Founded in 1993 in California, Islamic Relief USA is a relief organization that works toward alleviating many of the issues that plague developing countries. Their mission statement explains that they work to “alleviate suffering, hunger, illiteracy and diseases worldwide regardless of color, race, religion or creed, and to provide aid in a compassionate and dignified manner.”

With partner organizations in over 35 countries worldwide, Islamic Relief USA supports projects revolving around health and nutrition, orphans, water and sanitation in close to 30 countries. The organization emphasizes implementing campaigns in response to problems like natural disasters and children in need, hoping to establish a more stable world.

Despite their humanitarian efforts, connections to the Muslim Brotherhood have pointed to possible corruption within the organization. The parent organization, Islamic Relief Worldwide, was founded by Hani Al-Bana, a former trustee of a group called Muslim Aid. There is question about how deep-seated the Muslim Brotherhood influence is within the organization.

In addition to possible corruption, the financial practices of Islamic Relief USA have come into question in the past few years as discrepancies in their reported numbers came to light. Prior to 2011, the organization claimed that 93.8 percent of its contributions were spent on charity, while the remainder was left for overhead. In reality, however, only 74 percent of the contributions were spent on charity.

As of 2012, Charity Navigator reported Islamic Relief USA had a score of 70 out of 70 for transparency and accountability, indicating that since the issues involving their finances, things appear to be on the mend. With a total contribution of $62,288,900 in 2012, 88.8 percent of this total went to charity.

With information about possible corruption and financial discrepancies competing with charity success stories, Islamic Relief USA is a challenge to decipher. The improvements in transparency and percentage of donations funneled toward charity are promising, however, for the future of Islamic Relief USA and its methods of aiding the world.

— Maggie Wagner

Sources: Charity Navigator, Islamic Relief USA 1, Clarion Project, Forbes
Photo: Islamic Relief USA 2