Alms in the Name of Allah

Alms in the Name of Allah

"Seeing them here was actually a sign of the fact that they have moved beyond the religious component and they are serious about doing humanitarian work."
– Giovanni Cassani, head of the camp coordination camp management cluster (CCCM) for the International Organization for Migration

Many were surprised to see Muslim charities lending a hand in Haiti after the earthquake. Generally, they’ve focused on Islamic countries like Indonesia or Pakistan. But, Islamic charities are playing a larger role in the world, and that can be a blessing and a curse. Most do great work to minister to the poor, but some serve as fronts for terrorist organizations. And that poses a policy challenge for the U.S. The government wants to choke off terrorist funds, but still allow faithful Muslims to contribute to charities that do good. It’s a tough needle to thread.  In this episode, we explore the growth of Muslim aid organizations across the globe, and examine the care they provide and the concerns they raise. 

Executive Producer: Aaron Lobel / AAM Producers: Monica Bushman, Sean Carberry, Jordana Gustafson, Matt Ozug, and Chris Williams / Intern: Mallory Durr / Web Producer: Javier Barrera / Photo credit: Ross Taylor /Host: Ray Suarez


Field Report from Pakistan

Madiha Tahir reports from Pakistan on how Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a militant Islamic group, has used flood relief as a way to gain legitimacy in devastated areas.

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The Origins of Zakat

Ray Suarez explores the theological origins of the Muslim tradition of zakat, or “alms giving.”

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The History of the Growing Global Role of Muslim Charities

Ray Suarez traces the history of the growing global role of Muslim charities.

Navigating US Regulations

Sean Carberry examines how Muslim charities are navigating US government regulations they claim are often broad and ambiguous, and the US calls essential tools for fighting terrorism.

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Discussion with Richard Barrett

Ray Suarez speaks with Richard Barrett, Coordinator of the United Nations Al-Qaida and Taliban Monitoring Team, about international efforts to close channels of terrorist funding.

Field Report from Haiti

Jordana Gustafson reports from the predominantly Catholic country of Haiti where Muslim aid organizations were among the first to respond to the devastating 2010 earthquake.

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