Malek’s missing millions

The Malek Fahd Islamic School was founded after the King of Saudi Arabia provided $12 million to purchase land in south West Sydney. That was in the early 1990s.

It was a good investment by a shrewd cultural warrior, not least of all because the school was then named after him. The Saudi king’s generosity also opened the door to Australian government largesse, which has been redirected, unlawfully, to fund Islam in this nation.

This was not the first time the Saudis have made such an investment in Australia. Indeed, the 1982 Royal Commission into the Australian Meat Industry found that the Saudis sent $1.2 million here in 1974. At the time, Fahd was the Second Deputy Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia.

This Saudi funding was not merely generosity. It had a purpose: the establishment of the halal certification industry in Australia. As the Royal Commission reported:

The Saudi Arabian delegation recommended to the Muslim communities in Australia that AFIC should be recognised as the sole representative of Muslims in Australia and that AFIC should become the sole authority in Australia to certify that meat had been killed in accordance with Islamic rites. The delegation said that it was

“worth mentioning that such a decision if practised would provide (AFIC) with an income estimated at $400 000 annually and the local community associations would also earn the same which (would) reduce their dependence on foreign assistance and make them self supporting”.

The Saudis got the forecasts wrong. The recent Senate inquiry into halal certification found that certification of exports alone generates up to $30 million per year for Islamic organisations. It could be higher. And that figure does not take into account any certification of domestic food. There’s an awful lot of that going on.

All of this fits in with Fahd’s desire to see Islam grow in the West. And not just any version of Islam: Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabist version. For those who don’t know, the Islamic State is fond of the Wahhabist version as well.

This quote from a Saudi-government publication written in English in 2002 details the levels Fahd went to in order to see Islam grow in the West:

The cost of King Fahd’s efforts in this field has been astronomical, amounting to many billions of Saudi Riyals. In terms of Islamic institutions, the result is some 210 Islamic centers wholly or partly financed by Saudi Arabia, more than 1,500 mosques and 202 colleges and almost 2,000 schools for educating Muslim children in non-Islamic countries in Europe, North and South America, Australia and Asia… All over the world the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has supported and contributed in the establishment of mosques and Islamic centers…

Given this and the fact that these ‘investments’ in Australia have proven so lucrative for Islam, one should not be surprised to find that the King of Saudi Arabia sent another $12 million out for the Malek Fahd Islamic School. And boy did the king hit the pay dirt with this venture.

Documentary evidence suggests that between March 2008 and April 2010 the Malek Fahd Islamic School channelled well over $26 million to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC).

Where did this money come from? Well, you and me. It was paid for by us in our taxes. And then the Australian government shovelled it in truck and sent it off to Malek Fahd Islamic School, which promptly handed it over to AFIC.

This money was not earmarked for AFIC but that’s where it ended up. It was supposed to be spent on education. It was not, hence the decision earlier this year to finally turn off the funding tap to Malek Fahd Islamic School and to investigate a number of other Islamic schools across Australia.

Of course, the federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, being the kind of liberal Liberal that he is, has now decided that this funding tap should be turned back on again to most of these schools. Apparently, he thinks that the Islamic community’s history of contempt towards meeting Australian financial regulations won’t be repeated in the future.

I’d suggest that’s a shaky bet at the best of times.

This entire farcical situation was entirely predictable.

And, in fact, it was predicted.

On 21 September 2005, Worrells Forensic Accountants issued a report into the management of AFIC. It found that the Malek Fahd Islamic School accounted for 66% of AFIC’s revenue in 2005. The report went on to state:

Whilst it is only speculation on my part, I suspect that the Government is concerned about the situation where a subsidiary school that is controlled by a parent entity diverts funding that was intended for educational purposes to the parent entity which then uses those funds in the pursuit of its own objectives…

…In circumstances where AFIC is charging the schools rent based on the improved value of the land contributed by AFIC, then arguably there is a diversion of “profit” from the school to AFIC. Such a diversion is what I have speculated Government’s will be concerned about – educational funding being diverted to other entities for purposes other than education. I merely raise this as a risk factor that AFIC should be aware of and for which it should plan and take legal advice on accordingly.

Remember, those words were written in 2005. Obviously, the government had reason to act but it did not.

It should have as it now appears that at least $26 million was diverted to AFIC from the Malek Fahd Islamic School between 2008 and 2010.

Good for AFIC and Islam. Not so good for Australian taxpayers.

The Malek Fahd Islamic School received $115 million from the Commonwealth government in recurrent educational grant funding between 2005 and 2013. The New South Wales government kicked in another $16 million.

Now the funding tap has been turned off, yet Malek Fahd claims it will continue operating.

I’d suggest that the Education Minister has some work to do. He should be taking action to have Malek Fahd Islamic School pay back to the taxpayer the money that went to AFIC. If the school can continue operating, it obviously has money.

Further, he should urgently investigate where its money to continue operations is coming from. After all, the Malek Fahd Islamic School was far more dependent on government funding than other private schools. Now it has no government funding yet the doors remain open.

Are the Saudis once again backing this school? This is a question that must be asked. And it must be answered.

The last thing Australia needs right now is a Saudi-funded shadow education system operating in this nation.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of eight children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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