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Boim versus the Holy Land Foundation
Jonathan Benthall

This chapter, originally published in a law journal (the UCLA Journal of Near Eastern and Islamic Law), follows up the issue of the Palestinian zakat committees which was discussed in Chapter 5. It describes a civil action launched in the US courts by the family of David Boim, a boy of seventeen, who was killed by Palestinians in a drive-by shooting in the West Bank in 1996. The family, being unable to sue either two alleged murderers or Hamas (as the presumed instigator of the attacks) sued the Holy Land Foundation on the grounds that it had remitted funds to zakat committees, held to be façades for Hamas. The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found in favour of the Boims, by a majority. The majority decision was written by Judge Richard Posner. The controversial principles in US law of "material support for terrorism" and "fungibility" (i.e. transferability) of assets are discussed here. It is argued that the Court did not give enough attention to making clear its commitment to fairness, while the minority opinion was unimpeachable.

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times
Jonathan Benthall

This chapter first appeared as the lead article in the Times Literary Supplement on 10 September 2014. It is a review of the historian Michael Cook’s Ancient Religions, Modern Politics: The Islamic case in comparative perspective and Akeel Bilgrami’s Secularism, Identity, and Enchantment. According to Cook, Islam has a greater tendency towards politicization than other religions, whereas Akeel Bilgrami is more disposed to find fault with Western policies than with Islam. Bilgrami underlines the need to listen to reformist voices from within Islam rather than the voices of outside critics. This leads the Chapter into a brief consideration of the prospects for large-scale institutional reform instigated by Muslims themselves, as opposed to sporadic reformist initiatives that do not crystallize into organized movements.

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times
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Jonathan Benthall

This chapter was originally the entry in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics (2014). on Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Egyptian-born Islamic scholar who took up residence in Qatar. It sets out to present a fair and balanced portrait of this contentious figure, regularly voted among the world’s foremost public intellectuals and (when the article was written) the most influential religious authority in the Sunni Muslim world, not least because of the formidable network of institutions that he helped to create, including charities; but also because of his forceful oratory, media skills, and many publications. A prefatory note provides up-to-date information on controversies involving Qaradawi, as the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, that have erupted since the article was first published.

in Islamic charities and Islamic humanism in troubled times
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Overview of conflict and assistance from 2001 to 2014
Eric James and Tim Jacoby

The purpose of this chapter is to describe the recent situation in Afghanistan with a focus on international actors. It will be shown that apart from the humanitarian-military relationship, close and overlapping interests continue with the linkage between security and development, policy coherence and a belligerence that does not recognize the separation between humanitarian and military spheres. These interlinked issues contributed to the humanitarian-military relationship to be a highly contentious issue in Afghanistan. This chapter discusses the recent context from late 2001 to the end of 2014 by focusing on the proximal causes and manifestations of tension within the humanitarian-military relationship.

in The military-humanitarian complex in Afghanistan
Eric James and Tim Jacoby

This chapter builds on the structure first presented in Chapter 3 where the findings are presented relating to the basic and underlying causes of tension within the humanitarian-military relationship and the underlying policy issue (whether humanitarians should have an integrated or segregated policy toward the military). These are decision-making and external relationships related to structure and agency, co-option and politicization of aid groups as an extension of ethical norms and the link between security and development. Five particular aspects stand out here. First, the inter-organizational friction present in relations between humanitarians and the military does not necessarily contribute to negative relations. Second, official policies of aid groups rarely determine the path of humanitarian-military relationships; instead, they are dependent on the agency of specific individuals. Third, the relationship humanitarians have with the military has less of an impact on humanitarian security than is commonly held. Fourth, humanitarian principles were important to most organizations working in Afghanistan but they were heavily influenced by the politically charged environment. Finally, humanitarians understood that they are part of the stability and state-building process in Afghanistan and, for that reason, those issues relating to co-option and politicization are less significant than is commonly assumed.

in The military-humanitarian complex in Afghanistan
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Eric James and Tim Jacoby

In this final chapter, the relevant findings of the research are reviewed and applied to a broader context of humanitarianism worldwide. An analysis of research questions will be undertaken based on the assumptions first presented in Chapter 1. Within each area, the research findings will be placed in a wider context and their implications will be discussed. By unpacking these, the underlying policy issue will be addressed and discussed further with application to wider cases. The aim here is to get past simplistic analysis and explanations such as the idea that aid organizations and the military have intrinsically incompatible goals and organizational cultures. Instead a more nuanced and well-informed understanding of the implications is provided. In the process, a framework for understanding the contexts within which humanitarian-military relations occur is presented.

in The military-humanitarian complex in Afghanistan
Eric James and Tim Jacoby

This chapter not only provides a general account of Afghanistan’s past but focuses on the history of the humanitarian-military relationship prior to the 2001 invasion. It uses the framework developed in Chapter 3 in analyzing the recent history of Afghanistan within the context of humanitarian-military relations. Three elements – technology, strategy and ethics – were established as historical drivers contributing to a close relationship between humanitarians and the military. This chapter traces five periods (from 1945-2001) which will be examined in light of these three elements.

in The military-humanitarian complex in Afghanistan
Eric James and Tim Jacoby

This chapter discusses key controversies and tensions which will serve as a foundation for the research questions of this book. The key underlying issue concerning this relationship is that humanitarians are faced with a choice of working closely with the military or keeping distance. This has been described as a relatively straightforward analysis as a case “for” and “against” close relations with the military or, put another way, “integrated” and “segregated” approaches depending on the degree of separation between organizations. These two approaches are adopted as a basic means for examining the key controversies in the humanitarian-military relationship. These positions are analyzed from a number of angles including ethical, management and political perspectives thus looking at issues such as human rights and security.

in The military-humanitarian complex in Afghanistan
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Eric James and Tim Jacoby

This first chapter introduces the issues of Humanitarianism and conflict in Afghanistan. Five commonly held assumptions are presented and Afghanistan and its wider relevance are discussed. As a foundation, a number of key concepts are outlined and the book’s structure is presented.

in The military-humanitarian complex in Afghanistan
A historiography
Eric James and Tim Jacoby

The humanitarian and military spheres have never been as different as distinct as they might appear. In fact, the relationship between civilians and the military during and after war has been closely intertwined – in some cases, humanitarians and the military have been one and the same. To help explain how this relationship evolved over time, this chapter examines three closely interlinked stimuli – technology, strategy and ethics – which both created the need for humanitarians and prompted the military to undertake “humanitarian” tasks.

in The military-humanitarian complex in Afghanistan