In September 2022, several German newspapers and public broadcasters published reports highlighting suspected Qatar Charity (QC) funding of mosques and Islamic community centers in the German capital. According to an article by rbb:
An explosive video from Qatar as well as documents from Qatari charities suggest that millions of euros may have been funneled from Qatar to mosque associations in Berlin. […] The video shows Sheikh Ahmed Hammadi, a representative of the Qatar Charity, visiting Imam Sabri at the Neukölln mosque. In it, Sabri expresses his heartfelt thanks to the donors, saying, “Thank God, this mosque was bought in 2007 with the help and covering of most of the costs by people from Qatar. May God thank them for what you have done.” [Translated from German original.]
Read the rest here.
The article was part of an investigative research project by a team of reporters from the public broadcaster ARD and German weekly Die Zeit, who had evaluated documents, including payment plans and letters of request and thanks between the mosques and QC. They indicate that, from 2012–2016, the Interkulturelles Zentrum für Bildung und Dialog (IZBD) received QC funding for six million euros. The IZDB was identified by the German domestic intelligence agency as part of the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB) in Germany and closely tied to the country’s main GMB umbrella Deutsche Muslimische Gemeinschaft. The article further states that the IZDB premises in Berlin-Wedding are owned by the British charity Europe Trust, a part of the Council of European Muslims. (This was also noted in a March 2022 report by the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) about a motion submitted to the German Bundestag regarding the financing of political Islam in Germany.)
The rbb article also identifies the Berlin mosque Neuköllner Begegnungsstätte as another potential recipient of Qatari largesse. The Berlin mosque is mentioned in past Berlin domestic intelligence agency reports as tied to the GMB. Other Islamic community centers referenced in the documents are located in the German cities of Hamburg, Bielefeld, Bonn, Essen, Frankfurt (Main), Offenbach, Heidelberg, Ulm, and Munich. Denying that any payment had been made to organizations in breach of German law, Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told Die Zeit, “I really have no idea about Muslim Brotherhood mosques in any country or any city in Europe.”
Although QC is ostensibly an independent charity, a book authored by two French journalists refers to QC as the “religious soft power of Doha.” In 2015, Qatari media reported that the charity had launched an initiative to “serve Islamic projects worldwide” and that the project operated in more than 50 countries with the founding of Islamic centers in countries such as France, Germany, Australia, Ukraine, Bosnia, Albania, and Italy. In 2016, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch reported that QC was a major funder of the Ligue des Musulmans de Belgique, the leading Muslim Brotherhood national group in Belgium.