Islamic Charities

in the Syrian Context in Jordan and Lebanon

Sarah Hasselbarth
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung | 2015

Comparing the situation in Jordan and Lebanon, the main difference in the role of Islamic charities active in the refugee crisis lies in the political systems of both countries. In Jordan, the overall number of local Islamic charities is controlled by the Ministry of Awqaf, which means that it is under strict supervision of the Jordanian government. Although it is not clear to what extent al-Kitab wal-Sunna and al-Markaz al-Islami are also bound to governmental directions or underlie separate systems financed from abroad, the overall situation of Islamic charities – and international organisations as well – is based on directives given by a central political authority. In Lebanon, the political system and its parties are split according to religious or ethnic affiliation. The permanent fights and unrest between these parties weaken the power of governmental institutions and partly even lead to a suspension of state authority. This created a strong and experienced civil society acting freely and not necessarily bound to governmental instructions.

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