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10 - Myth vs. Reality: Muslim American Philanthropy since 9/11

Thomas J Davis Indiana University Press ePub

Muslim American Philanthropy since 9/11

Shariq A. Siddiqui

THERE ARE DEFINING moments in our lives. I remember my parents describing the moment they first heard that John F. Kennedy was assassinated and when my professors talked about the moment Martin Luther King, Jr., or Robert Kennedy was killed. I was amazed by their memory and used to be thankful that such an event had not occurred in my generation's lifetime. That changed on September 11, 2001.

As I watched the horrific images on television, praying that the perpetrators were not Muslims, I knew that this moment was significant, but I did not realize that it would be a defining moment for Muslim Americans. The lives of Muslim Americans were changed in profound ways on that day. Many have argued that the events that followed due to the tragedy of 9/11 have had a negative effect on Muslim Americans and especially their philanthropic activity. In order to understand the impact on Muslim American philanthropy after September11, 2001, it is important first to understand Islamic philanthropy, learn about Muslim American history, and explore who Muslim Americans are before looking into their philanthropic activities.

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2 - Religious Ambivalence in Jewish American Philanthropy

Thomas J Davis Indiana University Press ePub

Shaul Kelner

PASSOVER 1967. AFTER an outcry of protest in the West, the Soviet Union had eased restrictions on the baking and import of unleavened bread, restrictions that had been designed to stamp out the last vestiges of Russian Jewry's observance of the springtime festival of the matzoh. Responding to the policy change, the American Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry (AJCSJ), an umbrella group of twenty-five of the largest Jewish nonprofit organizations in the United States, revised the Passover seder supplement that it had first published the year before. The new text, written to be read aloud in homes and synagogues during the meal in which Jews ceremonially recount the biblical Exodus story, dropped all reference to the Soviets’ ban on matzoh. Instead, it invoked Passover's general theme of liberation from bondage to contrast the religious freedoms enjoyed by American Jews with the religious and cultural oppression that the Jews of the USSR were being forced to endure. With millions of copies circulated in the national media and through synagogues across the country, the 1967 text read as follows:

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7 - Religious Philanthropies and Government Social Programs

Thomas J Davis Indiana University Press ePub

Sheila S. Kennedy

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE partnered with a wide variety of religious philanthropies for many decades, and, for most of that time, those partnerships have garnered relatively little attention or comment. That state of affairs changed rather abruptly in 1996 with the passage of Section 104 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA).1

PRWORA was the first of a series of legislative acts that are usually referred to collectively as “charitable choice” laws. They were promoted as efforts to encourage greater numbers of religious charities (euphemistically labeled “faith-based organizations”2) to work with agencies of government to provide social services to the needy. The original charitable choice measures were buried within the massive welfare reform bill signed into law by President Clinton; however, when George W. Bush was elected president in 2000, he unveiled (with a good deal of fanfare) a new “faith-based initiative,” incorporating and building on charitable choice legislation. The initiative was frequently described as a centerpiece of the Bush administration’s domestic policy.

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9 - Philanthropic Decisions of American Jews: The Influence of Religious Identity on Charitable Choices

Thomas J Davis Indiana University Press ePub

The Influence of Religious Identity on Charitable Choices

Arnold Dashefsky and Bernard Lazerwitz

A tourist to a foreign country entered the premier concert hall in the capital for a tour and inquired of the guide, “Is this hall named after the famous prize-winning author?” “No,” replied the tour guide, “it is named after a local person.” “So,” inquired the tourist of the guide, “what great work did your local author write?” To which, the tour guide replied, “A check!” Gifts of charity are generally viewed as generous, selfless acts, but Marcel Mauss and other social scientists noted that there is a payoff of some sort to the giver, although it may be viewed by some as in this world (i.e., social recognition or psychic gratification) or by others as in the next world (i.e., eternal salvation or a heavenly abode).1

Despite these rewards, a specter is haunting American society and the European community. It is the specter of devolution—the devolution of the responsibility for the poor, the ill, and the infirm from the government to the citizenry. This essay examines the conditions under which charity may fill the gap. Charity and philanthropy are conceptualized as part of the literature on gift exchange in society. Such gifts have reached extraordinarily high levels in recent years in the United States: $260 billion in 2004, representing 2.1 percent of GDP, with about three-quarters of that sum (or $199 billion) coming from individuals.2 The largest beneficiaries of those charitable gifts in 2004 were religious congregations and denominations, which received $93 billion or 36 percent of total contributions. That religion should receive the largest share of such contributions is not surprising since charity is a central tenet in the major religious traditions.

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8 - Juggling the Religious and the Secular: World Visions

Thomas J Davis Indiana University Press ePub

World Visions

Susan McDonic

WORLD VISION INTERNATIONAL is a Christian multinational relief and development organization with operations in nearly one hundred countries. Their annual report for 2011 claims that they “served” 100 million people, directly benefited 4.1 million children through child sponsorship, and raised $2.79 billion in cash and goods.1 As such, this organization of nearly unbelievable magnitude is growing at an exponential rate. For instance, the World Vision partnership's income has tripled in the last eight years. It has been called variously “the largest development organization aside from the United Nations,”2 “the largest privately funded aid organization in the world,”3 and the world's largest Christian development organization. World Vision is clearly a huge player in the international field of development, with representatives lobbying and consulting with governments and the United Nations and others working with international ecumenical groups such as the World Council of Churches and the Jubilee movement. Further, it acts as a media source monitoring on the ground the political, environmental, and economic state of the world, providing information and news stories to all the major news agencies. Beyond this, World Vision had, until recently, a publishing house in the form of its subsidiary, Mission Advanced Research and Communication Center (MARC) publications.4 Additionally, each national office is involved in the production of numerous videos, magazines, and newsletters of its own. This is an organization with a massive global reach that circulates money, information, images, and material help transnationally, shaping and responding to global shifts of power, ideology, and economics.5

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