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Critical Perspectives on the Criminalization of Islamic Philanthropy in the War on Terror

A one-day conference organized by Asli Bali, UCLA Law School

Friday, April 16, 2010
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
School of Law, Room 1310
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Transnational Muslim philanthropy has come under increasing scrutiny post-9/11.  The expansive multilateral counter-terrorism measures taken internationally since September 11th – combined with pressure emanating from the United States in particular to close financing routes for transnational Islamic charitable giving – have reportedly had a dramatic impact on traditional networks of Muslim philanthropy. Though the new regulation of Muslim charities is ostensibly aimed at increasing transparency and accountability, the new rules have often been designed to prevent funds from traveling across borders, resulting in charitable monies being redirected to domestic causes or to informal networks.
While counter-terrorism measures designed to stem terrorism financing are no doubt important, the treatment of Muslim transnational philanthropy as inherently suspect has problematic implications. Disruption to traditional Muslim philanthropic networks that provide needed development aid and the potential consequence of routing charitable giving into unregulated channels are among some of the obvious pitfalls of current approaches.  This symposium will address the under-studied impact of recent counter-terrorism measures on charitable institutions and practices in the Muslim world.


9.45am: Introduction

Susan Slyomomics, UCLA
  • Aslı Bali, UCLA
  • Khaled Abou El Fadl


10 — 11.15am:  Defining Islamic Philanthropy and Its Criminalization

  • Asma Abdel Halim, University of Toledo, Ohio
  • Ramzi Kassem, CUNY Law School
  • Rachel Roberts, UCLA School of Law

Moderator: Khaled Abou El Fadl

11.30am – 12.45pm: Domestic Strategies and Responses to Criminalization

  • Malick Ghachem, Attorney, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, Boston
  • Akil Vohra, Counsel, Muslim Advocates
  • Nina Crimm
, St. John's University School of Law

Moderator: Aslı Bali

1 – 2pm:  Lunch Break

2.15 - 3.30pm: Criminalization and Its Impact on U.S. Muslim Charities

  • Erica James, MIT
  • Jennifer Turner, ACLU Human Rights Program
  • Sally Howell
, University of Michigan, Dearborn

Moderator: Susan Slyomovics

3.45 - 5pm: The International Dimension of the War on Terrorist Finance

  • Jonathan Benthall, University College, London
  • Mona Atia, George Washington University
  • Khalid Medani
, McGill University

Moderator: Aslı Bali


  • Susan Slyomovics, Aslı Bali, Khaled Abou El Fadl


Cost : Free and Open to the Public

JohannaRomero, Center for Near Eastern Studies
(310) 825-1455

Download file: Schedule.pdf

Sponsor(s): UCLA International Institute, Critical Race Studies Program, UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law

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