When you live in a land ruled by Sharia!
(Check it out and have a listen to the music: I rather like the tune I suspect is the ‘swing classic’ ‘Clementine’ done in Indonesian punk – a definite improvement over the original!)
Quite apart from this story, it is important for us, Westerners, to understand that in lands ruled by Sharia, ‘charity’ does not work the same way it does in our part of the World.
This does not mean that Muslims are not charitable people: not at all!
And it does not mean that in countries with Muslim populations, people do not perform charitable acts for the sake of helping their fellow human beings, regardless of race or creed. They do – and we have many stories of Muslim women helping Westerners (men, women and children) who were in Japanese prison camps during WWII!
Rather, as Sharia rules every single aspect of life of those unfortunate to live under its oppression, so it has very specific and rigid rules for ‘charity’.
Let me illustrate this with an example: following the Tsunami a few years ago, people in Bengal (I refuse to use the new colonial name for the country) were upset that many Western charities got volunteers on the ground and started providing aid. The Bengali fear was that these aid groups were there trying to steal their children…
Many in the West were perplexed by this: why would the people there refuse aid, willingly provided without any strings attached?
Because right now, Bengal is under Sharia. And Sharia strictly differentiates between ‘Muslim charities’ and ‘non-Muslim charities’.
It is forbidden, under Sharia, for Muslim charities to help non-Muslims – and for non-Muslim charities to help Muslims (though, to be honest, non-Muslim charities do face a lot of regulatory interference under Sharia and are thus prevented from being as effective in providing aid as Muslim charities are). Therefore, when non-Muslim charities attempted to aid Muslims in Bengal, the response among the population was confusion and fear – and, ultimately, rejection of much help. The problem was finally resolved by the non-Muslim charities simply giving the money and aid materiel to Muslim charities, who then operated on the ground…
Another ‘perplexing’ example came even more recently, during the terrible flooding in Pakistan. Even as money poured into the county through Red Cross, there were appalling stories of whole non-Muslim families starving – even in regions where food aid was plentiful. Again, people in ‘The West’ could not make heads-or-tails of this and many wrote these stories off as propaganda.
The primary channel for the aid funds was The International Red Cross.
In Sharia countries, the Red Cross partners with its affiliated Islamic charity, the Red Crescent, and channels all aid through it.
In Pakistan, which is for all practical purposes governed by Sharia, the Red Crescent operates as an Islamic charity under Sharia does. That means that Mosques are used as the centres from which the aid (from food on down) is distributed.
To most of us, this does not seem particularly odd: Mosques serve as community centres, so they are centrally located and accessible. Plus, they have the room to store the supplies to be distributed, so this would be a logical place to distribute aid from, right?
Plus, under Sharia, the Red Crescent is only permitted to distribute aid through a Mosque. So, it is not just the ‘logical’ course of action, it is the only permitted course of action. And the Red Crescent did make various statements to the effect that everyone who came to them for aid, received aid!
So, what was the problem that caused the non-Muslims to starve?
Under Sharia, a non-Muslim may not enter a Mosque!
Not being permitted to enter the place from which the aid from Western countries was being distributed, non-Muslims could either starve or convert to Islam…
I suspect there is a lot more about ‘charity under Sharia’ we just don’t know…