In a January 16, 2023, Twitter post, Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) CEO Waseem Ahmad announced his participation in the 2023 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. According to the post:
I’m in Davos this week for #WorldEconomicForum. Our world faces unprecedented challenges – rising inequality, climate change, global hunger. I’m here to explore ways for better collaboration + innovation with private sector so we can find fair & lasting solutions #WEF #Davos2023
Read the post here.
This year’s WEF Annual Meeting, titled “Cooperation in a Fragmented World,” takes place from January 16–20, 2023, and brings together 2,700 politicians, business people, and civil society leaders from 130 countries, including 52 heads of state or government. Founded in 1971, the WEF is one the world’s largest and most influential lobbying organizations. It describes itself as engaging “the foremost political, business, cultural and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.” The WEF, and Klaus Schwab in particular, are regularly targeted by far-right conspiracy theorists and the Global National Conservative Alliance (GNCA) over allegations of seeking to implement radical global policies such as forced vaccination, digital ID cards, and the renunciation of private property.
Waseem Ahmad, who joined IRW 20 years ago as a Program Officer in the Balochistan province of southwestern Pakistan, has been serving as CEO since May 2021. According to Ahmad, he participated in a civil society session with WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, discussing the role of faith organizations and religious communities in responding to the world’s big crises and laying out how they can collaborate on innovative solutions to end global hunger. Ahmad also said he participated in a session with Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. about improving food security and nutrition.
Islamic Relief Worldwide is a UK-based international charity organization whose senior management has included many Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB) leaders. Established in 1984, IRW co-founders included Essam El-Haddad, a senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood member who later became an adviser to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, and Hany El-Banna, who later founded the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF), which was stripped of UK public funding over its ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas. A former long-time IRW trustee is Ibrahim El-Zayat, a leader in both the European and the German Muslim Brotherhood. El-Zayat was also a trustee of the German branch of Islamic Relief and is currently a board member of Islamic Relief Australia. Former IRW chair of trustees Lamia El-Amri is a former President of the European Forum of Muslim Women, part of the Council of European Muslims.
In November 2020, the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) identified the father of a Dutch parliamentary candidate as a Muslim Brotherhood leader and Islamic Relief CEO in that country. In December 2020, the GIOR reported that the German government had stopped all funding for Islamic Relief Germany, likely due to its ties to the GMB.