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Monday, December 31, 2007

Alms for Jihad

The following is an excerpt from a book by J. Millard Burr
Robert O. Collins University of California, Santa Barbara titled

Alms for Jihad
Charity and Terrorism in the Islamic World
(ISBN-13: 9780511159374)
This was originally Published in July 2006 by Cambridge

I find the book unavailable, and several bloggers claim the book was bought up or pulped by one of the largest Islamic charities. Although the link exists to buy the book in ebook form, several people report that though the page takes your money it delivers no book.

Here is an excerpt from the full introduction

"Although the American Islamic community could generally depend on historical American sensitivity to religious organizations and a cultural hesitancy by western intelligence agents to investigate seemingly legitimate Islamic charities, the creation of the Office of Homeland Security nine days after 9/11 could not but focus scrutiny on the Muslim community. The FTATC task force, FBI, and local law enforcement soon found that certain Islamic institutions were operating sophisticated schemes to transfer funds to and from the USA, Canada, and Europe behind a wall of secrecy. Language and cultural mores complicated efforts to unravel their financial transactions or to understand the methods employed by Islamic charitable organizations that enabled them to frustrate investigations into their operations and money-laundering in support of those Islamic terrorist organizations that operated illegally under American law. Moreover, Islamic charities could invariably depend on local Muslims to defend them despite the fact they would never receive or demand an accounting of their donations. Reputable Islamic charitable institutions traditionally devoted to educational and humanitarian works could easily be hijacked by Islamists without the knowledge of the Muslim congregation who disapproved of them.

Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Kenneth Dam made it very clear that Muslim charities, one of the pillars of the Islamic faith, would receive increasing scrutiny despite the fact that FTATC had yet to acquire the necessary evidence to determine which charities had been using funds for uncharitable purposes. “At the same time, there is no denying that some legitimate charities have been penetrated by terrorists or terrorist supporters – possibly by only a few managerial employees – who misdirect a portion of the charity’s funds for terrorist ends . . . [and those front charities] primarily organized and directed to abuse charitable status for terrorist ends . . . . [who threatened] not only their targets, but their donors” in their efforts to extract donations. “Our challenge is to prevent terrorists from using charities as a cover for supporting terrorism while ensuring that charitable giving and charitable works continue.”10

In order for FTATC to begin freezing the flow of funds through charities for Islamist terrorist organizations, it had to build a database. This was extremely difficult, for there were hundreds of Islamic non-government organizations (NGOs) operating throughout the world, and the number of those charities that supported the Islamist revolution could not be guessed. Moreover, like charities in the West, those in the East could be created for a particular purpose and upon completion of the project disappear from the record. Nevertheless, the work of FTATC seeking “transparency and oversight” of Muslim charities was cautiously regarded with favor by the Muslim community and those Islamic governments who were as anxious as the USA to know the operations of Islamic charities in their own countries. The Bush administration announced that it was “gratified by the positive response that these initiatives have received from other governments and the charitable community.” "

My experience is that the functioning of Zakat commities inside Islamic Businesses are deliberately opaq. One footnote - the book was completed before the 2007 Islamic NGO trials in Dallas, TX. There, the charges against the Richardson NGO was largely dismissed by the Jury.


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