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Is Muslim ‘Zakat’ Charity Actually a Front for Jihad?

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Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood are among the charity's affiliations.

Are all charities as innocent as they seem, or are some actually fronts for more sinister activities -- even jihad? That is the questionbeing raised by FrontPage Magazine about one Muslim charity, the Zakat Foundation, that reportedly has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to FrontPage, there are three ways you can tell if a Muslim charity is a front for jihad, and the first one lies in the identity of the Muslim thinkers the foundation promotes. For Zakat, that profound thinker is allegedly Yusuf al-Qardawi, a spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

FrontPage reports that in 2009 al-Qardawi announced his greatest wish -- that before dying, even if "wheelchair-bound," he would “shoot Allah’s enemies, the Jews, and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom.”

If an organization's "spiritual leader" vowing his ultimate desire for martyrdom were not enough, FrontPage asserts there is yet another way to tell Zakat is a front for jihadists. Reportedly, that answer can be found in the organizations with which Zakat is associated.

A number of organizations in the United States have already been identified asMuslim Brotherhood front groups by the FBI. The Zakat Foundation of America works with at least two of the 29 groups the bureau has specified as falling into this category—the Islamic Center of North America (ISNA) endorsed the Zakat Foundation as an organization with “a strong history of immediate and effective responses to national and international disasters” and featured in several of the Zakat Foundation promotional videos. The other Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated group the Zakat Foundation collaborates with is the Muslim Students Association (MSA), having designed printed material guiding MSA activists on “How to start a successful halaqa group in your Masjid,” “How to Help Neighbors in Need,” and “Starting a Food Pantry.”

For FrontPage, the final way to be sure Zakat is a front for Islamic jihad is the way in which the "charity" funnels its money:

The Caipirinha Foundation, the charitable organization created by anti-Israel documentarian Iara Lee and her billionaire husband George Gund III, utilized Zakat as a fiscal sponsor for a grant to the Foundation for Human Rights and Freedom and Humanitarian Relief (IHH). The IHH is part of the “Union of Good,” an umbrella coalition of Hamas-affiliated organizations led by Qaradawi. The Foundation supports the IHH’s efforts to disrupt Israel’s self-defense, describing last year’s controversial flotilla as a “heroic effort.”

Zakat, however, asserts it is a charity that helps "generous and caring people reach out to those in need."

Below is the stated mission of Zakat per the organization's website, what follows is one of its promotional videos:

Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) is an international charity organization that helps generous and caring people reach out to those in need. Our goal is to address immediate needs and ensure the self-reliance of the poorest people around the world with Zakat and Sadaqa [acts of worship] dollars of privileged Muslims and the support of other generous donors

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/v/t_p29haZHDI?version=3&hl=en_US expand=1]

So, is Zakat a benevolent charity that's just "misunderstood," or is it actually a front for Islamic militants? What say you?

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