George Soros’ Open Society said it was “proud to support” the Islamic Society of North America’s work, despite a federal judge ruling in 2009 that there is “ample evidence” of ties between ISNA and radical Islamic groups such as Hamas.
Researchers at the Middle East Forum, an activist group that “promotes American interests in the Middle East and protects Western values from Middle Eastern threats,” found that American foundations have given millions of dollars to seven Islamic organizations with known radical ties.
IRS filings show that American foundations have collectively given $5.6 million to these groups since 2008.
In total, 46 corporate foundations, eight community foundations, nine private foundations and one donor-advised fund have given money to these seven groups, The Daily Caller reported.
Islamic Circle of North American (ICNA) received funding from several of these foundations. ICNA supports the establishment of an Islamic caliphate and is said to have close ties to a radical Pakistani political group called Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan. They also had a known Al-Qaeda recruiter, Anwar al-Awlaki, speak at their event in 2002.
Another group named is the Islamic Relief Worldwide, an Islamic charity that is banned in both Israel and the United Arab Emirates for allegedly funding Hamas and other terrorist organizations. According to their annual report from 2009, Islamic Relief Worldwide accepted funding from several al-Qaeda-linked groups.
The biggest donor from the corporate foundations’ list was the GE Foundation. The organization gave more than $537,000 to Islamic Relief Worldwide, Islamic Relief US, and ICNA.
A spokesperson for GE told The Daily Caller that, after reviewing Islamic Relief Worldwide, the company will no longer be giving money to the group.
“We regularly review the charities we support to certify compliance with IRS 501(c)(3) status or equivalent for non-U.S. organizations as well as the U.S. Patriot Act, and determined Islamic Relief Worldwide did not meet these standards,” a spokesperson said.
GE will, however, continue funding Islamic Relief USA, the group’s sister organization in the United States.
The Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which claims to be the largest community foundation in the world, has given more than $330,000 to the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and Islamic Relief between 2008 and 2015, according to IRS filings.
SVCF is standing by its support for CAIR and Islamic Relief.
Through Donors-Advised Funds, donors gave more than $450,000 to the groups through Schwab Charitable Fund between 2007 and 2015.
Five groups received money through Schwab Charitable Fund: Islamic Relief, CAIR, Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Muslim Public Affairs Council and ICNA.
George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have combined for more than $2 million in donations to at least one of the seven groups since 2011.
The Open Society Foundation gave $625,000 to ISNA between 2011 and 2015. Open Society Foundation said they were “proud to support ISNA’s work” and have no plans to cut funding.
The Gates Foundation gave more than $1.3 million to Islamic Relief Worldwide in 2014. The Gates Foundation told the MEF researchers that there are no plans for future donations to Islamic Relief, but refused to commit to not funding Islamic Relief in the future.