On Giving Tuesday, the Middle East Forum is warning Americans about the risks of giving to charities that are active in areas of the world where terrorist groups operate. This comes in the wake of an investigation into World Vision, the international evangelical aid charity, and its continued refusal to acknowledge the depths of its involvement in the financing of a designated terrorist-funding Sudanese charity linked to Osama Bin Laden, or to take any corrective measures to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Writing in the Christian Post on November 3, the Forum revealed the full extent of the role played by World Vision in a 2015 decision by the Obama administration to approve the transfer of $115,000 of taxpayers’ money to the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), which the U.S. government designated as a terrorist organization in 2004 because of its close links to Bin Laden. The Christian Post article followed a July 2018 report the Forum wrote in National Review first uncovering the scandal, which was covered by media all around the world.
In response to the Christian Post article, World Vision referred to the Forum’s evidence as “false,” “unfair” and “outrageous.” World Vision declined, however, to address the Forum’s questions about the history of its financial relationship with the Bin Laden-linked charity, or the matter of a fraudulent identification number submitted to the U.S. government as part of World Vision’s grant application.
The Middle East Forum has now responded to World Vision’s latest obfuscation with a detailed post refuting World Vision’s attempt to muddy the waters.
Cliff Smith, Director of the Middle East Forum’s Washington Project, said: “It is not our intention to impugn any of the good work that World Vision does. But an appropriate response to the discovery that your charity has been working with a designated terrorist entity connected to Bin Laden is not denial and obfuscation, but reflection and internal investigation. World Vision should answer, substantively, without dodging questions, the issues raised by the documented facts we discuss, and let the chips fall where they may. Taxpayers and other World Vision supporters would better welcome a charity that could admit making such a serious mistake.”