IslamismNovember 15 2022, 13:41 pm

Qatari Funding of German Mosques Highlighted by German Media

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.



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