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Two New Jersey Islamist Charities Support Anti-Jewish Islamists at Home and Abroad :: Middle East Forum

AUCC staff in Jenin, in collaboration with the Canadian radical charity Human Concern International.

Two Islamist nonprofits in Teaneck, New Jersey, are the driving forces behind anti-Semitic protests in the state while providing financial support to a 501(c) operating in Gaza with alleged terror ties.

The Al Ummah Community Center and the Ray of Sunshine Foundation (RSF) provided support to the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF), which operates in the Gaza Strip and has collaborated with fronts for the designated terrorist organization Hamas.

It’s a concern for the two charities that, in addition to receiving tax-deductible donations from American citizens, also enjoy taxpayer support.

The larger of the two charities is Teaneck’s Al Ummah Community Center (AUCC), which, according to its tax filings, promotes “the Islamic principles of public service, love, equality, justice and peace for all.” “Its mission is to help individuals get the vital support they need to achieve stability and a sense of togetherness.”

AUCC, which has approximately 44 employees and is supported by 10 volunteers, generated $1,790,634 in revenue in 2022. The majority of this revenue ($1.3 million) was generated by AUCC’s pre-kindergarten program. The remainder of his 2022 income comprised government grants of $241,771 and private contributions and gifts of $154,458.

In total, AUCC claims to have received more than $511,000 in government grants since 2020.

The AUCC address also houses the Ray of Sunshine Foundation Inc. (RSF), an affiliated nonprofit that claims to provide assistance to Palestinian children. RSF claimed to have received $56,000 in government grants in 2020.

According to public filings, the two organizations are run by four individuals: Rayed Hassan, who serves as chairman of the two organizations; Mohammed Salem, who serves as AUCC Secretary and RSF Treasurer; Suha Hassan, who is vice president of the two organizations; and Lisa Hassan, who serves as secretary for both groups.

Suha Hassan has also been linked as the point of contact for Voice for Humanity, a radical activism group linked to Islamist and anti-Israel protests in New York, partnering with groups such as American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), often referred to as the “Hamas Lobby” in the U.S. The phone number listed on Voice for Humanity’s social media is also listed as belonging to the AUCC.

AUCC also supports anti-Jewish protests in New Jersey, recently working with AMP and other Islamist groups to stage demonstrations, including “car rallies,” against local synagogues.

AUCC also worked to provide aid and other logistical support to radical anti-Israel student camps.

AUCC also operates abroad. In 2022, it allocated $159,250 to humanitarian projects, ostensibly for wounded and sick children in the Middle East. Images posted on social media by AUCC head Rayed Hassan include images of AUCC officials operating in the Palestinian city of Jenin.

AUCC raises funds and operates in the West Bank and, more recently, Gaza, through Human Concern International, an Islamic charity Canadian media have previously accused of having ties to terror.

Meanwhile, Hassan’s Ray of Sunshine Foundation donated $105,000 to a US 501(c) called the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF).

In Gaza, the PCRF runs the pediatric cancer unit at Al-Rantisi Children’s Hospital, which the Israeli military says contained Hamas weapons caches as well as a Hamas “command and control center” and could have been used to hold hostages”. PCRF staff vacancies and news about the organization are reported in Hamas’ own media, Felesteen News. According to NGO Monitor, a PCRF official ran a website that openly glorified jihad.

As revealed by the 2023 Middle East Forum, the PCRF works in Gaza with organizations directly linked to the Hamas authorities, such as the Eastern Association for Agriculture and Development, to whose leadership meetings the Hamas government sends representatives, as well as delegates to honor the work of the association.

Among the hundreds of millions of dollars in government grants and daily financial transactions within the 501(c) system, the money provided to AUCC may seem nominal. What level of government provided the grants remains unknown, with other public records data sets accounting for only a small portion of the funding. About $22,000, for example, was awarded to AUCC by the Family Development Division of the NJ State Department of Human Services. Wherever the rest of that money came from, at least, government support made it easier for the AUCC and the RSF to give over a quarter of a million dollars to the PCRF and other radical organizations.

Should taxpayer dollars ever be used to subsidize domestic organizations that fund and support radical protests on college campuses? Certainly, government money must not subsidize extremist charities operating in the terrorist-run Gaza Strip.

It is critical that state and federal lawmakers crack down on this misuse of taxpayer funds. We call on the State of New Jersey to investigate AUCC and RSF. If funds have been misused, officials must ensure that appropriate action is taken in the future to ensure that no future grants are awarded.

The use of charities to promote extreme and violent ideological movements is not new. In fact, that is exactly how Gaza became what it did. It is now up to local government officials to ensure that the taxpayer does not unwittingly contribute to such misconduct.

Leo Ward is a financial professional in New Jersey