by Mark Durie
February 3, 2021
„Six years ago, when I was serving as the pastor of an Anglican church, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission wrote to the parish requesting that it implement measures to stop our church from funding terrorists.
Warning a quiet suburban Anglican parish against funding terrorism seems more than faintly ridiculous, but for some types of charities it could be entirely reasonable. For example, during the 1990’s the Islamic Council of Victoria was administering a „mujihadeen“ account, to raise funds for jihad in Afghanistan, although representatives of the Council later stated that the ICV never funded any jihadis who were ‚extremist‘.
The ICV’s mujahideen campaign had a religious basis in Islam. One of the obligatory five pillars of the faith is to make financial contributions, known as zakat. According to the Qur’an, these ‚alms‘ can be used for various purposes, not all of which would meet the conventional Christian understanding of ‚charity‘. One of the permitted uses is to fund jihadis. The Qur’an calls this ‚alms … in the path of Allah‘. This phrase was explained by the renowned Muslim commentator Ibn Kathir as „‚in the path of Allah‘ is exclusive for the benefit of fighters in jihad.“ “ (…)