Folks, the following two linked articles illustrate what fueled my personal decision as to which organization I would donate tsunami relief money. Please keep in mind that I do believe that in this imperfect world, where there are volcanoes, earthquakes and floods, as Jews and Christians, we are obligated to respond to these crises by offering our help in any way that we can. That is what G-d has commanded us to do and that is what we should do. But we must be intelligent in how we respond. I’ll keep the name of the organizations to which I donated private but I assure you that they did not have “UN” in their names. Knowing the history of the region that the tsunami hit, it was quite apparent to me that if I did not give thought to the organizations, the risk would be high that Islamic fundamentalists and radical barbarians would be the beneficiaries and choose to use the funds intended for tsunami relief to purchase and strap on a TNT belt and walk into a US Army barracks in Mosul instead.
Here’s the deal:
In the nine days since the tsunami hammered the coast of the Sumatran province, hundreds of men from other parts of Indonesia have poured into Aceh under the banners of organizations accused of having ties to international terrorism. So far, there are around 5000 troops from the Jakarta-based Islamic Defenders Front, known by its Indonesian initials, FPI. The FPI is co-ordinating its efforts with the hard-line Hizbut Tahrir, an international organization with strident anti-Western views, and the Indonesia Mujahedeen Council (MMI), which is chaired by Abu Bakar Bashir, the alleged “spiritual” leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiyah group.
The hard-liners espouse an uncompromising Wahhabi brand of Islam that is not widely practised in Southeast Asia, and the Acehnese fear it could further destabilize their precarious situation. The FPI is better known in Jakarta for its thuggish behaviour and shakedown practices, and Hizbut Tahrir, a spinoff of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, has made headlines for organizing demonstrations against U.S. foreign policy and urging the seizure of all foreign assets in Indonesia.
Another group, Laskar Mujahidin, posted an English-language sign at the camp that reads, “Islamic Law Enforcement.” Its members said Thursday they have been collecting corpses, distributing food and spreading Islamic teachings among refugees. The presence of the group, known for killing Christians during a long-running sectarian conflict in another part of Indonesia, generated fears that U.S. military personnel and others involved in relief work could become a terror target.
Read these two articles carefully. You have every right to know what is occurring: