Eretz Yisrael Time

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Monday, June 08, 2009
For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation. That's why I'm committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.

-Barack Obama

Hmmm. My first thought is that since Zakat seems to simply be a tithe, it shouldn't be any harder for Muslims to give Zakat, then say for Jews to give Maaser (except that Muslims are required to give much less).

In fact any changes in the tax laws regarding charitable donations should pretty much affect everyone equally.

So why is it harder for for American Muslims to to fulfill Zakat?

The only difference I can see is that it illegal to give money to foreign terrorist organizations (and certainly try to collect a tax rebate on it).

And with so many American Muslim "charities" turning out to be fronts or funnels for terrorist organizations (like the Holy Land Foundation), the American Muslim has less places to turn to if he wants to donate to Hamas or Hezbollah.

I guess that must be it.

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