Concerns about Islamic Charities

December 9, 2002

Source: The Atlanta Journal and Constitution

On December 9, 2002 The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reported that "like many Muslims in metro Atlanta, [Fazi] Khan is still worried about repercussions from the Sept. 11 attacks. As part of its war on terrorism, the Bush administration earlier this year identified and froze the assets of several Islamic charities that it claims supports terrorism. The results were chilling. Even if they were not included on the administration's list, some charities reported contributions were off 30 percent to 70 percent in the months after the attacks, as Muslim donors feared being singled out. Ramadan is a period of heightened spirituality, prayer and giving. Zakat, one of the five tenets of Islam, specifies that Muslims are obliged to give 2.5 percent of their annual savings to the poor and the needy. Muslims believe that giving to the needy purifies the soul and encourages new growth of the money. Ziad J. Asali, president of the Washington-based American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, said his organization has fielded calls from Muslims worried about which organizations they should help. 'A lot of people donate directly to hospitals, schools and families,' Asali said. 'They were worried, too.'"