After the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Islamic charities came under intense scrutiny in the United States over fears that some had ties to terror groups.
Since then, Islamic organizations have struggled to find ways to erase the cloud of suspicion and ease donors’ concerns. Last year, the BBB (Better Business Bureau) partnered with Muslim Advocates, a legal organization based in San Francisco, to create the Muslim Charities Accreditation Program, which evaluates nonprofits and trains leaders on compliance with the government’s legal and financial rules.
As a former officer with a company that was a BBB member and that received a BBB award, I can assure everyone that the BBB is almost completely ill-equipped to evaluate these charities from a national security or counterterrorism perspective.
For the most part, the way these zakat donations work is that the US charity sends its funds to another charity in, say, Saudi Arabia and then the Saudi charity distributes its money according to shariah, which mandates 1/8 go to those who are fighting in the way of allah. That is spelled out in detail in Reliance of the Traveler, the authoritative work on Islamic law, even to the point of defining the types of fighters who are eligible to receive the zakat. The BBB has ZERO capability to even begin to investigate such things.
Let me repeat: To avoid funding Jihadist groups fighting in the way of allah, Muslims who are donating must disregard their own law.
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 whole section devoted to the rules of zakat, including “THE EIGHT CATEGORIES OF RECIPIENTS.” On page 272, section h8.17, one category is labeled:
THOSE FIGHTING FOR ALLAH
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. This is in fact how our enemies are being funded. The idea that an organization like the BBB will be able to certify that money from Islamic charities does not go to fund Jihad sounds like terrible business…