Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Pakistani charities for jihad

Two very interesting articles in The Times (Pakistan). The English isn't very good but the ideas (and tilt of the writers) soon becomes clear. ("Welfare Trusts" are simply charities):
With the advent of Ramazan, the mobile welfare trusts started their business in different Mohallahs, streets and by lanes on loudspeakers, asking donations for what they announced, that Almighty Allah is always happy with those, who give charity to the destitute, poor and needy people.

People usually used to contribute according to their means without ever getting to know whether or not this money was distributed among the deserved person. These religiously emotional announcements also shook the belief of the common man, a person with least education, and with the fear of God used to give money to these people who were walking around or riding a Suzuki pick-up unhindered.

The govt, reportedly issued an order that announcement of loudspeakers in the mosques is banned to avoid any hate material, but is unable to make accountable these roadside fundraiser for the so-called Madressahs or in the name of construction of mosques, more often than not, cheating people.

This business swells up in the month of Ramazan as being a Muslim, everyone believes that giving charity in the month of Ramazan is worth more and elicits the blessings of Allah Almighty. With this concept in mind, people without any hesitation give away money to these people.

The authorities concerned, especially town Nazims and councillors have the responsibility of keeping a check on these people and certain laws should be framed for their accountability. The govt must have a system of checks and balances in place on these street fund raiser and an account book should also be maintained.

This trend is usually witnessed in low-lying areas, where Suzuki pick-ups also sell the Holy Qura’an on the streets, whereas in somewhat posh areas, these people have somewhat improvised their mode of business by organising Dars (sermons) at home and asking donation for the people which ultimately responded by the upper middle class, as in our society, sham display of wealth has become a fashion.

It is the duty of the administration to compile a list of these roadside donation collecting welfare trusts and double-check their activities and make sure as to for what purpose they were collecting money and other gift items. Besides restricting Madressahs to show their annual accounts, government must also adopt code of conduct on these mobile welfare trusts and monitor their activities as to where they are getting their directions from and on whose directions, they are working in the city right under the nose of administration.
OK, this is not too strange. There are people who use charity to rip off other people all the time and in all organized religions. Calling for the government to oversee these charities makes sense.

A little later comes this other article about these "charities," which is a bit more ominous:
KARACHI: In order to maintain the record of Welfare Trusts, the government has decided to register all of them running in the province and any trust functioning prior to obtaining the license from their respective government would be disbanded, sources confirmed to this reporter.

According to details available, the government has received complaints from the various quarters that these Welfare Trusts were collecting donations to train manpower for Jihad in the war-torn areas of the Muslim world to fight evil forces. The sources said that in the garb of charity collection these trusts fully employed resources for procuring weapons of war and imparting training to the youth for Jihad....

It was however, also learnt through reliable sources, that these trained youth were also sent to Lebanon and Palestine and other Muslim countries to wage Jihad against Zionist forces. These young people, who were briefed on, and made aware of the wily machinations of the imperialist forces, belonged to highly educated families who had become highly motivated and were ready to sacrifice their lives as they said, for the sake of Islam.

As Jihad is the basic and the most important element of Islam to fight against those spreading hate, dividing people along ethnic and religious grounds the parents send their children knowingly or unknowingly to such Dars (sermons) for spiritual refreshment.

However, one could not overlook the fact that many of these so-called trusts were working on the agenda of West and receiving handsome amounts from the foreign donors/agencies for preparing children for confrontation, the source confided. Islam is being used by certain elements for their vested interests who have become tools in the hands of West, whose only aim to eliminate Muslims and defame Islam all over the world as the most facists religion on earth and US President George Bush Jr., has already issued an “edict” in this regard referring to Islam as Fascist Islam.
It is a little unclear whether this author is saying that the Jihadist charities are really fronts for an imperialist Zionist plot to make Muslims look bad, or if there are other charities that the West is supporting that are worse than the Jihadist front charities.

Either way, we can glean a few interesting points:
  • This article defines Jihad as quite warlike, unlike every Muslim apologist that the West ever sees.
  • Pakistani Islamic newspapers do not have a clue on the Western attitudes towards Islam.
  • From this article it appears that the idea of charities brainwashing Muslim youth to fight against the Zionist/imperialist forces is really no big deal, and that the Pakistani government is doing the bidding of the US by trying to crack down on this rather than anything being inherently bad.
  • It is far preferable to send kids to kill Jews than to think that your charity money might be going to thieving Muslims.
In short, Pakistan is one thoroughly screwed-up place. To think that they are our allies in the war against Islamic terrorism seems to be more a product of wishful thinking and arm-twisting that the reality.