Thursday, June 04, 2009

Obama's Zakat Reference

One thing about Obama's speech in Cairo that sort of slipped through the cracks was his reference to zakat, Islamic charity:

For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.

That leads to some interesting questions.

Zakat, as I understand it, is charity given to a mosque to be used for the poor as a general fund the way the mosque sees fit. What possible rules is Obama talking about that stop it from being a tax deduction?

Is he just making things up? oR MAYBE IT'S the the section of 18USC that makes it a crime to give money to known terrorist organizations?

All jokes aside, what Islam's American Defender of the Faith may be talking about are the IRS rules that say that contributions to foreign governments, foreign charities, and certain private foundations are not deductible.

Considering how many Islamic 'charities' have been shut down for raising funds for terrorism like the Holy Land Foundation, this could be exactly what he had in mind. Perhaps he's going to change the rules so that American Muslims can now simply write a check to Hamas directly, instead of having to go through intermediaries like the Holy Land Foundation.

But that of course,leads to another question. What in hell is the president of the United States doing concerning himself with the religious duties of a minority? And is it just Muslims who are going to get special rules passed for their benefit?

I guarantee you not one reporter is going to ask Elmer-Gantry-With -A -Tan this question.

Not one.


Sabra said...

"One thing about Obama's speech in Cairo that sort of slipped through the cracks was his reference to zakat, Islamic charity." Didn't fall through all the cracks, FF. I caught it. You bring up some good questions about it, though. Answers, from E-G-W-A-T? If the question even gets asked, Gibbs will be able to stutter and hem and haw his way through whatever answer is deemed appropriate.

Freedom Fighter said...

Hi Sabra,
How are things in the sandbox?

You caught it because you're smart and because you live it every day.

Take care, OK? My regards to DH and the kidz...


Creeping Sharia said...

Good catch, tweeted on this last night...

Sharia Finance Watch has a list of the many Islamic charities that have been shut down for financing terror...

Anonymous said...

ok first of all Zakat needs to be defined to be able to understand the reason for O's saying that.
Zakat: One of the Five Pillars of Islam, is the giving of a small percentage of one's income to charity.
It is an obligation on Muslims to pay 2.5% of the wealth which they have had for a full lunar year, 2.5% of goods used for trade, and 5% or 10% of certain type of harvests depending on irrigation. Exempt from Zakat are a person's house and personal transportation.

I can imagine after 9/11 it would be hard for a muslim living in the west to find a legitimate charity organization since a lot have been found to fund terror.

it doesn't have to be a muslim charity - but legitimate muslim charities specialize in collecting zakat to fund projects to feed and build homes and help educate the poor all over the world.

now some of these funded projects go to refugee camps in palestine so u can now understand why so many legitimate muslim charities in the west will have restraints and questioning on their activities, and it would be hard to perform the obligation of zakat, this is what Obama ment

Obama from what I heard in his speech wants for all mankind what you want for yourself and your children :a peaceful and good living - no matter what race or religion you one has the right to deny this for anyone.
this will not happen unless people of the world are more tolerant of one another's race, religion and values.

Freedom Fighter said...

Helo Anonymous,
I'm always suspicious of wikipedia, but let's take you definition at face value.

If you read the link, the problem is not that zakat is not allowed, BUT THAT IT'S NOT A TAX DEDUCTION UNDER IRS RULES IF IT GOES TO A FOREIGN ENTITY.

That doesn't stop a religious Muslim from donating zakat ( alms, or charity) which is indeed a religious requirement.

Likewise,if I want to buy Irish lottery tickets (the money benefits hospitals) an ashram in Madras or a children's cancer hospice in Jerusalem,nothing stops me, but I simply can't deduct it. This shouldn't be a problem for a pious Muslim, who also has the option of donating to his mosque's general fund or any other American charity that meets the IRS rules.

I recognize that the majority of Muslim charities in America ( Holy Land Foundation, Al Haramain, etc.) funded Islamist terrorism,sometimes without the knowledge of the donors.

That's still no excuse for the government changing the rules to benefit a religious minority.

I also do not support funding refugee camps in places like Gaza, because that money enables Hamas, a genocidal terrorist group, to divert money they might otherwise spend on their people to weaponry. And that's assuming all of the zakat goes where it's supposed to - we both know it doesn't.

As it is, the Palestinians receive more foreign aid per capita than any developing nation in history and have for some time, since the days of Arafat. I'll leave it to your imagnation where that money ended up.

Finally, I couldn't disagree with you more on Obama's Cairo speech.If he was mouthing platitudes about the measure of a true friend being honest with people, he appears to have avoided being honest with the Muslim world, as I pointed out.

This has been going on for some time, and it's no accident that th eMuslim world remains one of the least tolerant parts of the world, and in my view Islam as it practiced by many Muslims feeds into that.

G-d willing, it will change one day, for all our sakes.


Anonymous said...


followed up on the concept with some added info since there seem to be skeptics out there as to what zakat really is and what it can be used for...of course, we used Islamic sources only:

Obama to ensure pillar of Islam, zakat, easier