Brothers in Alms

Around the Islamic world it is common currency that Muslims are perpetual victims of Western and Zionist conspiracies. Yet when Muslims are suffering, it is usually the West, and often the U.S., that takes the lead in helping. Now the same pattern – action by Western countries and inertia from Muslim states – can be seen in the efforts to provide relief for those hardest hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami. While 100,000 of the victims are from Aceh, the most Islamic of Indonesia’s provinces, Muslim countries are contributing a relative pittance. Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is contributing the most: a paltry $30 million, about the same as what Netherlands is giving and less than one-tenth of the U.S. contribution. And no Arab governments participated in the conference in Jakarta on Thursday where major donors and aid organizations conferred over reconstruction efforts. This anemic effort on the part of the richest countries is emblematic of a wider political problem in the Islamic world. For all of the invocations by Muslim leaders of the ummah, or the global community of believers, they typically do little to help their fellow Muslims in times of crisis.Brothers in Alms

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *