Bin-Humaid blasts drive against charities

Source: Arab News

The imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah yesterday lambasted a “Western campaign” against Islamic charitable organizations and emphasized the need for charity work to counter poverty and crime and promote better human relations.

Addressing the more than one million faithful who thronged the huge mosque complex to attend Eid Al-Fitr prayers, Dr. Saleh Bin-Humaid, who is chairman of the Shoura Council, said some 70 percent of the world’s needy were Muslims.

Bin-Humaid warned that any moves to hamper charity work would bring catastrophe. “It will end support and cooperation between people…the hungry will die of hunger and selfishness will rule the world as the wolves of humanity prey on the weak,” he said.

The imam said the “smear campaign” had led to the freezing of charity funds, confiscation of assets and closure of organizations. It had also hit philanthropists and businesses supporting charity.

A number of Western countries say that funds from some Islamic charities have ended up in the coffers of terrorist organizations, and commentators in parts of the Western media who are unfamiliar with the region have extrapolated that all Islamic charities finance terrorism. But prominent Saudi charities like the Muslim World League, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and the Haramain Foundation deny the allegation.

In his sermon, Sheikh Bin-Humaid urged well-to-do Muslims to bring relief to orphans and the poor. “No Islamic country or organization or individual can give up or neglect charity work because it is part of our faith and worship,” he said.

The Shoura chief said it was the duty of Muslim leaders, writers, intellectuals, and journalists to stand firm against allegations in parts of the Western media and highlight the truth. Bin-Humaid slammed a “double standard” in dealing with charitable organizations, saying big charities elsewhere were working without obstacles and without facing constant accusations.

But the imam urged Islamic charities to carry out their work transparently and abide by regulations. “They must monitor their revenue and expenditure, and must do this noble work responsibly and with good intentions,” he said.