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Qatar - Millions for Islam in Europe

November 23, 2020

Is Qatar trying to gain influence in Europe by funding a charity NGO? A whistleblower has provided two French journalists with thousands of secret documents that belong to the "Qatar Charity."

DW Dokumentationen | Katar
Image: Terranoa

How does the organization work, and what are its aims?

It all started with a USB stick containing donor lists, e-mail correspondence, and information on bank transfers from the largest NGO in the Gulf States, the "Qatar Charity." The documents revealed details of a missionary- and funding program aimed at strengthening political Islam throughout Europe. This program includes the financing of 140 mosques, cultural centers, and schools -- all of which are associated with the radical Islamic Muslim Brotherhood organization. But Qatari authorities deny that the NGO is carrying out missionary activity in the West. 

Two French journalists, Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot, conducted an investigation of the program. They "followed the money," and came up with details on the construction of a huge Islamic center in Mulhouse, Alsace; a museum in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, that's devoted to Islamic civilization; a training center for imams in the French department of Nièvre; and a refugee center in Sicily that housed migrants at the height of the Syrian crisis. The journalists discovered that these programs were driven by ideology.

This documentary examines whether these projects are part of a far-reaching program, or merely the European part of Qatar's strategy to expand its profile in the Arab world by strengthening the Muslim Brotherhood. The journalists provide insights into the organization's finances, and its links to the ruling Al-Thani family and other influential Qataris.

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