What Is Charity ?

On Saturday, Andrew McCarthy reported at National Review:

“In the United States, rules on charitable giving  have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation,” President Obama claimed during his 2009 Cairo speech. “That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.””

That’s a really amazing statement.  The only restriction on charitable giving in America is that Americans are not allowed to give money to organizations that support terrorism. 

Mr. McCarthy points out that the statement that Muslims are restricted in their giving is one of two lies in the statement.  He then points out:

“The other falsehood was more subtle: the president’s suggestion that the religious obligation of zakat — one of the “five pillars of Islam” — is the equivalent of “charitable giving.” It is not. Zakat is every Muslim’s obligation to contribute to the fortification of the ummah, the notional worldwide Islamic nation. And that very much includes the funding of violent jihad against non-Muslims.”

That is obviously the root of the complaint, but why is President Obama complaining that Muslims can’t support terrorism?  Does he understand what he is saying?  When Christians give money to Christian organizations as part of their religion, it is understood that the money goes to relief efforts, spreading the Gospel, etc.  There is not a military aspect of modern Christianity.

Mr. McCarthy points out that after the earthquake in Haiti, Americans supplied 44 percent of the world’s relief efforts.  Muslims accounted for 0.1 percent of the total donations committed by governments.  So where are their ‘charitable’ donations going?  They are being used to support jihad–not to help people in need. 

The article points out:

“Muslims are taught that charity means Muslims aiding Muslims, for the purpose of fortifying and extending the ummah until all the world is Islam’s domain. “Of their wealth, take alms,” instructs Allah in the Koran (9:103), “that so thou mightest purify and sanctify them.” Thus, zakat may be given only to Muslims.”

We need to remember as we hear the President or others make statements about the limits on Muslim’s dontations to charity that we are dealing with a different concept of charity.  Whether or not the President is aware of this, I don’t know, but I hope someone informs him quickly if he is unaware.


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