Following the February earthquakes, which claimed tens of thousands of lives in Turkey and Syria, there have been many calls for donations and humanitarian aid. According to a CBS News report, Nassau County of New York has shared a list of “vetted agencies for monetary donations,” which includes various Turkish influence groups and groups tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB):
- The Turkish American National Steering Committee
- Islamic Relief USA
- Diyanet Center of America (US branch of Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs or Diyanet)
- Helping Hand for Relief and Development
- Muslim Aid USA
- Zakat Foundation of America
Many believe that Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood or Hezbollah gain popular support by offering social services through their vast network of charities, clinics, and community centers. This has long been seen as a crucial aspect of Islamist outreach and organization, helping to establish their reputation for honesty and effectiveness and giving them a political advantage while promoting the Islamization of society. However, there are some researchers that challenge some of the commonly held assumptions about the nature and importance of these social services.