Author Archives: Andy Markowitz
September 13, 2011, 11:23 am
As the U.S. arms of major international Islamic charities have been closed or subjected to heightened scrutiny in the past decade, giving by Muslims in America is increasingly going to U.S. charities, Marketplace reports.
American Muslims observing zakat are directing funds that once flowed to Islamic relief groups to aid Afghan refugees or Gaza children into building mosques locally and supporting clinics and soup kitchens in their communities, according to the public radio program.
The shift in priorities has provided a boost to local Muslim charities such as Chicago’s Inner-City Muslim Action Network, which has seen its annual budget grow from $200,000 to $2-million in the past decade.
September 7, 2011, 11:11 am
Curators at the 9/11 Memorial Museum set to open next year at the former World Trade Center site must walk a fine line in presenting the grislier details of the 2001 terrorist attacks, says Reuters.
Some of the more potentially disturbing displays, such as photos of people plummeting from the burning towers or a recording of a flight-attendant’s voice just before she died, will be placed in special alcoves away from the main exhibition, with warnings as to their content so museumgoers will not be confronted by them unawares.
“We’re not here to traumatize our visitors,” said Alice Greenwald, director of the museum slated to open on Sept. 11, 2012. But she added, with regard to the pictures of falling victims, “It is one of the aspects of the 9/11 story that if you didn’t include it, you’re not telling the story.”
September 7, 2011, 10:57 am
A Michigan museum devoted to Arab-Americans is staging numerous activities this week to show the impact of the Sept. 11 attacks on the nation’s Arab and Muslim communities, says the Associated Press.
The Arab American National Museum, in Dearborn–home to one of the largest Arab communities outside the Middle East–will host panel discussions and conferences and record oral histories about post-9/11 life. Admission will be free on Sunday’s Sept. 11 anniversary.
Museum head Anan Ameri said the events will highlight both positive and negative influences, including increased harassment of American Muslims and enhanced support and cooperation with other faith and ethnic communities.
“I believe that the Arab-American community and the Muslim community realized after 9/11 how little people knew about them,” Mr. Ameri said. “It made us reflect … that we should maybe have done…
August 30, 2011, 10:25 am
Regulators in Arizona and New York are looking into spending and fund raising by charities formed in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks or failed to follow registration and disclosure regulations, the Associated Press writes.
The investigations by both states’ attorneys general follow an Associated Press examination of 325 of the charities, which found dozens of groups that did not disclose spending or revenue or paid salaries and benefits to their founders while failing to achieve stated goals such as creating memorials.
The New York attorney general’s office said it was conducting a “broad review” of September 11 charities but did not identify any groups.
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said his office’s examination is focused on a group that raised more than $700,000 to create a massive memorial quilt honoring 9/11 victims that never was completed.
August 29, 2011, 10:42 am
President Obama used his weekly address Saturday to call on Americans to participate in a national day of service on September 11 and help “reclaim that spirit of unity” that prevailed in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks, CNN and The Hill write.
In the coming days “folks across the country … will come together in their communities and neighborhoods to honor the victims of 9/11 and to reaffirm the strength of our nation with acts of service and charity,” said the president.
“Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost; a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11,” he said….
August 26, 2011, 11:27 am
Dozens of charities formed in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks fell well short of their stated missions, spent virtually all their money on fund raising or putting on events, or engaged in questionable dealings that appeared to benefit their founders, according to an Associated Press investigation.
Most of the 325 groups identified by the news service, which have raised a collective $1.5-billion, fully accounted for their spending and closed after fulfilling their founding goals. But the news service found many examples of groups it said have “failed miserably,” some of which are still soliciting donations.
Among them are an Arizona charity that raised $713,000 for a memorial quilt that was never sewn; a New York religious group that lost its tax exemption after accounting for only 17 percent of $4-million it collected for victims and first responders; and a Connecticut…
August 25, 2011, 12:05 pm
A nonprofit summer camp for kids who lost parents in the 2001 terrorist attacks is shutting, The Boston Globe says.
America’s Camp in Massachusetts’ bucolic Berkshires ended its final session this week, a few weeks shy of the 10th anniversary of the attacks. The camp had hosted the children of victims of the attacks for a week in August since 2002, and many early participants grew up to serve as counselors.
The camp’s founders committed to operate it for a decade but had left open the possibility of continuing longer.
Larry Levy, chairman of the American’s Camp Foundation, said that 10 years past the attacks, the number of children of camp age is shrinking and it’s become “extraordinarily hard to raise money for 9/11 causes.”