Preventing charity work violates human rights
After the quick and easy victory over the Iraqi Army in 2003 and the nomination of the Kingdom to be a ring in the series of change planned for the Middle East region, the US administration launched a massive campaign to convince the local and world public opinion that with its “fundamentalism” and charity organizations, Saudi Arabia was a threat to the world peace as it represented an atmosphere conducive to the breeding of terrorism and violence.
The campaign was not restricted to media only. The administration made the US Congress committees busy listening to witnesses from the administration itself and also from outside in an attempt to convince the Congress of the winds of danger against world peace blowing from Saudi Arabia.
The file containing testimonies against Saudi charity organizations, which was presented to the Congress on Sept. 25, 2003, represented a model of the hectic accusations against these organizations. Anyone who reads these testimonies will note that they are full of passionate words aimed at emotionally agitating the public but totally void of any strong evidence against the Saudi charity organizations.
The testimonies focused on the alleged terrorist role of these organizations but did not actually present any clues of their terrorist involvement except in two cases:
The first: When one of the Palestinian resistance men attended a conference held by the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) in the Eastern Province.
The second: The agreement of Saudi Arabia to classify the offices of Al-Haramain Charity Organization in Bosnia and Somalia as terrorist supporting offices.
This was followed by the US request to the UN, during a press conference, which was shown live to the whole world and was (regrettably attended by one of the Saudi citizens), to classify other offices of Saudi charity organizations as terrorist supporting entities.
The basic function of the UN is to settle differences among nations. It, therefore, should not be concerned with differences between countries and individuals or with nongovernment organizations. When the international body accuses and punishes a certain country, individual or organization without listening to their defenses, it will be violating the basic rule of justice.
The US, which was pleased by the attitude of the UN, did not heed the flagrant contradiction between this stand and the principles of freedom, justice and human rights it has been loudly advocating. It cares much about its ethical defeat while unjustly destroying the international achievements of the Islamic charity organizations. The report of the committee on the events of 9/11 said: “At the peak of its activities, a Saudi charity organization was simultaneously present in about 50 countries, sponsoring about 3,000 teachers who were roaming various parts of the world teaching people the meaning of virtue and preventing them against evil, extending food and other assistance to the hungry and needy people all over the world, financing potable water projects for the poor people, equipping medical clinics and running more than 20 orphanages.” When the report referred to the orphanages which were housing more than 30,000 male and female orphans, it failed short of mentioning that a large number of these children who were forced out of their shelter homes fell easy prey to the warlords who were recruiting children to fight wars in Africa. Is it not within our right when we assess the Western publicity against Islamic giving to say that this is not only a violation against the personal freedom of the individual but a gross violation of one of his human rights and an aggression against his worship rights?
Regrettably, some writings in the local newspapers (and some directives in the local media) in the GCC countries have contributed — unthankfully — to this unjust conduct, defamed the charity organizations, stirred mist against their activities and agitated authorities against them. These writings are made by a few journalists and academicians who were ignorant, rash and had no sense of responsibility. They are being prompted by a vision which was against the religion and the religious people. They talk much about democracy, freedom of opinion and speech, human rights and participation in the process of decision-making but they shy away from personal freedom if it is connected to religion and religious people. Their campaign is emanating from a nihilist vision which destroys without offering an alternative. The bases of all this is the ethical weakness in man’s three dimensions which were explained by Frankl. These people do not have faith. They are narcissist, selfish and unable to open toward the world outside their own selves.
This picture shows itself clearly at times of test. An example of such writers were the Kuwaiti journalists who fled to Cairo when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait where they stayed in hotels and got involved in shameful practices. Contrary to them were the Kuwaiti citizens who remained in their country to fight the occupation and help mitigate the sufferings and pains of other citizens. When the municipal services collapsed in Kuwait, the brave citizens volunteered to collect the garbage and clean the streets. They operated the bakeries to provide bread to the people. They tried their best to make life in Kuwait as normal as possible under the Iraqi occupation.
The funny thing is that when Kuwait was liberated, the fleeing journalists returned to their country without any feeling of shame and they soon went back to their old practices of opposing charity and obstructing anything for the good of the people. They are best described by the verses in Surat Al-Ahzab (Confederates) which say: “Behold!! A party among them Said: ‘Ye men of Yathrib! Ye cannot stand (the attack)! Therefore go back!’ And a band of them Ask for leave of the Prophet, Saying, 'Truly our houses Are bare and exposed,' though they were not exposed, they intended nothing but To run away. And if any entry had been effected to them from the sides of the (city), and they had been incited to sedition, they would certainly have brought it to pass, with none but a brief delay.”
“Covetous over you, Then when fear comes, thou wilt see them looking to thee, their eyes revolving, like (those of) one over whom hovers death: but when the fear is past, they will smite you with sharp tongues, covetous of goods. Such men have no faith, and so Allah Has made their deeds of none effect: and that is easy for Allah.”
In our beloved country, the local media succumbed to foreign pressure in their immoral efforts to minimize the (voluntary giving) in the Kingdom. Some of the charity organizations in the Kingdom of humanity stopped any voluntary charity or humanitarian activities outside. These organizations adopted the motto of “the close relatives are more worthy of good deeds.” This expression can correct when the needs of the relatives and the others are equal but when the needs of the distant people are more pressing to the point of life and death, it becomes meaningless.
The media war being launched by the West and supported by some local media against Islamic voluntary giving has adversely affected the local public opinion. This war has also influenced the official procedures in the GCC countries making them detrimental and obstructing to voluntary giving. Does the reader now have any doubt about the duality of the West which boasts of the human rights while violating the rights of Muslims to worship, personal freedom and voluntary giving?
The West is telling a big lie when it justifies its violations of the human rights of the Muslim individual on the pretext of preventing the transfer of money to the terrorists. The West should be aware that all remittances are made through banks which are easy to monitor. This was best explained by a witness before the Banking Committee of the Congress when he said: “money is the elixir of life for the terrorist but at the same time it is the killing poison for him as money transfers can easily be followed up.”
On Jan. 4, 2011, the CNN, in its Arabic transmission, published a message by the US Minister of State expressing worries that Kuwait was being hesitant in taking punitive actions against financiers of terrorism. There is no doubt that she meant the Kuwait Charity Society which the US had earlier classified as one of the parties supporting terrorism. America launched a ferocious campaign to drive Kuwait to stop the humanitarian activities of the society but when Kuwait was certain that America did not have any evidence to support its claims and was sure that the society was doing its voluntary giving through proper channels, it kept mom.
What drives the West to adopt this brutal act which is against ethics and humanitarian values? Why is the West exerting pressures on the GCC countries to prevent their citizens from practicing their God-given freedom in giving and being charitable? Why does the West not prevent any citizen in the democratic or totalitarian countries from such activities? Nothing except foiling Islam’s invasions of the hearts and minds.
Every citizen who is loyal to his religion, king and country should make efforts to take back this country to its pioneering role in voluntary giving. He should thank God for his numerous bounties otherwise these bounties may perish. The citizens should have before their eyes the verse in the Surat Al-Anfal (Spoils of War): “Because God will never change The Grace which He hath bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls: And verily God is He who heareth and knoweth (all) things.”
— Dr. Sheikh Saleh bin Abdul Rahman Al-Husain is the chairman of the Board of Directors of Medad. This is the concluding part of the article. The first part appeared yesterday.