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Passion Islam I July 2009 ORLD NEWSW I 15
U.S.: Report Blasts Terror
Financing Laws and Investigations
meant to start a “new beginning” with six of the charities.
the Muslim world. Only three of the groups have
In terms of terrorism and those been charged and only one convicted
global affairs, the report says the of any wrongdoing.
treatment of U.S. Muslim charities Furthermore, says the report,
“actually undermines counterterrorism the Bush administration then would
efforts”. “trumpet” its actions and make
The laws were built upon existing “inflammatory and unfounded or
terrorism financing laws in the wake of exaggerated allegations” about the
the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks on New York connections between the charities
City and Washington. The George and terror groups.
W. Bush administration expanded “The effect of these government
Muslim charities in the United States
the Treasury Department’s authority actions,” says the report, “is to create
are subject to unfair treatment by the
over such issues by executive order a general climate in which law-abiding
government under terrorism financing
– without going through Congress to American Muslims fear making
laws, according to a new report which
approve the changes in the law. charitable donations in accordance
says the effect has been a chill on
Just three months after the with their religious beliefs.”
charitable giving that violates Muslims’
announcement, the three largest The over 120 Muslim American
right to freely practice an important
Muslim-American charities had donors and charity officials interviewed
requirement of their religion.
all their assets frozen, “effectively by the report painted a picture where
The laws “create a climate of
shutting each of them down”, said the donors are afraid to fulfill their
fear and distrust in law enforcement
report. religious obligation to give to charity
and undermine America’s diplomatic
In what the report called a because they fear investigation
efforts in Muslim countries,” says the
“pattern of conduct that has violated by the authorities and the Federal
164-page report from the American
the fundamental rights of American Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said the
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “Blocking
Muslim charities and has chilled report’s author, ACLU human rights
Faith, Freezing Charities”, released.
American Muslims’ charitable giving researcher Jennifer Turner.
Furthermore, the reduction in
in accordance with their faith”, seven “Zakat”, as followers of Islam call
charitable aid to the Muslim world
charities to date have been designated charitable giving, is one of the “five
and the perception that Muslims
as “terrorist organisations” by the pillars”, or core beliefs of the faith. The
are unfairly targeted hurt the U.S.
Treasury Department. “chill” resulting from the shutdowns
image abroad, especially among
Perhaps most troubling, the and close government scrutiny
Arabs and Muslims who harbor anti-
groups are given little chance to obstructs “free and full exercise” of
U.S. sentiments and with whom U.S.
stand up for themselves because of Islam.
President Barack Obama is trying to
Treasury processes that shut down Obama, in his Cairo speech
win favour.
the charities “without notice, and designed to reach out to the Muslim
Obama even referred to the
through the use of secret evidence world, acknowledged that fulfillment
difficulties U.S. Muslims have giving to
and non-transparent procedures” - of the Muslim duty of zakat had been
charities as part of his recent speech
tactics the ACLU cites in the cases of made more difficult in the U.S.
Interfaith Conference to be held in Switzerland
The international conference on Included among the topics for went on to say: “Joint meetings
“Interfaith Dialog and its impact on this conference are “dialog and among leaders of religions will have
propagation of human values in humankind”, “interfaith dialog and a direct link with propagation of
the world” is to be held in Geneva, its impact on propagation of human human values, peaceful coexistence,
Switzerland, by World Islamic Society values”, “dialog among civilizations promotion of peace and security in
on July 16 and 17 this year. in the contemporary human society”, the world, and the battle against evil
According to Naseej, quoting the “prospect of coexistence among and religious extremism.”
General Secretary of the Muslim civilizations”, “religious values and He went on to underline the
World League, Abdullah Ibn Abdul their role in rectifying the society” need for further efforts by Islamic
Mohsin Al-Turki, “The Switzerland and “mass media and their role in organizations and institutions with the
Conference is to be held under the promotion of interfaith dialog”. aim of promoting the Islamic human
supervision of King Abdullah ibn Underlining the need for further values in the world, and providing a
Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, in line dialog among leaders of religions and global awareness of the moderate
with Makkah and Madrid Interfaith implementation of the conferences and peaceful Islamic principles.
Dialog Conferences.” results and recommendations, he
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