Spanish Pundit (II)

septiembre 26, 2007

Algeria: No cooperation in the War on Terror

Read this and …get desperate:
DINAH LORD: Algeria: No cooperation in the War on Terror

US diplomats fears alms for the poor given by the Muslim faithful during the holy month of Ramadan, could be being used to finance the activities of al-Qaeda in North Africa, pan-Arab daily al-Quds al-Arabi reports.

A US government delegation in recent days has conveyed these concerns during a meeting with Algeria’s religious affairs minister, Bouabdullah Ghulamallah, the paper says. But Ghalamallah reportedly gave the delegation a frosty reception, saying that it is down to Muslims to decide who they give their ‘Zakat’ (Arabic for alms) to – not his ministry. ‘Zakat’ is one of the pillars of Islam, i.e. a religious obligation for Muslims.

Ghalamallah also turned down a request by the US delegation for a ‘technical’ task-force to audit ‘Zakat’ funds handled by the religious affairs ministry, al-Quds al-Arabi quoted a ministry official as saying.

The only agreement reportedly reached between Ghalamallah and the US delegation was to create a fund to provide interest-free loans to Algeria’s poorest families. The loans will help the families set up small-scale business activities aimed at economic self-sufficiency.

It is estimated that several million dollars worth of ‘Zakat’ are collected in Algeria each year during Ramadan (which runs from mid-September to mid-October). Much of this money ends up in a religious affairs ministry current account, which channels it to projects aimed at helping the poor.

😯

So let me repeat this: a country which has suffered several terrorist attacks in recent days and which has had a even a civil war fighting Islamic terrorism, is a) not going to audit the money which can end in the hands of those same terrorists, not even the part of that money which is already handled by the religious affair ministry, but b) is going to receive funds for poor families.

I just don’t know what kind of education these diplomats get. Why on earth you should give money to people who are not collaborating with you? 😡

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EEUU está preocupado porque el Zakat, la limosna que se recoge durante el Ramadán, caiga en manos de Al-Qaeda para el Magreb islámico, especialmente en el caso de Argelia. Pero Argelia ha dicho que ni va a auditar esos flujos (varios millones de dólares cada año) ni tampoco va a controlar aquellos que su Ministerio de Asuntos Religiosos administra y entrega.

Pero la delegación de EEUU sí ha llegado a un acuerdo con Argelia: dará dinero al Gobierno para poner en marcha un plan que dará préstamos de bajo interés a familias argelinas pobres.

Vamos a ver, que yo no me entero del resultado de estas negociaciones: si el otro no accede a aquello a lo que tú quieres, ¿en base a qué tienes que concederle ventajas? Y en este caso concreto, si tienen tanto dinero por el Zakat, ¿por qué no lo destinan a los préstamos de bajo interés?

Será que como dije Dinah Lord, es sólo un ejemplo más de “pago de la jizya”… 😡

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