Posts Tagged ‘Ramadan’

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Turkish jihadists find footing in Cuba

August 20, 2012

Cuban Muslims welcome IHH officials

Not to be outdone by Hezbollah in Cuba, the Hamas-funding, Turkish-based “charity” known as IHH is operating in Havana and financing a new mosque there.  This endeavor represents an unfortunate expansion of attempted Muslim Brotherhood and pro-terrorist influence on the Caribbean (including Venezuela, Guyana, Haiti, Trinidad, and Florida).

IHH delivers Ramadan relief in Cuba

IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, which delivers aid in different countries and regions of the world throughout the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, has delivered Ramadan food packages to 350 families in Cuba, one of the South American countries.

IHH aid teams also organized an iftar dinner for Muslims living in Havana, the capital city of Cuba.

IHH aid team arrived in Havana following a 17-hour-long flight. Members of the team were welcomed by Yahya Pedro, president of the Cuban Islamic Union, which is a partner of the IHH in the region.

Following talks in Havana, IHH aid team delivered Ramadan food packages to 350 families the list of which was set earlier. Speaking during the delivery of the packages, IHH Project Coordinator İhsan Özyürek said:  “As the IHH, we are in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in different parts of the world who are exposed to tyranny and need help. We are here today to be with our Muslim sisters and brothers in Havana, have an iftar dinner with them and listen to their problems. We have brought the greetings and donations of their sisters and brothers in Turkey. We hope to come together in the masjid which will be constructed soon.

IHH sponsors masjid construction in Cuba

Özyürek noted that people in Cuba convert to Islam through reading Read the rest of this entry ?

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Zakat causes bloodbath in Pakistan this Ramadan

August 16, 2012

Ramadan "donation" firefight

Our first story on the ongoing zakat street war in Pakistan comes from the Daily Times which reports that “the extortion mafia of Karachi generates billions of rupees in the Ramzan [Ramadan] season.”  The Times further reports rampant grenade attacks this “holy month” by the bhatta extortion mafia on Karachi’s small businesses and chain stores:

Karachi extortion : Trend of grenade attacks on markets terrorises traders

The recent trend of grenade attacks of shops and markets that refuse extortion has terrorised local traders and businessmen, besides totally blackened the chances of further investment in Karachi.

All Pakistan Organization of Small Traders and Cottage Industries (APOSTCI) Karachi chapter president Mehmood Hamid said in past the extortionists backed by the ruling parties used to send bullets wrapped in extortion demand chits to Karachi traders, but embolden by covet backing from the corridors of power, now these mafia men are hurling grenades on shops and markets that refuse or delay Bhatta.

He said a famous chain store at NIPA Chowrangi was attacked with grenade. Last week shops at Yousuf Plaza and Water Pump were attacked with hand grenades and earlier grenades were hurled in bazaars of Hussainabad, Liaquatabad and Quaidabad by extortionists. He said the APOSTCI has record of more than one dozen such grenade attacks in Karachi.

He said extortion mafia is collecting forces Fitra and Zakat at the rate of Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 per shop in Karachi, but the police and administration are playing the role of silent spectator. He said small traders are the worst affected segment of society due to Karachi lawlessness and a lot of small trades and cottage industries have closed their doors for good due to lack of business. He demanded of the government to realise the gravity of the situation as the ongoing ‘Bhatta war’ in Karachi is hitting hard the economy of not only Karachi but also the whole country.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Panhandlers flock to U.A.E. for Ramadan begging season

August 14, 2012

Muslim beggars are migrating west from India to the United Arab Emirates to shake down wealthy Gulf residents this Ramadan.  No word on how the alms seekers are paying for their airfare, but it sounds like it’s worth the investment.

At first we wondered if bulk cash smuggling were taking place as money is moved out of Dubai and back into India without being declared, but from the article it appears as though hawala is the primary mechanism for the capital flight.  The article doesn’t mention it, but hawala is essentially illegal in India.  Yet regulators and law enforcement seem to let this activity continue with impunity.

