A report published by UK based newspaper, The Telegraph, has warned about the lack of independence of the British Qatar Charity UK, because of its close connection to a Qatari group, which is considered terrorist by Qatar’s neighbouring countries. This charity delivers millions of pounds to several organisations across Britain, as well as to mosques.
About 98% of the Qatar Charity UK funds come from the Doha-based Qatar Charity Qatar (QCQ). The newspaper report raises concern that the UK charity’s trustees in 2015 were linked to the QCQ, and it was one of a dozen organisations, which were reportedly involved in terrorism in 2017.
It was in 2015, when the the Charity Commission expressed its main concern, that included that the charity received in 2014, £451,605 (98%) of its income from the Qatari-registered charity, Qatar Charity Qatar (‘QCQ’), and three of the seven trustees of the charity are directors or employees of QCQ. The Commission’s records indicate that the remaining four trustees are also linked with QCQ as their registered addresses were that of QCQ.
Later, the Qatar Charity UK, renamed itself the Nectar Trust, whose account received around £28 million in 2017. The Charity Commission report stated that the Israeli government has banned it from operating, as it discovered that it was funding Hamas’s organisation. The newspaper reported that the charity organisation was managed by a Qatari businessman, who created a website through which he was urging Muslims to hate Jews and Christians.
The Telegraph’s report stated, “trustees who are employed by QCQ have a conflict of loyalty; although they do not have a personal benefit from decisions made in their role they have loyalty to another organisation (QCQ), as well as to the charity. It is also worried that QCQ finances terrorism.”
The Telegraph revealed in 2017 that one of the projects financed by Qatar Charity UK, was the construction of a mosque in Sheffield, under the supervision of a Kuwaiti official who claimed Jews organised the 11 September attacks. The official subsequently is the mosque’s director.
QCQ describes itself as a “leading torch in the humanitarian and charitable fields,” that has spent more than $1 billion (£823 million), helping 110 million people across the world.
Qatar has been also accused of funding the Muslim Brotherhood, who are designated by many Arab and foreign countries as a terrorist organization. The Times news reported that Qatar has a hidden agenda of supporting religious extremists worldwide to spread their ideology through financing their charities. Qatar is subject of a two-year Saudi-led economic embargo, including bans on direct air, land and sea travel, between the boycotting nations and Qatar, as well as sanctions after accusing Doha of sponsoring terrorism.
Although Qatar has repeatedly denied backing or funding terror groups, some western diplomats have accused it of allowing the funding of some Sunni extremists, including Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria.
Qatar is considered to be Turkey’s closest ally in the Middle East region, where both countries have supported extremist groups in political and military contexts. Their support of the Muslim Brotherhood organization has brought them into conflict with regional rivals in Libya, Egypt, Palestine and Syria.
The Gulf News issued a report stating that the Qatar Charity is an NGO that was established in 1992 mainly to help orphans from the Afghan War, then expanded horizontally and vertically across the globe, with the lion’s share of its activities focused on Europe. “Around 140 projects spread in Europe, mainly mosques and Islamic centres, were directly funded by Qatar over the past eight years,” according to the report. Their activities spread across territory from the north of Norway to the coast of Normandy, France, totalling an expenditure of €90 million, ($99 million).
According to The Gulf News, “Ninety per cent of that activity was linked to Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated organisations through a system that is very efficient, sophisticated, and legal. Much of the funding came from office of the former emir, Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and the Qatar Charity.” Ultimately, Doha would like to control and influence Islamic societies across Europe, and is using its charitable arm in pursuit of this.