The 21st Century Phenomenon




Charity is one of the five most important commandments in Islam. During the generations the Islamic society developed many ways to materialize charity among Muslims.

In the 20s’ century and the emergence of social Islamic movements, such as the EGYPTIAN Muslims Brotherhood, their base of power and their prosperity in the Islamic society resulted, in large extent, from the broad social activities on many aspects of life such as support for the needy, basic medical care, schooling system, orphanages and even policing and fighting drugs trafficking.

Since the Muslims Brotherhood in Egypt most of the Islamic movements, especially the more radical, mobilized the support of the masses through Charity which became the real source of power and support for those organization such as Hizbullah, Hamas and many other organizations all over the Muslim world.

After World War II, especially in the last three decades, following the large immigration of Muslims to the Western Democracies, many hundreds of charity foundations were founded in order to support the needy in the Muslim world. Many of the Muslim charities are supported by the oil rich Muslim countries, especially Saudi Arabia.

The Islamic Charities, generally speaking, are an efficient and functioning system, to transfer money and means from the wealthy Muslims to the needs of the needy.  In large parts of the Muslim world it is the only welfare system or it is the only functioning system along the government corrupted, bureaucratic and squanderer systems.

The Western Democracies are facing a dilemma in dealing with Islamic Charities.

A. Islamic Charities are, often, a tool for radical Islamic organizations to expand their public support.

B. Although there is no reliable data, only a very small portion of the money collected through Islamic Charities is channeled to finance terror. Most of the money is really used for social welfare. Cutting off the Islamic Charities will cause, certainly, a humanitarian problem while terror will find other ways to finance its activity.        

C. There are many alternative ways to finance terror. There were always symbiotic relations between terror and crime network and drug trafficking; Credit cards frauds and extortion are, for many organization the main financial source. Commercial, legally registered, companies, such as the Malaysian Company Konsojaya, which are transferring and laundering money under a legal cover of normal commercial activity; wealthy businessmen such as Osama Bin Laden or Mohammed Jamal Khalifa and interested countries like Iran or Pakistan, that financed for many years Islamic terror against India. Only a very small portion of Islamic radical terror financing is coming from charities and there are, always, alternative sources.   

D. It is difficult to prove in court, in cases related to Islamic  charities, a preliminary intention to support terror directly. It is also difficult to prove an indirect support to terror through general assistance to terror organizations, since most of the Islamic radical organizations were designated as terror organizations only after The 9/11. Previous to The 9/11 the activity of Hamas, for example, was completely legal. ( See – Holy-Land Foundation )

The question if to cope with Islamic Charities or how to deal with them, in the Western Democracies, remains open.


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