage with the media to share positive stories that showcase the best of the American Muslim community
We educate, engage, and partner with various agencies within the federal government, including the US Department of Agriculture, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and Health and Human Services. We facilitate dialogue with members of Congress and with state and local officeholders, such as mayors of the cities where we have offices and members of city councils. The Mayor of Alexandria visited our Alexandria, Virginia and read the City Council Statement of Inclusiveness, and are regularly invited to attend the New York City Mayor’s annual Ramadan iftar. When we talk to our leaders and representatives, we educate them about the great work our donors support and how we are working to make an impact in key humanitarian areas in their communities and around the world. Beyond the wide array of events that we host, we also engage extensively on policy, especially in coalition on matters related to our humanitarian work and protecting the space for non-profit organizations to implement their missions.
We find that by building relationships through engagement and education, and being good neighbors, we can transform sentiments of distrust and fear to curiosity, appreciation and, ultimately, friendship and unity.
What is the difference between Islamic Relief Worldwide and Islamic Relief USA?
Islamic Relief USA is an independent affiliate of Islamic Relief Worldwide and the Islamic Relief family of charities. We are completely separate legal entities that work together under the Islamic Relief Worldwide umbrella to provide aid.
What is your relationship with the U.S. government?
Islamic Relief USA receives no government funding, but we have an excellent working relationship with the federal government. We work with U.S. agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture on projects (see a related blog from the USDA website, “Food and Faith: Setting a Safe and Healthy Table”). Islamic Relief USA’s leadership and staff serves on boards, and regularly attend U.S. government meetings related to the work we do. And each year, U.S. Office of Personnel Management lists us in its Combined Federal Campaign catalogue (CFC #10194) as an approved charity to which employees are encouraged to donate.
For more information visit our FAQ page.