PRESS RELEASE: Germany – Banning of IHH stigmatises all Islamic humanitarian activism


Islamic Human Rights Commission

14 July 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Germany – Banning of IHH stigmatises all Islamic humanitarian activism

The announcement on July 12 that the German government has banned the Muslim charity Internationale Humanitaere Hilfsorganisation (IHH) is a blow for Islamic charitable efforts to support needy people all over the world, and in Palestine in particular.  It is also a victory for those who seek to stigmatise all Islamic activism as supporting terrorism, and particularly the Zionists who regard it as unacceptable that anyone should support the Palestinian victims of Israeli aggression, and regard all criticism of Israel as “anti-semetic”.

The German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, said that “Organizations that operate from German soil, directly or indirectly, with the aim of fighting Israel’s right to exist, have forfeited their right to freedom of association.”  The Interior Ministry’s formal reason for banning the group was that its humanitarian work in Gaza amounted to support for Hamas.

The banning of the IHH in Germany at this time may be partly the result of increased efforts on the part of the Israeli government to discredit the Turkish IHH organization, which was responsible for several of the ships in the Gaza aid convoy attacked by Israel in May.  Nine Turkish activists associated with the IHH in Turkey were killed by Israeli commandos when they stormed the Mavi Marmara aid ship.  The Turkish organization is in fact completely separate from the German charity, despite the similarity in the abbreviations of their names.

Massoud Shadjareh, Chair of the IHRC, said on July 13: “The banning of the IHH in Germany is a deeply shocking development for all Muslims engaged in humanitarian work.  It seems that Israel and its allies are determined to slander and stigmatise all attempts to support the suffering Palestinians, and to link all Muslim support for Palestinians with terrorism.  This is unacceptable.  
“Muslims living in the West must have the same rights, protections and freedom of speech, action and organization as other peoples, even if we insist on supporting Muslims suffering oppression in other countries.  At a time when the UN acknowledges that 70 percent of all refugees fleeing persecution are Muslim, it is unconscionable that a European government give credence to such slanders, and ban a major humanitarian organization on the basis of false, politically motivated accusations.”

For more information please contact the Press Office on (+44) 20 8904 4222 or (+44)7958 522196, or email: . [ENDS]


The Islamic Human Rights Commission is an NGO in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

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