It is common for Western multiculturalists to project their own values onto
others. If Western religion instills virtues such as kindness and universal
charity, then surely Islam must do the same... right?
Not really. The number of verses in the Quran that define and advocate virtue is far less
than those promoting hate and violence. Likewise, historical accounts of
Muhammad acting or speaking in a manner consistent with Judeo-Christian values
are so scarce that Islamic scholars have had to explicitly authorize the
dissemination of hadith outside the boundaries of acceptable reliability:
"Mildly weak hadith can be freely used to establish the virtues of deeds." (Islam
In fact, Islam discourages universal charity, particularly for
disaster relief. Muhammad routinely used natural disaster as a threat to compel others
into accepting his
claim to be a prophet. The Quran specifically says that earthquake and
famine are sent by Allah as punishment for the sin of the people (usually
unbelief). There is no theological basis for helping those whom Allah is
trying to hurt.
In the wake of a 2015 flood in Pakistan, Christians were
told by Muslim charities that they must either convert to Islam or
agree to become slaves of Muslims in order to receive help. In 2016, a Muslim doctor had to flee Pakistan over death threats after saving the life of a Christian with $20 worth of donated dialysis medicine.
Much of what is given today ($1725 or 2.5% of an
increase in wealth) funds mosque operations or groups like
CAIR, and never finds
its way to "the poor." A 2011
audit of one of Canada's top Islamic charities (run by ISNA, no
less) found that less than 25% of the "poor tax" actually found its way to the
needy. The vast majority of zakat funds went to mosque maintenance,
private Muslim businesses and even perks to the family members of charity
Charity is technically an important part of Islam, but this does not mean
that it is defined as Westerners generally understand
it. In Christianity, charity means giving to your fellow man
in need. In Islam, it means giving either to support holy war
or to a fellow Muslim - and
usually through the mandated poor tax (zakat) which is precisely
calculated. As Robert Spencer puts it, "Islam makes a distinction
between believers and unbelievers that overrides any obligation to general
The zakat (almsgiving) may be one of the five pillars of Islam, but
the Hadith only speaks of it as a requirement to help fellow Muslims ("taken from
among you and distributed among you"). Non-Muslims are not entitled to the
zakat by virtue of their need, and mainstream Islamic teaching forbids Muslims to give
this to unbelievers. The website
TheZakat.org, for example, lists unbelievers along with the wealthy, strong
and healthy as being prohibited from receiving zakat (although some
Muslims may personally disagree with this).
While Islamic scholars forbid giving zakat to non-Muslims in physical need - including the victims of Islamic terror - it is acceptable to use zakat in defense of accused Muslim terrorists.
Interestingly, the Quranic verse that is said to
be the basis for zakat (9:103) comes from the most violent and intolerant
of suras. Its context also appears to be that of a penance taken from the
property of 'hypocrites' for their sinfulness and failure to participate in
battle against unbelievers.
Islamic charities that raise funds openly in the
West are savvy enough to downplay the fact that beneficiaries of their
assistance are selected by ethnicity, which would not go over well with
non-Muslim donors. They are also known to advertise "window dressing"
projects on their websites or literature, in which they claim a role in
prominent disasters or causes (in disproportion to their actual
contribution or concern). It is usually enough to fool others into
not looking deeper.
Generally speaking, international Islamic charities
are better known for funding terrorism and hate than in
meeting the actual needs of natural disaster victims (bankrolling Jihad through charitable giving
is mandated by the Quran
In 2014, the UAE
determined that fifteen well-known Muslim charities - including the
world's largest - were actually sponsoring Islamic terrorism.
Even at its most legitimate, Muslim
charity to the poor is heavily tainted by ulterior political and racial agenda, such as
lopsided support for Palestinians to the exclusion of Darfur victims,
who suffer much worse. The latter are also Muslim, but they don't
count since they are Africans oppressed by an Islamic-Arab regime.
(The rule is that Muslims generally ignore the suffering of other
Muslims unless non-Muslims can be held responsible).
When a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, the religion that
claims 1.5 billion members contributed a whopping one tenth of one percent of
all donations or, as Andrew McCarthy
put it, "basically, a rounding error for a Saudi sheikh’s weekend in Vegas."
In 2015, the country of Malaysia alone threw away 270,000 tons of food
during the holy month of Ramadan. This was enough to feed 180
million people - six times the country's population. Western
countries waste food as well, but they are also very active in feeding
and caring for people in other parts of the world who are hungry and
hurting. Not so with Islam.
That same year, Europe took in millions of war refugees displaced by the
Islamic State at great monetary and cultural expense. The Vatican
ordered churches and believers to open their homes. At the same
time, wealthy Arab nations in the Gulf, which traditionally fund
mosques, Islamic education and (sometimes) terrorism took in
zero war refugees. This includes Saudi Arabia, which has
100,000 air-conditioned tents sitting empty in anticipation of 3 million
Haj pilgrims. Islam is truly a religion that puts religion first.
Out of a religion that brags of one-fifth of the world's population,
there are no international Islamic charities that take money from Muslims to
help non-Muslims in need*. There is no equivalent of the Red Cross in Islam
(the Red Crescent is actually a part of the Red Cross and is active only in
Muslim countries). Charity is truly an in-house institution, and, even
then, the impetus is largely superficial. The greatest contribution to
disaster relief for victims in the Islamic world has always been (and always
will be) non-Islamic organizations and nations with a Christian heritage.
*[Note: Some Muslim charities, such as Islamic Relief, say that they don't
discriminate by creed. This is quite dubious, however, given that over 99%
of their aid goes toward projects in Muslim countries or in the majority Muslim
regions of non-Muslim countries. They also take in far more from
non-Muslim donors than they provide to non-Muslim recipients. See
Islamic Relief and the Myth of
Non-Discriminating Muslim Charity]
Islamic Charity: For Muslims Only