Muslims donate money to repair West Bank, Gaza churches


Muslims donate money to repair West Bank, Gaza churches

Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG – A group of Tampa Bay-area Muslims donated $5,000 to help repair churches on the West Bank and Gaza Strip damaged after a speech made by Pope Benedict XVI.

Members of the Council on American-Islamic Relations gave the check Thursday to the Rev. Robert Gibbons, vicar general of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg.

“We have always said we deplore any violent act carried out in the name of Islam,” said Ahmed Bedier, a spokesman for the group. “Now we are putting our money where our mouth is.”

The check was made out to The Catholic Near East Welfare Association in Washington and was intended as seed money in a worldwide campaign to repair the churches in the Palestinian territories, Bedier said.

The attacks on the churches occurred after the pope made a speech quoting a 14th century emperor who said Islam was “evil and inhuman” and “spread by the sword.”


I think everyone needs to be careful about giving money to CAIR (the “charity” taking donations). They were defendants in the 9/11 investigation.

In September of 2001, just following the worst terrorist attack ever suffered in modern history, CAIR placed on its website, under a picture of the World Trade Center in flames, a plea for donations. It read, “Donate to the NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund.”

Yet, when people clicked on the link, it did not take them to any NY/DC Emergency Relief Fund. No, it took them straight to the website of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, an Islamic ‘charity’ that was soon to be [/FONT]shut down by the United States for “raising millions of dollars annually for HAMAS.”


Yes, but in this case they were cutting the check, not taking it.


Let’s not be naive. They said that was “seed” money. This is promotional to get more donations which unsuspecting people will assume is going to repair churches. What a brilliant way to funnel huge amounts of money to Gaza without raising alarm bells. How can you trust the word of an organization that has known ties to HAMAS and Al-Qaeda?

A member of CAIR has posted a video of a check being given to a priest which aired on FOX News. This should not be a “feel good” story, this should be investigative journalism. CAIR has used deceit in the past to funnel funds to terror, representing it as going to the NYPD/FD. Have they suddenly turned their ways? Unlikely.

Here is the YouTube video posted by a CAIR rep. I posted a comment so anyone considering donating could make an informed choice by alerting everyone to CAIR’s ties with terrorism. My comment was promptly deleted by the CAIR rep, of course.


Can we believe this report? It is from the Associated Press after all. You know the bias Western media…

We have so often been instructed by Muslim members of this forum to reject reports by the media concerning Islam so why is this report different? Let me guess… it is reporting on something positive about Islam? What if this report cast even the slightest shadow on Islam? Would you be asking us to read it or denouncing it as yet another slander by the bias Western media? Just something to think about…


Keep your 30 pieces of silver. Instead end the violence against Christians. That’s what causes the arson in the first place.


Agreed. And if anyone wants to donate money for the repair of the churches, they should donate directly to those churches so their is no question about where the money goes.


Western media bias? How about the fact that CAIR was on the U.S. government list of groups with ties to terrorist organizations?

In December 2004, CAIR was named as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit relating to the 9/11 terror attacks. In the complaint, the plaintiff has alleged that CAIR is a “front organization for Hamas that engages in propaganda for Islamic militants,” and “manipulate[s] the legal systems of the United States and Canada in a manner that allows them to silence critics, analysts, commentators, media organizations, and government officials by leveling false charges of discrimination, libel, slander and defamation.” The complaint also accused CAIR of fundraising under the guise of operating as a humanitarian organization, but in reality using those funds to promote terrorism and terrorist groups.


So your suggesting that these Muslims are sending money to a fake Catholic charity that actualy sends money to Hamas?


I am stating that they have been accused by the U.S. government in the past as posing as a “charity” organization but actually raising money to fund HAMAS. They have ties to Al-Qaeda, as well.

They very publicly gave one of those large mock-up checks like you get on game shows to a Diocese in Florida for $5,000. Could be a propaganda move to gain legitimacy and donations from unsuspecting people.


