A Pakistani Writes About Philanthropy

This article in the International News is a good response to two articles in the New York Times, one by Nick Kristof, and one by Tom Friedman. Implicit in the article are two points: there is a difference between giving someone fish (charity) and teaching him to fish (development), and it’s not the white man’s burden anymore.

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Text to donate money to refugees

Via Aziz: Earlier I mentioned a few ways you can donate to various relief agencies working for Pakistani refugees in the Swat valley and other areas affected by the ongoing warfare with the Taliban. Now comes the most innovative initiative for fundraising I’ve ever heard of: donations via SMS. In a nutshell, you text the word SWAT to 20222 from your cell phone, which automatically adds a $5 donation to the UN relief agency via a simple charge on your cell phone bill. The service is powered by mGive and can be used for essentially any fundraising initiative. The Pakistan…

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Pakistani Conversations

Here’s an interesting conversation that happened in Pakistan. If the “West” is in fact corrupting Muslims, it’s the foil against which many Muslims show their true hatred of Islam by turning their back on the challenge of the Qur’an to think, to appreciate the diversity of and amongst faiths, and by saying ritual is the only marker of righteousness. ‘For how long have you been here?’ I asked. ‘A year and half, now. I’m studying economics at a university in Karachi.’ ‘So, how has Pakistan been treating you so far?’ ‘It’s nice. It’s my country,’ he proudly said. ‘Yes,’ I…

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Current Affairs

Islamic ‘Adl in Orakzai

Glad to see I have a role model in becoming a sardonic old man. It’s not justice or shari’ah, it’s extortion. What surprises me, however, is that none of the maulanas and muftis made an issue of the exact amount of money when so many avenues of argumentation were open to them. Was the amount extorted from the Sikhs right according to all the major schools of Islamic jurisprudence? Wasn’t it less? Wasn’t it more? Shouldn’t the amount be equivalent to the value of a certain weight in gold? And what about the requirement, according to many jurists, that the…

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