Tuesday, August 17, 2010

When disaster strikes, Muslims do (next to) nothing

By the Anti Jihadist

2010 is shaping up to be a dismal year in Pakistan. The numbers to describe their latest disaster are numbing if not overwhelming. Twenty percent of the country is underwater. Ten percent of the population of the country—some twenty million souls—is indirectly or directly affected. It will take billions and most likely decades to rebuilt infrastructure that was flooded or washed away. The UN is passing the hat to get the hundreds of millions needed right now to help the beleaguered people of Pakistan. And with hundreds of thousands of hectares of farmland and crops now inundated, hundreds of millions more will be needed in the coming months just to provide basic supplies and avoid mass starvation.

So far, according to Wikipedia, countries making donations for Pakistani flood relief to date include the following:

Malaysia: US $1 million
Sri Lanka: US $3 million
Australia: A$10 million
India: US $6.8 million
Germany: 2 million euros plus a $13 million aid package
United Kingdom: £31.3 million
United States: US $84 million
Saudi Arabia: $100 million

Notice that many of the richest Muslim countries are conspicuously absent from the list, or are on record with comparatively paltry sums. Yes, every bit of aid helps. But consider that the oil-drenched sheikdoms of the Gulf are not exactly lacking for capital or funds. Saudi Arabia alone makes an estimated US $1 billion per day, every day from oil sales. Can they not afford a measly sum of, say, several hundred million for their struggling co-religionists? And what of the rest of the 1.3 billion Ummah? Where is their compassion?

It seems to me that the latest calamity to strike a Muslim land amply demonstrates that ‘Islamic charity’ is an empty phrase. This Islamic inaction comes at a time when more wealthy Muslims seem far more concerned with building a mosque in Lower Manhattan than caring for suffering Muslims who are in dire need of assistance (and no, I am not referring to Gaza). And in irony of ironies, the one Muslim organization that seems to be most involved with Pakistani humanitarian relief seems, for the moment, to be the Taliban.

Muslims, have you no shame?

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