Obama, zakat and Islamic charities

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For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat. –President Obama in Cairo

We’re still shaking our heads in disgust over Obama’s pledge to ease the scrutiny on zakat payments to Islamic charities in the speech he delivered in Cairo. For readers who don’t know, zakat is one of the fiver pillars of Islam and it is a required tithing from all faithful Muslims who are able to donate. Charities are declared zakat-eligible by Shariah scholars, many of whom, by the way, are flat-out jihadists.

And there’s the problem. zakat payments have very often gone to charities that support terrorist organizations. Very often.

Though we’re not absolutely certain what the exact motivation for this move by Obama is, we have a few ideas:

1. The most likely reason for this announcement and pending change in policy is that the Sauds complained loud and long. You see, even though many pointed out that the Bush family had too many close ties to these monsters, on Bush’s watch the Justice department did actually manage to finger two of Saudi Arabia’s largest charities for sending money to terrorist groups. One of these was the Union of Good, operated out of Saudi Arabia by none other than Sheikh Qaradawi, who is of course banned from entering the US and the UK due to his longstanding, close ties to terrorist organizations. This is the same character who referred to Shariah-Compliant Finance as "Jihad with money" in a 2006 interview with the BBC…(at least the guy was honest we suppose.).

The Union of Good is sort of like an Islamic United Way, an umbrella group for-count ‘em-53 charities. In fact, when you add up all these Union of Good charities with other charities identified as terrorist entities, by our most recent count, you come up with 80 Islamic charities tied to terrorism.

In other words, these aren’t isolated incidents or cases of mistaken identity or simple errors.

The Sauds have been caught red-handed and they don’t like losing face. So, they have taken advantage of Obama’s shameless obsequiousness and pressured him into easing up on them.

No doubt, that pressure was accompanied by the usual meaningless assurances not to support "terrorism," without, of course, actually defining what "terrorism" means.

2. It is also possible that Obama and his handlers don’t actually realize what zakat really is and how it works and they are just responding to requests from Muslim Brotherhood organizations in the US, such as CAIR and ISNA, which are getting pinched by the scrutiny of Islamic charities. (Ironically, Obama wants to take away the charitable deductions for Americans who give the most, but given the zakat requirements set out to faithful Muslims in Shariah, that scheme won’t have as great of an impact on Islamic charities as it does on other charities. Hmmm…)

3. The third possibility is that Obama and his handlers know what zakat is and still want to go ahead with reducing scrutiny of the Islamic charities. This possibility, of course, is not mutually exclusive of number 1 above.  It is a little hard to believe that anyone could be completely ignorant of zakat and the role Islamic charities play in funding terrorism in making such an announcement in such an important policy speech. Heck, just two weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal published an article about how the Taliban continue to receive financial support from Muslims around the world through Islamic charities!

We won’t speculate about Obama’s motivation here, but relying on assurances from "the Muslim world" not to support terrorism is bad policy because Shariah mandates that Muslims donate zakat to charities and it also mandates that a portion of those zakat donations go to Jihad.

Under Shariah law there are several approved destinations for zakat.

The most authoritative source for such information is a book which is available on Amazon called The Reliance of the Traveler, A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law. That book has a section devoted to the rules of zakat, including "The Eight Categories of Recipients." On page 272, section h8.17, one category is labeled:


The seventh category is those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster (O: but who are volunteers for jihad without remuneration). They are given enough to suffice them for the operation, even if affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing, and expenses (O: for the duration of the journey, round trip, and the time they spend there, even if prolonged. Though nothing has been mentioned here of the expense involved in supporting such people’s families during this period, it seems clear that they should also be given it).

This passage, from this widely-used Shariah text seems to have been written expressly about zakat payments to charities which have funded Al Qaeda, HAMAS, Hezbollah and the Taliban. Note from the passage that such payments are meant specifically for irregular forces who are not part of any army roster, which describes terrorist/guerilla/insurgent groups exactly. Note that they are meant for "Islamic" military operations and not secular groups (i.e. HAMAS and not the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command). Note that such payments are made even if the recipient is affluent…like Osama Bin Laden. And, finally, the families of fighters are to be taken care of, such as payments by Saddam Hussein and Saudi princes to families of Islamikaze bombers in Gaza and the West Bank.

All too often, the destinations of zakat payments are to Jihadists, simply because Shariah mandates it.  

That is the reason the federal law enforcement and intelligence authorities in the US have scrutinized Islamic charities to such a degree. And it is irresponsible of the Obama administration to intervene. This is in fact how our enemies are being funded.


Originally posted at ShariaFinanceWatch.

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