Thanks to Puneet for sending this eyebrow-raising article in from the Times of India on Aug. 10:

Indians pack bags for Dubai ‘begging fest’ during Ramzan

CHENNAI: Scores of Indians are flying to Dubai on a ‘business opportunity’ during Ramzan. Not all of them return soon enough though, as the business of begging is an offence in the Gulf country.

The Dubai police have arrested 131 people, including 16 from Tamil Nadu, for begging during the holy month. Devout Muslims are generous with alms (zakat) during Ramzan, though seeking alms in public can land one in trouble.

Diplomatic sources said a lot of Asians head for Dubai during the season. A beggar from Pakistan was caught with 18,000 Dirhams (around 2.45 lakh) during a recent raid. According to the Dubai police, this is an annual organised operation. “Even employed people come from different countries to seek alms in Dubai during Ramzan,” said a source. “After paying for their return tickets and the short stay, they still carry a handsome amount back home.”

A youth employed in a media organization in Dubai boasted that he made a cool 1,200 Dirhams (16,200) in a matter of ten minutes by seeking arms on the road a few days ago.

Though details of Indians arrested for begging in Dubai were not known, sources said that all of them had Indian passports and visit visas valid for 45 days. Diplomatic sources said they were from Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Assam. Those from Tamil Nadu hailed from Vellore, Ramanathapuram and Tirunelveli districts.

Those arrested are produced before courts and serve a jail term of up to three months. “Those who come to beg here know the penalty. Many think it is worth taking the risk,” said an Indian diplomat in the Gulf.

This year a number of police officials, some of who are women, have fanned out to mosques and shopping malls in the emirate to nab the beggars. A Dubai visit visa for example can be obtained for 75,000 through an agent and this investment is much less compared to the kind of money one could make from begging. The money obtained by begging cannot be transferred to India through official banking channels. Hawala operators help solve this problem with a 24 x 7 service to move money from Dubai to Tamil Nadu.

This is the system used by illegal Indian labourers in the Gulf as they cannot open a bank account or send money through exchange houses as they do not have a valid passport or a residential visa.

Bahrain, Muscat and Qatar are also preferred begging destinations during Ramzan.

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Ramadan’s $430 million halal windfall in France

August 10, 2012

Ramadan isn’t just big money for terrorists.  It’s big money for the halal food manufacturers, distributors, and advertisers too.  Particularly in France.  From Voice of America on Jul. 31:

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Jamaat-ud-Dawa defies toothless ban, solicits Ramadan funds

July 29, 2012

Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) is blacklisted by the United Nations as an Al Qaeda associate.  JuD’s leader has a $10 million U.S. bounty on his head.  And JuD is formally banned in Pakistan where it is based.  JuD is a front charity for Lashkar-e-Taiba, the terrorist organization responsible for the 26/11 terror attacks against Mumbai, India, among other offenses.

But that international blacklisting hasn’t stopped JuD from trying to tap into the Ramadan gravy train by making recent public fundraising appeals online.  Pakistan is pretending to be concerned, but Pakistani officials are really just embarrassed that JuD is soliciting donations in such a public fashion.  They would prefer JuD to raise money quietly behind the scenes.

From Zee News yesterday:

‘Banned’ JuD asks for Ramadan donations; Pak mum
Last Updated: Saturday, July 28, 2012, 20:55

Islamabad: Pakistani terror outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) has sent out messages on social networks like Twitter and Facebook asking Muslims to give donations during Ramadan, despite an international ban.

JuD, via its official Twitter account, appealed for donations for itself and also for Falah-i-Insaniyat Foundation, an organisation of the terror group formed in the aftermath of the UNSC sanctions.

The group’s message on Twitter, which had a link to Facebook as well, asks people to donate zakat in any form either by cash, by donating an ambulance or by sponsoring medicines or meals for Sehr and Iftar, the Express Tribune reports.

According to the paper, JuD claims that since the organisation was not banned in Pakistan, it could collect funds.

“Everyone knows that when the UNSC placed sanctions on Jamaatud Dawa, we went to the court against the ban and the Lahore High Court had decreed in our favour, categorically saying that the JuD is not a banned organisation,” said Khalid Waleed, the chief coordinator of JuD’s political cell said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik categorically denied that any unregistered organisation was involved in such activities.

