The funding of fundamentalist organizations is one of the most important issues that concern governments and societies alike, since it provides the guarantee for the survival of these fundamentalist groupings and terrorist organizations, and their ability to conduct the phases of organization, recruitment, and implementation, whereas when deprived of their funding, the evil actions of such groups would wane away, and their presence and influence would shrink.
Last week, the Egyptian Ministry of Endowment has announced banning the collection of donations inside mosques, adding that all the funds dedicated for it were suspended and that anyone found to be practicing such fund-raising activities will be held legally accountable and punishable. This is one crucial step in the right direction, especially as the Egyptian state and people have often suffered from the activities of these groups, and there is still a long and ongoing battle with these organizations there, despite the remarkable successes achieved against them.
The donations, so-called charity work, and fund-raising activities have been a highly essential source of support for these groups, so that they have been consecrated by the Muslim Brotherhood group and other organizations of political Islam in general. Such groups know very well that money is the lifeblood of their own formations, and that the easiest way to collect it is through arousing the sympathy of fellow Muslims to all the related global events, which would lead to raising funds that serve these organizations, and not the humanitarian cases that are highlighted in one place or another.
Islam is a religion that calls for benevolence, assistance to the poor, and providence to the needy in several holy verses, and benevolence is considered a deed that brings humans closer to the Almighty and guarantees social solidarity. Islamic benevolence comes in many various forms that provide for several societal needs, but as usual, the fundamentalist groups that misrepresent Islam and exploit it as a means to rule do not shun from instrumentalizing all the ethical and humanitarian principles of that religion, just to serve their own projects that are void of any ethical or humanitarian aspects.
As a matter of fact, mastering the art of fund-raising is one of the most important factors that leads to the success or failure of all organizations worldwide, and the groups of political Islam and terrorism have excelled in this art, innovating various kinds of methods and styles that manage to raise funds be it in the name of supporting Palestine, Afghanistan, Chechnya, providing for the orphans, feeding the fasting or any of such noble causes. However, the money collected for these causes would go entirely to these groups instead of the people who deserve them, and there are countless similar incidents in each country where these groups had a presence.
In each country that witnessed the presence of such a group, the main concern of the group was to bring education and charity work under its control, and then it would further develop its action mechanisms. It was of utmost important for such a group not to let the state institutions supervise any of its activities of fund-raising, be it through donations or charity work, to guarantee that the government will never be able to track the flow of the emerging funds and what they will be spent on.
Both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have two leading experiences in controlling charity work in a manner that assists the benevolent in their charity actions, while guaranteeing both that none of the donated funds would leak to fundamentalist and terrorist organizations, and that they would be handed over to the needy people without any embezzlement or exploitation.
The confrontation of the fundamentalist threat is not a single-round battle that settles the matter once for all. Instead, it is a continuous and evolving process, as these groups are well-versed in clandestine undercover action that evades pressure and surveillance of global countries. They know very well how to bow to the storm and adapt to any unexpected circumstances, only to resurrect and attempt to raise funds in innovative methods and styles. Moreover, the ideology of these groups permits them and their affiliates to commit all religiously prohibited deeds such as lying, conning, and cheating as long as they serve the group and enhance its survival chances.
Finally, it would suffice for a reader who is unexperienced in the affairs of these groups to learn of the struggle that raged between the Muslim Brotherhood group and Al-Sururiyah Movement in past years, as both sides were fighting against each other in immoral manners because they know that money is the lifeblood of such organizations.
This article was published in and translated from the Emirati outlet al-Ittihad.