Qatari media has reported on what was described as the first official visit of British Ambassador Jonathan Wilks to Qatar Charity (QC). According to the Gulf Times report, Wilks describes the visit as follows:
October 13, 2020 I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Qatar Charity. I was impressed with Qatar Charity’s wide range of activities across the world and their use of technology to monitor and control income and expenditure… I look forward to building on this first visit in the years to come.
Although QC is ostensibly an independent charity, a book by two French journalists refers to QC as the “religious soft power of Doha.”
In 2015, Qatari media reported that Qatar Charity (QC) had launched its Ghaith (Rain) Initiative to “serve Islamic projects worldwide” and that the project operates in more than 50 countries “through the establishment of Islamic centres that spread the Islamic sciences, studies, and culture in the Western countries.” The report said that the initiative covered places such as France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, Britain, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Switzerland, US, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, Ukraine, Luxembourg, Brazil, Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, and Hungary. The book by the French journalists refers to hundreds of letters between QC and its beneficiaries, mostly associations close to the Muslim Brotherhood. In 2016, the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Watch reported that QC was a major funder of the Ligue des Musulmans de Belgique, the main Muslim Brotherhood national group in Belgium.
According to Gulf media, Qatar Charity opened a branch in London in June 2014, attended by its chairman, CEO, and the Qatari ambassador to the UK and others. Qatar Charity UK (QCUK) ‘s opening was said to come from the need for direct supervision of the projects in Britain and Europe. In 2015, QCUK changed its name to Nectar Trust and said it has agreed to diversify its trustees, now claiming to be independent of Qatar Charity (QC). However, UK corporate records identify one of its current trustees as Saleh Mohammed Al Marri, a Qatari national resident in Qatar, and likely the same individual referred to in a Qatari media report as an advisor to the CEO QC. Another Nectar Trust trustee is Mohammed Abdulrahman Dabwan Saif, whose LinkedIn resume says was the form Media and Communications Manager for QC.
QCUK was a major funder of a UK charity based in Sheffield called the Emaan Trust, which constructed the Sheffield Grand Mosque in Sheffield, intended to become a large, multi-functional Islamic Center in the city. According to an article by the UK Daily Telegraph, based on an unpublished report authored by the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR) Senior Editor, Emaan Trust had among its trustees senior figures connected to the Global Muslim Brotherhood such as Ahmed Al-Rawi, as well as two Kuwaiti officials with a history of making anti-Semitic remarks. Our Senior Editor also gave detailed written evidence to the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee on Qatar Charity (QC) and Qatar Charity UK (QCUK) in funding projects across Europe, particularly the Sheffield project.