This is really an eye-opening article from Ahmed Shaikh on how some Muslim orgs use zakat funds. If you are paying your annual zakat this month, make sure you read this. Read the whole thing and share widely!
Personally, I don’t want my zakat to go to the flying of a speaker first class to a conference on politics in the Middle East. But apparently some orgs think that’s an acceptable use of the funds or groups like Muslim Advocates using zakat for general overhead costs. The most outrageous example cited is that of MPAC petitioning the Egyptian government to drop the word “sharia” from the newly drafted constitution and later celebrating and endorsing the Egyptian coup. And they consider funding such political activities as falling under zakat eligibility.
“The privileging of Zakat funds for expenditures on ornate buildings in wealthy neighborhoods, expensive hotel conference spaces, panel discussions on politics, airline tickets, press releases of dubious value, interfaith networking, awards and honorariums for the already-affluent over the rights of those families and individuals in genuine need is a racket Muslim donors have been either tolerating or enabling for too long.”