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S. Arabia To Close Charities

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  • World View
    Riyadh To Close Charities Some of targeted charities have been established by royal decrees By Fawaz Mohammad, IOL Correspondent RIYADH, March 29
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 3, 2004
      Riyadh To Close Charities


      Some of targeted charities have been established by royal decrees

      By Fawaz Mohammad, IOL Correspondent

      RIYADH, March 29 (IslamOnline.net) – Saudi Arabia is set to close all
      charities and relief organizations outside the kingdom and place
      their funds and properties under the control of a newly established
      governmental body, well-places Saudi sources revealed Sunday, March
      28.

      Among the targeted organizations are the World Assembly of the Muslim
      Youth (WAMY), the Islamic Relief International, the Islamic Waqfs and
      the Saudi Joint Committee for the Relief of Kosovo and Chechnya
      (SJRC), the sources, speaking on condition not to be named, told
      IslamOnline.net.

      The activities of the yet-to-be dismantled charities would be
      exclusively run by the state-run Saudi Civil Council for Relief and
      Charity Work Overseas, which was set up last month by a royal decree
      by King Fahd.

      The sources said the Saudi move is expected to have a domino effect
      on some 100 charities worldwide.

      The new body would announce its statutes and modus operandi as soon
      as the procedures of its establishment are completed.

      It will be run by a group of Saudi "citizens involved in charity work
      and renowned for their experience, integrity and good reputation",
      according to the royal decree.

      WAMY Secretary General Salih Al-Wehabi told IOL that a Saudi
      ministerial committee has been already set up to put the royal decree
      into effect, voicing concerns about the consequences of the king's
      behest.

      Licensed Charities

      Some of the targeted charities have been established by Saudi royal
      decrees and chaired by ministers and senior officials.

      Wehabi hoped that the activities of the licensed charities, like WAMY
      and the Islamic Relief, would not be restricted and melted into the
      new body.

      Wehabi said the new body should work in tandem with the licensed
      Saudi charities, while other non-official organizations should work
      under its umbrella.

      Established in Saudi Arabia in 1972 by a royal decree, WAMY is an
      independent international organization and a member of the United
      Nations NGOs.

      WAMY's headquarters are based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It also has
      presence in 55 countries and an associate membership of over 500
      youth organizations around the world. Its budget for the FY 2002/03
      stood at 175 million Saudi Rials.

      Analysts believe the kingdom has yielded to Washington, which has
      been laying huge pressures on Arab and Islamic countries,
      particularly Saudi Arabia to regulate charity operations, claiming
      that funds usually end up in the hands of "terrorists."

      The kingdom decided last December to shut down Islamic affairs
      divisions in all Saudi embassies around the world.

      In January 2004, four branches of the Saudi Al-Haramain Islamic
      Foundation -- in Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania and Pakistan -- were
      added to a U.S. list of groups and individuals suspected of
      bankrolling "terrorism", effectively freezing any assets they hold in
      the United States.

      In August 2003, U.S. President George Bush froze the assets of five
      pro-Palestinians charities abroad, depriving Palestinian orphans of
      their much-needed aid.

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