Originally posted by Teinosuke
That objection is of course inhumane. Maybe the same Westerners should think about
sending aid to the same Muslim societies in order to provide an alternative source of those
services through secular channels.
In the United States, some people from Muslim immigrant families have
got into trouble with the Department of Homeland Security on account of
sending money to Islamic charities (some of whom claim to serve anyone,
Muslim or non-Muslim, in need) in their ancestral homelands.
The US government's suspicion or accusation is that many Islamic charities
are simply a front for Muslim 'terrorism'. Even if that's true in some cases,
to what extent should an individual Muslim be blamed for acting in good
faith--assuming one did--by giving to an apparently reputable charity? If
a Christian were to give money to a Christian charity, whose leaders then
proceeded to use some of it for non-charitable aims (there's corruption
in some Christian charities), should that Christian also be held accountable?
If I recall correctly, there was a case a few decades ago in the USA.
An American Jew (who had no children) died and left his entire estate to
various charities, largely Jewish. Yet he did donate a modest proportion
(perhaps 20,000 USD) to the Palestinian Red Crescent. Why? He had
no record as a political activist critical of Israel. He had visited Lebanon,
however, and he might have been impressed by Palestinian Red Crescent's
health services (on a low budget) for Palestinians in refugee camps.
I suspect that his donation was a humanitarian gesture of reconciliation.
But some influential American Jewish groups were outraged by that gesture.
The Palestinian Red Crescent was affiliated with the Palestinian Liberation
Organization, which the US government condemned as a 'terrorist' group.
The argument was that it should be illegal for any American (as well as
immoral for any Jew) to donate anything to anyone affiliated with the PL0.
So these American Jewish groups challenged the will in court. The
representatives of the Palestinian Red Crescent were placed in a very
difficult position. While they appreciated the donation and wished to
honour this American Jew's intent by accepting it, they also knew that
their American Jewish adversaries were much better funded and politically
connected in the United States. It would cost much more in legal fees
to contest the will than the donation was worth. Also, given the common
demonization of the Palestinians in the US media, the Palestinian Red
Crescent seemed unlikely to receive an unbiased hearing in the USA.
I don't recall the outcome. But I doubt that the Palestinian Red Crescent
received the donation, which could have helped some Palestinian refugees
in need of health services.