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Fri 24 November 2017

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Interpal’s Name is Cleared
The Charity Commission unfroze the assets of theUK-based charity, Interpal, and cleared its name on September 24th.
Allegations that Interpal is linked to Hamas instigated a thorough search on the nature of Interpal’s activities. The Commission ultimately concluded that the charity’s funds “were for humanitarian work.

"We are delighted and now we can get back to the real business of humanitarian aid and relief of the Palestinians,"said Ibrahim Hewitt, Chairman of Interpal,” Though the US put forth flimsy evidence, the Charity Commission froze Interpal’s accounts, depriving beneficiaries of their dire needs.
The Charity Commission had received information that Interpal obtained funds from the Al-Aqsa Foundation, an organization that the US claimed was “allegedly supporting terrorist activities.”
The Charity Commission was able to establish that Interpal had received the funds before Al-Aqsa Foundation’s accounts were frozen and the funds were for the distribution of (qurbani) meat to the poor, during Eid Al-Adha, Eid following the Hajj pilgrimage.
"As the independent charity regulator it is our duty to look into serious allegations about charities' link to terrorism. At the same time, we must have sufficient evidence to warrant an inquiry continuing. We have moved swiftly to reach a conclusion on this case because of the possible adverse impact of our actions on the charity's beneficiaries, said Simon Gillespie, director of operations at the Charity Commission.
But this isn’t the first time that Interpal, comes under the scrutiny of public eye. In 1996, similar allegations led to the Commission’s investigation of Interpal’s funding. No evidence was provided to support the allegations and so the inquiry was closed.
However, the Muslim community is critical of the approach of the Charity Commission to act then search for evidence. It “shows that instead of acting on mere allegations, it would have been appropriate if the Commission had obtained the ‘evidence’ first before taking any action,” said Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, Iqbal Sacranie.
Freezing Interpal’s account harmed not only the charity itself but most importantly the beneficiaries.

M. Afifi

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