Since 9/11, Islamic charities have been in the firing line. Some portray the entire sector as a conduit for terrorist financing. In this new updated edition of their groundbreaking work, Jerome Bellion-Jourdan and Jonathan Benthall provide a radical new perspective on the whole issue of aid and Islamic finance. They explore the social and political history of zakat and waqf, and in so doing challenge Western assumptions about the nature of humanitarianism. The authors outline the impact of the 'War on Terror', and argue that obstacles set up against financial transfers in conflict zones can have the unintended result of driving terrorist financing further underground, as well as depriving victims of much needed assistance.Islamic charities will continue to play a pivotal role in world politics as they respond to crises in the Middle East, Pakistan, Indonesia and elsewhere. This thoughtful and meticulously researched book is the one indispensable guide to the issues surrounding this complicated and misunderstood phenomenon.
Jonathan Benthall is the former Director of the Royal Anthropological Institute and Editor of 'Anthropology' Today and author of 'Disasters, Relief and The Media' (I.B. Tauris). Currently a Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, University College London, and Chair of the International NGO Training and Research Centre, Oxford. Jerome Bellion-Jourdan has a doctorate in Political Science from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, Paris, and has been a research fellow at the Centre for International Studies and Research, Paris, and a lecturer at Cairo University.