He had also vowed to take action against such organisations involved in collecting funds.

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Pakistani jihadists use Ramadan for revenue

July 24, 2012

No surprises here.  The alphabet soup of Pakistan’s terrorist organizations (LeT, HuM, TTP, JeM, etc.) are using the laws of the Koran and the traditions of Islam to their advantage once again this Ramadan.

The one error in this article is the claim that ordinary Pakistanis don’t know the true nature of the organizations they make their donations to.  The problem is that many of them know exactly who their zakat is going to, and they understand that it supports militancy.  Otherwise, a very helpful article.  From Central Asia Online:

During Ramadan, Pakistani militants collect money for terrorism

Authorities take action, analysts say

By Zia Ur Rehman

2012-07-20

KARACHI – As the holy month of Ramadan begins, charitable fund-raising appeals are getting under way across Pakistan. But security analysts and social activists are concerned about terrorist groups posing as charities seeking to take advantage of zakat donations.

Zakat is an Islamic tradition of donating money during Ramadan to help the needy. Although legitimate charities do remarkable work, militant groups rake in billions of rupees to fund terrorism instead of helping the poor, charity activists say.

However, law enforcement made it much harder for jihadists and fraudulent welfare organisations to raise money in 2011, they agree.

Zakat collection a lucrative business

Because Ramadan emphasizes helping the poor, activists of political and religious parties, including outlawed militant organisations, do whatever they can to maximise the amount they raise, said Faizan Jalil, a Karachi-based journalist who covers terrorism.

They take advantage of the generosity of Pakistani Muslims, who annually contribute billions of rupees as part of zakat and fitrana, donations of food at the end of Ramadan, Jalil told Central Asia Online, citing various reports.

Naive Pakistanis unwittingly donate to terrorist fronts in the name of Islam and humanity, Shah Wali, an aid worker helping flood victims in Badin District, said, stressing the need to raise public awareness.

Every citizen should demand the credentials of the person seeking a donation before giving him or her money, Wali told Central Asia Online. Doing so will thwart phony organisations from receiving money and defaming Islam, he said.

Banned jihadi charities working with new names

Banned militant organisations linked with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and al-Qaeda pose as charities, said Raees Ahmed, a security analyst who closely monitors jihadi organisations. Read the rest of this entry ?

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Hamas mandates zakat in Gaza

July 21, 2012

This Ramadan, Hamas is joining the ranks of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Sudan in making zakat compulsory on people and businesses in Gaza.

The Koran mandates that zakat, the two and one-half percent wealth tax of Islam, be allocated to eight groups of people, one of which is those fighting for the cause of Allah.  Hamas probably justifies this new levy partly on that basis.  Corruption in Gaza is well known, and this money will never make it into the pockets of the poor as “alms.”  It’ll just be more cash for Hamas officials to play with.

Recall that Ramadan, which began yesterday, is the major fundraising season for Islam via zakat.  Many Islamists rightly realize that Ramadan is their biggest opportunity for revenues to sustain themselves over the coming year.

From AFP on July 17:

Gaza to make alms giving compulsory

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas ruling Gaza said on Tuesday is to begin deducting the previously optional “zakat,” or alms, from firms and individuals during Ramadan.

The Zakat Foundation created by Hamas will begin deducting the money during the Muslim holy fasting month that begins on Thursday or Friday “from the taxes on firms,” its chief Rami al-Khatib told AFP.

“This will begin as an optional measure before becoming obligatory,” he said, adding that the authorities would strive “not to increase the amounts” to be deducted from individuals.

Khatib said the aim was to “collect funds for zakat and distribute it to the poor.”

In the West Bank, the rival Palestinian Authority’s religious affairs minister Mahmud Habbash said the decision was illegal.

“We warn citizens against this because it’s illegal,” he told a news conference in the town of Ramallah. “What’s dangerous is that they want to oblige people to pay zakat and that’s illegal and raises many doubts.”

The move amounted to “a threat for zakat funds,” he said.

Happy Ramadan!