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Muslim Hands deny pamphlet allegations

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Trustees of the relief organisation Muslim Hands have rejected several allegations made against some of its members in a controversial pamphlet, purported to be written by the Muslim Views. The pamphlet follows a feature story written in the popular local newspaper, which reported that a number of Muslim charities, including Muslim Hands, had failed to provide information of public interest.

The pamphlet appears to be a hoax to tarnish the image of the humanitarian organisation. Amongst the allegations levelled in the pamphlet are suggestions that some Muslim Hands members were affiliated with rebels groups like Al Shabaab and Al Qaeda. There were also claims that Muslim Hands were not officially registered with the South African Department of Social Development, or the South African Revenue Services (SARS).

Muslim Hands chairman, Mufti Muhammad Ismail, expressed shock at the allegations levelled against his organisation, saying he could not come to a genuine conclusion why anyone would waste their time with such pointless claims. He called in those making the complaints to come forward and substantiate their claims.

“They are making these allegations and not coming forward to speak to us. I am available any time, anywhere. I can not find a reason, because Muslim Hands hasn’t done anything wrong,” he said.

Earlier this month, Muslim Views editor Farid Sayed told VOC Drivetime the newspaper had distanced itself from the pamphlet. He too believed that someone with a malicious intent was behind the leaflet.

Having had claims levelled against himself personally as well, Ismail questioned whether the claims were being motivated by a personal vendetta against him.

The pamphlet also suggests that funds collected by Muslim Hands, are sent to various rebel groups in places like Pakistan. However, Ismail insisted they were a donor led organisation, and all contributions would go to a location of the donors choosing. He added that upon giving their donation, each donor would receive a receipt confirming the money would go to the country of their choice, as well as how the money would be spent.

“If he or she asks us to spend his donation locally, we will spend it in South Africa,” he explained.

“When we send the funds to that particular country, they go nowhere else. They go straight to the country where our donor wants us to send them.”

Muslim Hands trustee, Dr Abdur Raheem Ashtiker, insisted the organisation reject all the allegations made in the pamphlets, and said the Muslim Ummah could be assured that Muslim Hands fully recognised the sacredness of the trust the community had placed in the organisation.

“We are accountable to the community, and we will be accountable to Allah as well. Be rest assured that every cent you have given to us, will be distributed either according to your instructions, or in an Islamic and Shariah compliant way,” he said.

He also assured the community that Muslim hands were fully registered with both the Department of Social Development and SARS.

“Those paperworks are required by the department and everything is in order. In fact Muslim Hands were one of the first charities to voluntarily register with the department in 1999,” he noted. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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