Doing good in the contemporary Islamic world

In this session 4 papers were presented, as following (1) Mobilizing for social development: Trajectories of Tunisia’s evolving Islamic charitable sector after 2011, Ester Sigillo, Scuola Normale Superiore (2) “Assessing the Social Assistance Program in the Frame of Hospitality Towards Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Ethnography of a Two-tier System Between International Agencies Plan and Grassroots Islamic Charities” by Leila Drif,(3) "To Strengthen the Organizations of the Philanthropies in Indonesia" by Muhamad Supraja and the last one was " The Emergence of Humanitarian Islamic Organizations in France: An Empowering and Competitive Driver of New Muslim Spokespeople? by Lucas Faure.(4) " The Emergence of Humanitarian Islamic Organizations in France: An Empowering and Competitive Driver of New Muslim Spokespeople? by Lucas Faure. In the following paragraphs, a brief report of each article will be represented.

 The first presentation was about how welfare programs and kheyrie/khayriyye practices entangle in social policies. After the fall of Ben Ali, new forms of civic engagement have flourished in Tunisia, favored by the new context of socio-political liberalization. This research focused on the process of institutionalization of the Islamic charitable sector in a changing socio-political context. The main scope of the presentation was to understand how Islamic charities have positioned themselves and how their ideas and practices have progressively taken shape in the post-authoritarian arena. The qualitative analysis was based on three principal sources: participant observation of main activities and events organized by Islamic charities, a set of semi-structured interviews to the associative members, analysis of first-hand material produced by associations. The most important points that the researcher mentioned was that: rise of Islamic charities after 2011 in Tunisia,   the importance of professionalization of Islamic charities .

  The second presentation was about social assistant programs. The researcher has studied on the social assistance programs for Syrian Refugees .She said that the increasing role of international agencies and NGOs in implementing these social assistance programs, and its lack of collaboration with the Islamic charities on the ground, had led to a two-tier social action and a parallel system of resource distribution. Building on the insights of the anthropology of social relief and public policy, the paper would explore the way in which the current Lebanese social action plan was produced in the interplay of a humanitarian apparatus and Islamic local charities. At the level of the social fabric of domestic charity and its moral economy within these poor neighborhoods, different underpinned mechanisms appeared, through which each of these two social action models managed to reach beneficiaries and mobilize material and human resources for the purpose of their social project. The author had mentioned differences between two types of aid provision lies on the nature of their work and relationships with their recipients:

“While Islamic charities distributed food aids or cash assistance, at the end of an event, on the basis of social ties and proximity- based relationships between recipients and aid providers who usually come frome the same community,  UN partners claimed to stress on the empowerment of their recipients by providing them handcraft trainings or psycho-social support”.


The third presentation was about the philanthropies organization in Indonesia. He said that in the neoliberal economic era, poverty became wider and wider, and the gap between the richest and the poor  were too wide to bridge. Author said that the height gap between the richest and the poor caused economic marginalization, so proletarization became a general phenomenon happening all over the world. In the following, the professor explained Islamic doctrine to reduce poverty rate .The author emphasized that the spreading of philanthrophy organizations that are based on religion are evidence of the Muslim concern to another. Finally the author said “Based on numerous philanthropy institutions, such as under the BAZ and LAZ, as well out of them, all has program that generally classified as follows: Firstly, granting, namely giving donations, education funding, health cost, etc.; secondly, aid for productive purposes like empowering of economic, giving loans for productivity as making handy craft, doing small business, etc. The interesting thing is that some studies have reported that the usage of money was not so effective, as using a lot of money for regular expenses. Thirdly, many philanthropy institutions that are based on Islamic teachings have low public accountability. Fourthly, lacking ethos to build an appropriate management and institutional system .  Based on the explanations above, this study needs to discuss causes that weaken the effectiveness and accountability of and explore the weaknesses of Islamic philanthrophy ethos by researching secondary data of Dompet Dhu’afa and Laskar Sedekah resulted by social experts”.

The author was mentioned the similarities and difference of philanthropies by some characteristic like: age, management, scope, variety of activities and workers. He said that there were some different between those organizations. In the following he said that “in the future time the priority of the activity that are oriented towards empowerment need to expand, so the Islamic philantrophy may create an independent  and  productive moslem socity, although this activity need to spend a lot of energy, fund, accompaniment”. as author mentioned there were internal control of using of zakar to run programs but some external control mechanism was needed. Beside that the author said that both of these organizations were still far from their goals.

 In the last article the researcher has studied on humanitarian Islamic organizations. He said that “the growing importance of humanitarian Islamic organizations allows them to have a greater visibility in the French public space. his focuses was on the growth of the organizations and he  tried to explain why they are becoming so significant .