UAE and UK calls for Qatar to stop financing terrorism

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The United Arab Emirates’ The National and The Times of Britain published demanded that the tiny Gulf monarchy of Qatar to put an end to its international financing of Islamic terrorism.  

The UAE titled its editorial “Stop Qatar’s funding of global terrorism,” noting that, “from Syria to France and now the UK, Qatar has repeatedly funded terror groups that have wreaked havoc across the Middle East and beyond.”  

What prompted the editorials against Qatar was an investigation by The Times into the Qatar-owned Al Rayan’s Bank business with terrorist entities.  

According to the London-based paper, “Al Rayan counts among its customers a charity banned in the US as a terrorist entity, groups that promote hardline preachers and a mosque whose long-term trustee is a Hamas leader.”  

The article added that the bank's former “executive until April, Sultan Choudhury, was also an unpaid director, for seven years until 2016, of the British arm of a global religious institute whose speakers and instructors have included advocates of child marriage, female circumcision and the death penalty for adultery and apostasy.”  

Al Rayan is considered “Britain’s oldest and largest Islamic bank.”  

The Times titled its editorial “Finance for Fundamentalism: A bank owned by the Qatari state is providing services to Islamist-linked British groups that have been shunned by other UK banks. This activity must stop.”  

The editorial stated that, “Qatar appears to be engaged in a dual diplomatic strategy. Deploying its vast oil wealth, it acquires investments in the West, meanwhile advancing its ideological goals by promoting extremist movements internationally. This is unacceptable. Qatar must be made to choose whether it is in alliance with or opposition to the West, and if it chooses wrongly, it must be isolated.”  

The paper revealed that Qatar’s second-largest bank, Masraf Al Rayan, owns 70% of Al Rayan Bank. Al Rayan is largely controlled by the Qatari regime. The paper said the “remaining 30% stake is held by an investment arm of the emirate’s sovereign wealth fund. The British bank’s client list includes pressure groups, aid charities, mosques and the funders of satellite TV channels.”  

The Times revealed 11 Islamic organizations that have accounts with Al Rayan. A number of the entities are linked to terrorist groups and promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement campaign against Israel.     

Al Rayan provides an account to the “Ummah Welfare Trust, a development agency that has faced criticism for working with organizations in Gaza that are banned in the United States for funding the terrorist group Hamas,” according to the paper.  

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