US Treasury Secretary
John Snow on Tuesday issued a list of 27 charities,
many of them based in Pakistan, and told Muslims
they cannot give fitra or zakat to these organizations.
Offering his greetings
for Ramazan, Mr Snow acknowledged that during
the month many Muslims were moved to give to
those in need, but cautioned that some charities
could be conduits for terrorist financing.
“Sadly, some have
preyed on the charitable spirit of Americans
and our friends worldwide by using charities
as a conduit to finance terrorist activity.
Those who have corrupted the goodwill of donors
do not represent the mainstream values of people
of good faith, including Muslims,” he said.
“When you open your
hearts to charity during Ramazan, we encourage
you to educate yourself on the activities of
the charities to which you donate, to help ensure
that your generosity is not exploited for nefarious
purposes,” he added.
Mr Snow, who began
his greetings with ‘As Salaam-o-Alaikum’, acknowledged
that zakat was one of the five pillars of Islam
all of which “enrich our lives by strengthening
the bonds of family, community and country”.
Through Zakat, he
said, Muslims had helped countless people around
the world with their charity and kindness. “The
face of terror is not the true faith of Islam,
which is a religion of peace,” said Mr Snow
while quoting President Bush.
a list of charitable organizations that have
been designated by the US government as supporters
of terrorism. They included: Makhtab Al Khidamat/Al
Kifah (formerly US-based); Al Rashid Trust (Pakistan);
Wafa Humanitarian Organization (Pakistan, Saudi
Arabia, Kuwait and UAE); Rabita Trust (Pakistan);
The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development
(US); Ummah Tamer-i-Nau (Pakistan); Revival
of Islamic Heritage Society (Kuwait, Afghanistan
and Pakistan); Afghan Support Committee (Pakistan);
Aid Organization of the Ulema (Pakistan); Global
Relief Foundation (US); Benevolence International
Foundation (US); Benevolence International Fund
(Canada); Bosanska Idealna Futura (Bosnia);
Lajnat Al Daawa Al Islamiyya (Kuwait); Stichting
Benevolence International Nederland (the Netherlands);
Al Aqsa Foundation (US, Europe, Pakistan, Yemen,
South Africa); Commit de Bienfaisance et de
Secours aux Palestiniens (France); Association
de Secours Palestinien (Switzerland); Interpal
(UK); Palestinian Association in Austria (Austria);
Sanibil Association for Relief and Development
(Lebanon); Al Akhtar Trust (Pakistan); Al Harmain
Foundation (Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh,
Bosnia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, the Netherlands,
Pakistan, Somalia, and Tanzania); Islamic African
Relief Agency (Global Network); Taibah International
(Bosnia); Al-Harmain & Al Masjed Al Aqsa
Charity Foundation (Bosnia) and Al Furqan (Bosnia).