Monday, July 12, 2010

Are German IHH and Turkish IHH related?

Today we saw many news stories about the German government banning the IHH - the Internationale Humanitäre Hilfsorganisation - "charity" organization because of its ties with Hamas:

Germany's government has banned an organization it accuses of collecting donations that are sent to Hamas-related welfare projects. The Islamist movement is included on the European Union's terror group blacklist.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said in a statement that the International Humanitarian Relief Organization was banned Monday because it has used donations to support projects in Gaza that are related to Hamas – while presenting their activities to donors as humanitarian help.

"Under the guise of humanitarian aid, the IHH has long backed, with significant financial assistance, so-called social welfare organizations based in the Gaza Strip that can be linked to Hamas," he said.

"Donations to so-called social welfare groups belonging to Hamas, such as the millions given by IHH, actually support the terror organization Hamas as a whole."
All of these stories take pains to say that this IHH is not related to the Turkish organization with the same initials, which was involved in attacking IDF soldiers on the Mavi Marmara.

The Turkish IHH actually does stand for something different: İnsan Hak ve Hürriyetleri ve İnsani Yardım Vakfı,[2] in English: The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief. Wikipedia has a link to the German IHH site (not available today but retrieved last month) where they issued a clarification that they were not associated with the Turkish IHH.

So even though both groups apparently have the same Islamist goals and support the same terror organizations, they appear to be different.

And yet, their logos are strikingly similar, down to the number of leaves:

Even if they do not have the same pedigree, it is a distinction without a difference - the very same rules that prohibit IHH Germany apply to IHH Turkey.

But I think that it might be a good idea, as a pre-emptive measure, to ban all Islamist-leaning organizations that have logos with the same number of leaves around a globe meant to symbolize the world:

The organization was founded in 1992 in Freiburg, Germany, the ministry said. In 1997 the group split in two, IHH Germany and IHH Turkey, which are now two separate entities, it said.
(h/t Lucy Lips)