The European Commission intends to suspend all payments to Muslim Aid. The revelation comes after New Europe’s uncovering of over 14 million Euro of Humanitarian Aid financing to Muslim Aid, a UK-based charity that has among other things, been banned in Israel for fundraising for Hamas, an organisation recognised as a terrorist organisation by the European Union.
Responding to New Europe, a European Commission spokesperson confirmed that “the Commission has already notified Muslim Aid of its intention to suspend all pending payments and in line with contractual obligations is currently waiting for Muslim Aid’s reply to the suspension”.
Despite the fact that Israel considers Muslim Aid a fundraiser for Hamas, the European Commission clarified that, “The concerns regarding Muslim Aid of which the Commission has been informed of are not in any way related to allegations of financing terrorism.”
This suggests that the grounds on which the Commission has called for the suspension of funding to Muslim Aid is on different grounds. The Commission was vague – but told New Europe that “The Commission has taken measures to prevent EU taxpayers’ monies from being unduly spent or diverted.”
In a letter dated 22 September to New Europe, after our initial publications, the CEO of Muslim Aid wrote that, “Our Charity is categorically not being investigated for terror ties or any misappropriation of funds. It is therefore incumbent on you to remove your article from your website with immediate effect as it is wholly untrue.”
Muslim Aid has even more problems, as the European Antifraud Office, OLAF, told New Europe that they “are aware of reports regarding possible irregularities involving European Commission Humanitarian Aid managed by Muslim Aid.” As a result, OLAF is currently conducting a preliminary assessment as to whether or not to launch an in-depth investigation into Muslim Aid’s use of EU funding. The OLAF press office told New Europe that “OLAF fully respects the presumption of innocence.” If OLAF opens an investigation that concludes that there was mismanagement of EU funding by an organization, they could be called upon to return some or all of the funding previously received.