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AMERICAN ACCUSATION TERMED BLATANT INTERFERENCE Salafist MP defends Awqaf Minister - Ajmi denies funding terror

KUWAIT CITY, March 30: “The false accusation hurled at Minister of Justice, Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Dr Nayef Al-Ajmi by an American official that he is funding terrorism is a blatant interference in the internal affairs of Kuwait,” says Salafist MP Humoud Al-Hamdan. This is Al-Hamdan’s response to the accusation made by US Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen who recently alleged that Al-Ajmi has been supporting and funding terrorism for a long time. Al-Ajmi had earlier denied the allegation, describing it as an “utter lie”. He then vowed to respond in detail later. Scope News website has quoted the minister as saying that, “It is my history and I am proud of it ... helping the Yemeni and Syrian poor, displaced, orphans and widows, as well as sheltering refugees” — a statement misconstrued as an admission on his part.

Al-Hamdan went on to say the allegation is itself a form terrorism since it is aimed at preventing efforts to grant humanitarian support to the needy. He asserted the minister has greatly contributed to humanitarian relief operations, which include taking care of orphans and feeding the hungry. He argued these are steps in the right direction, especially since they are in line with the human rights conventions, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, among others.

He said “the US Treasury has started losing credibility due to its persistence to make random charges.” He is surprised that someone, who helps the poor and oppressed people in Syria, Yemen and other countries, has been accused of funding terrorism; yet those behind the persecution, bloodshed and killing of innocent people have been ignored.

He cited as a case in point the accusation made by US Treasury Department earlier against the Islamic Heritage Revival Society that its office in Peshawar supports terrorism, resulting in the freezing of its foreign assets although the society has no office there. He added the US Treasury took the same step when it accused the Social Reform Society’s office in North Asia of supporting terrorism and froze its foreign accounts without presenting evidence.

He admitted he is surprised by the barrage of accusations against Kuwaiti charity work; including charity societies, Kuwaiti scholars and conservatives in the government like Al-Ajmi. He fears the possible ‘expansion’ of such accusations, to the extent of reaching every Kuwaiti who supports or raises funds for the oppressed in any part of the world

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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