While I object to many of the methods of organizations such as Hamas, let us not forget that there are millions of Palestinians suffering in Gaza and the West Bank. Forget the politics of it all. Their suffering is human suffering, whether or not caused by the politics of their leaders. These people are still God’s creatures, and like Hamas or not, they are there on the ground providing basic human needs to so many people. CAIR should be applauded for their contribution to these churches, IMHO. I reject all violence against all human beings, and I defend efforts to alleviate human suffering through PEACEFUL means. Donating to these churches is a great step. I think before we react with our politics, we should act to help all humans that are suffering and without dignity, Palestinians and Africans included. Most of the Gazans aren’t concerned with Christians or Israelis, they just want to feed their children and watch them grow up. Just like all of us.

just my humble 2 cents.


Applauded? They have ties to terrorist organizations.

But I agree that donating directly to these churches is the best way to go about helping those churches. Don’t funnel your money through organizations with dubious connections. Another great charity to donate to is “Save the Children”. You can sponsor a child from that region, which benefits the entire region - and it’s a legitimate, unblemished charity.


While CAIR was investigated after 9/11, the only sticking point was their donations to Hamas. If we define the character of an organization based on what a particular charity does with the contributions made to it, I suggest we rethink most every charity we give money to. Does donating to my parish church constitute endorsement of homosexuality if that money goes to defend these few priests or pay off their accusers? I think not! I can’t help but think of the human suffering that many in the Middle East go through each day. They desire a peaceful life, like us, to raise their children, watch them grow and prosper, just like us.
I agree that there are many unquestioned charities to which we can donate. The thread wasn’t about whether we should donate to CAIR, but what we think about CAIR donating to rebuild churches damaged in Gaza. They gave the check to the a catholic organization, I doubt any of that money will end up at Hamas.



I would encourage anyone thinking of giving to CAIR to consider that their money may end up sponsoring suicide bombers. While you are free to take that risk, I believe we all have a right to make informed decisions about where we send our money. I am informing anyone who reads this to consider the history of CAIR and make a decision. I also stated that I believe the check given to the priest was a propaganda stunt to legitimize CAIR in the hopes of future, more abundant donations.


I, for one, think it was a generous and welcome act that CAIR donated $5,000 to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association. If I give “seed money” to an organization I would expect that organization to be able to use it to get more. Since CAIR donated the money to a Catholic organization and then publicized the donation as “seed money” I think they are hoping that the Catholic Near East Welfare Association will receive more money from others earmarked to repair churches.

Come on people, no matter what they have done in the past, CAIR did a good thing here.


Why does money need to be donated through CAIR? Surely, a legitimate and untainted charity can take donations earmarked for the repair of churches in Gaza. You all have the freedom to decide whether or not CAIR is a legitimate charity, given its ties to terrorist organizations in the not-to-distant past. And I have the freedom to give anyone reading this, facts to make an informed decision. I would recommend everyone read about the convicted members of CAIR and remember that the Washington Times stated ““unsettling connections between certain CAIR officials and extremist groups” continued to exist.”


[quote=rocky] CAIR did a good thing here.

Could be. Or it could be a Trojan horse. I can’t in good conscience support an organization like CAIR.



I was being sarcastic! Got in a bit of a hurry and didn’t address the post to meedo as I intended. Guess I should have added :rolleyes: eh?


:o Forgive me. To your first post. :thumbsup:


I read the news story, and no where does it say that the money has to be funneled through CAIR. What it says is that CAIR donated money it had collected to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and did so by going through a Catholic bishop. They expressly said it was “seed money”. Seed money is money that someone hopes will grow. Since they gave they money to the Catholic organization it makes sense to me that they want the Catholic organization to receive more money from others to repair churches. Reading about this, I now know that I can write a check directly to theCatholic Near East Welfare Association to help repair churches.

I think most Catholic people, and even other Christian people, after reading about this would think to donate to the Catholic Near East Welfare Association first, and not to CAIR.

And by saying that CAIR did a good thing in this instance does not mean that I support them in all instances, or even many instances. But in Christian charity we should give credit where credit is due.

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