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Letter

Where Is the Philanthropy of Muslim Millionaires?

Shekaiba Bennett, May 3, 2010

Re: Where Is the Philanthropy of Muslim Millionaires?

Shekaiba Bennett

I agree ... where are the Muslim philanthropists?

This is an excellent op-ed. I agree 100 percent with the author; where are the Muslim philanthropists? I always hear criticism of the Westerners not doing enough for Afghanistan. As an Afghan-American I often ask, why are the ric, Afghans, Iranians, Arabs and Muslims not helping the Afghans or the Palestinians

I think there are three parts to this issue of philanthropy from the Muslim millionaires. 1. Our culture is a classist culture. The rich look down on the poor and they do not see that by helping the poor to get an education, the whole society can benefit. 2. Islam is not an identity. We may all believe in the religion of Islam, but that does not form the bases for our identity. For example, national identity—such as Persian, Turkish, Moroccan—trumps Islam as the unifying factor. 3. And finally is the fear of becoming the Other. Rich Muslims in the West feel like the poverty, tribalism and oppression that they have escaped from or avoided is the Other that may again consume them unless they continue on a path away from their roots. This form of self-loathing or identity crisis manifests itself as careful avoidance of charities associated with their Muslim roots.

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