Islamic Relief Canada is celebrating the introduction of legislation to allow expanded humanitarian aid to Afghanistan despite a government admission that money sent to the country will likely end up in the hands of the Taliban.
If passed by the Canadian Parliament in its current version, Bill C-41 would amend a part of Canada’s anti-terror finance law to protect aid agencies from prosecution if the money sent to Afghanistan is used by the Taliban for terrorism or other criminal actions. According to a newsletter issued by IRC, the amendment was inserted at IRC’s request.
Islamic Relief Canada expressed its support for the bill in a March 12 newsletter distributed to its supporters and republished at Muslimlink, a Canadian newsite, declaring “the government listened” to their request for legal changes to allow expanded aid to Afghanistan. “We’re so pleased to share this important win with all our supporters,” IRC announced.
A summary of the bill states what critics of aid to Afghanistan have said previously — any money sent to the country will likely end up in the coffers of the Taliban, a terrorist organization.
“Currently, the Taliban, as the de facto authority in Afghanistan, is likely to receive revenue from any payments, such as taxes, import tariffs, airport and administrative fees, which may be necessary to support international assistance and conduct immigration activities,” says a March 9 Government of Canada press release.
The new legislation is intended to shield humanitarian providers from criminal liability if their services are “used by or benefit the Taliban, a listed terrorist group,” the release says.
In early February, Focus on Western Islamism (FWI) reported that humanitarian aid to Afghanistan inherently supports the Taliban regime.
“Aid to Afghanistan strengthens the Taliban,” said Khalida Nawabi, who fled Afghanistan to another country and then the United States where she helped establish the ‘Free Afghanistan’ movement.