Muslim Charities Seek US Seal of Approval

Better Business Bureau will vet groups to encourage donors
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2008 5:01 PM CDT
Brenda Aouda holds a sign showing support for the Holy Land Foundation that federal officials say funneled millions of dollars to Hamas, Tuesday, July 24, 2007 in Dallas.    (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)
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(Newser) – Muslim charities will voluntarily open up their books to the Better Business Bureau in the hopes of gettiing donors to reach for their wallets again, the Wall Street Journal reports. A coalition of groups requested the BBB's seal of approval to counter the stigma felt since the Sept. 11 attacks. Donations to Muslim charities in the US have withered since the Treasury Department alleged in 2001 that some were funding terrorism.

Though none have brought convictions, the six investigations into Muslim charities have had “a chilling effect that has affected donors and volunteers," says the President of Muslim Advocates. Donors are reluctant to give if they may later be linked to terrorism, even inadvertently, and the rigorous vetting process is designed to allay those fears.