Thursday, 5 July 2012

Charity begins (and ends) at home

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM

by Infidel Kaştrovič  

On a site called Right-Wing Watch (sponsored by People for the American Way) I read an article by Brian Tashman (Communications Director at PFAW) denouncing a Christian organization’s leader who claims that Christians are more charitable than Mohammedans.
Under the headline “Tim Wildmon Says Islam 'Does Not Teach' Charity”. Brian Tashman writes:
“American Family Association president Tim Wildmon today used his column praising the admirable works of Christian charitable organizations to criticize Muslims.”
Tashman winds up his article by accusing Wildmon of badmouthing “the Muslim people”. That’s the first I've heard about Mohammedans being a “people”, presumably with the same standing as Eskimos, Hottentots, Apaches and Tibetans. I had always assumed they constituted a “religion”. Certainly a very curious choice of words.
In his column, Tim Wildmon claims that Christians help Indian Dalets (Untouchables), while “[t]here is no such comparable work being done around the world by Islamic groups or organizations -- because the Koran does not teach such charity.”

Firstly I must note that Tashman misquotes Wildmon by leaving out the key adjective “such” out of his headline. Wildmon says “ the Koran does not teach such charity.”.

I presume that by “such charity” Wildmon means “charity toward people of other faiths”. However it is an open question to what extent the charity provided by the American Family Association constitutes bribery to induce Dalets to convert to Christianity.

As proof that Mohammedans do indeed practise charity, Tashman writes “In fact, charitable giving is one of the five pillars of Islam. Wildmon could have done a simple Google search to find the names of major Muslim charitable organizations like Islamic Relief, Red Crescent Societies and Muslim Aid…”

1. I go to the web site of Islamic Relief. Right away the site tells us where the organization is charitably active. The list starts off with Albania and Afghanistan and ends with Yemen. Every single country listed, except the US, is principally populated by Mohammedans.

2. I go to the web site of Muslim Aid and read about the Mohammedan charity bestowed by this group. It turns out that, here too, all charity except in 2 cases is showered on Mohammedan-majority countries, and we can fairly assume that the beneficiaries are Mohammedans.

The 2 exceptions are charitable acts by Moors, the Mohammedan minority of Sri Lanka. It turns out that one of the acts in question was a blood drive in a Sri Lankan town, Muttur, that is mostly inhabited by Mohammedans. The same Sri Lanka Mohammedans also distribute charity in Myanmar. It turns out that Myanmar has a sizable Mohammedan minority, and it is safe to assume that the charity was expended for the benefit of this minority.

3. The Red Crescent, it turns out, isn't a “Muslim charitable organization” at all! It has no religious affiliation. According to its web site, the “International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian organization.” In other words Red Crescent and Red Cross are the same organization. The site goes on to say that “The Red Crescent is used in place of the Red Cross in many Islamic countries." So “Red Crescent” is not only not an islamic organization, but it isn't an organization at all, it's merely the trademark of the Red Cross used in certain countries!
4. Tashman states “charitable giving is one of the five pillars of Islam.” And he speaks the truth. I look up the Koranic brand of charity, called zakat, in the Wikipedia. The following cites give you an idea of what zakat is all about:
“Some scholars disagree whether the poor that qualify [for zakat] should include non-Muslims. Some state that Zakat may be paid to non-Muslims, but only after the needs of Muslims have been met.”
Among prominent recipients entitled to the proceeds of zakat are:
1. “Non-Muslims who are sympathetic to Islam or wish to convert to Islam.”
2. “The zakat collectors themselves”, and
3. “Those working in God's way”
From several other sources I discover that “those working in God's way” includes mujahedeen, i.e. Mohammedans who practise jihad, namely armed combat to subdue infidels.
Upshot: A preliminary survey indicates fairly conclusively that Mohammedans do indeed practise charity, but practically only toward other Mohammedans. Christians, on the other hand, practise charity regardless of the beneficiary’s religion. For example Dalets are mostly non-Christian. There are countless instances of Christians  bestowing charity on Mohammedans and other non-Christians, but I cannot think of any case where Mohammedans bestow charity on Christians.  

Furthermore it is profoundly misleading to call zakat just plain “charity”. Zakat expressly includes both charity and military assistance to religious warriors, and no clear distinction is drawn between them.

Please note that the evidence cited is furnished by a writer who (who knows why) is extremely desirous of proving how charitable Mohammedans are. Accordingly the selection of evidence cannot be called biased against Mohammedans.

I must conclude that Brian Tashman is prone to issuing grandiloquent statements defending Mohammedans against all comers and with scant regard for the facts.

Is that “the American way”?


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