A U.S.-based non-profit organization with Islamist ties is being probed by the United States for possible financial contributions to an American Muslim news outlet in Uganda that ran an editorial sympathetic to Islamic State, it was reported on Thursday. While the investigation was not limited to the organization’s role in Ghana, it was used to highlight a broader problem of Western money pumping into groups hostile to homosexuals around the world.
A letter of inquiry sent by U.S. officials to the State Department’s anti-proliferation and illicit finance office cites a 2012 story by Nigeria’s THISDAY newspaper, which noted that the activist group Islamic Relief paid Ugandan Christian clergy to “paint a positive image of [Islam] and Islam’s attributes.”
The Rev. Bob Kibuuka, the leader of a Ugandan Christian group called Uganda’s Partnership for Progress, has been offered between $5,000 and $15,000 by International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), the Times of London reported. Kibuuka was introduced to IIRO “not by the media but by a Saudi embassy official.”
In January, Uganda passed a bill that provided for the death penalty in some cases for gays and lesbians. The Foreign Office at the Department for International Development, which works with the Department for International Trade in the investigation, did not rule out that they could be linked to the new Uganda bill.
At the same time, IIRO is already the subject of an investigation by the State Department over “evidence of anti-LGBTQ in the United States.” IIRO’s operations in the U.S. are believed to have involved the recruitment of Ugandan and Somali youths for “hate campaigns,” which was later covered in a BBC documentary.
An Amnesty International report from 2014 described IIRO as “consistently hostile to homosexuality,” due to its founder’s advocacy for the “Islamification” of Ghana and the groups it funded.
Last year, a controversial US preacher, American pastor and board member of IIRO, Nadia Hashimi, traveled to Ghana where she joined with U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and iMusk, the group headed by James Radcliffe, the then senior director of USAID’s West African affairs office in Senegal, to advocate for Islamic State, according to an FRC Intelligence analysis.
Further, Inhofe hosted an earlier dinner at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Accra, Ghana, which was organized by iMusk, in the company of the deputy national security adviser to the Liberian President, Charles Taylor, and a representative of the National Security Council at the White House.
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