Islamic Charity

How Charitable Giving Became a Threat to National Security

Samantha May


A damming assessment of the current global policy assumptions behind increased War on Terror-led surveillance on Muslim charities and communities, and its repercussions on individuals, communities and charitable giving. 
Since 9/11 and the global War on Terror, practitioners of Islam in Europe and beyond have been scrutinised and surveyed in suspicion of disloyalty and potential disrupters of national social cohesion. Seemingly benign, altruistic practices, such as charity, are viewed as potential threats to national security and have increasingly become subject to counter-terrorism policies. This work seeks to critically assess the assumptions behind the lesser-known financial War on Terror, through exploration of the effects of current policies on Muslim charitable practices in the UK. The consequences of current policies are multi-faceted – from the stigmatization and suspicion of Muslim charities and communities, individual loss of status and financial standing, to a decrease of living standards and/or loss of lives.

Engaging with the everyday socio-political activities of Muslim individuals, this book gives voice to the motivations, apprehensions and challenges faced by Muslim charitable practitioners, and seeks to unearth the consequences of counter-terrorism policy in relation to the UK’s diverse Muslim communities.

A must read for anyone wanting to challenge policy assumptions behind increased surveillance of charities and individual donors, whilst outlining the repercussions of current policies on Muslim individuals and charities.

Author Bio

Dr Samantha May is a Lecturer in the department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen teaching at both Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels. She completed her AHRC funded doctorate at the University of Aberdeen in 2011 on Islamist Ideologies, Sovereignties, and Spaces: Imperial Memories and the Challenge to Western Nation-State Territoriality. Building upon a British Academy Small Grants project in 2013, this work is largely a result of a Leverhulme Trust funded project entitled ‘Zakat in the UK: Islamic Giving, Citizenship and Government Policy’. Grant F-2015-331.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • 1. The Importance of the 'Everyday': Theories and Methods
  • 2. The (Il)Logic of Financial Counter-Terrorism Strategies: from the United States to the Global
  • 3. ‘You Cannot Separate Islam from Charitable Work’
  • 4. ‘They Keep Asking for Evidence. We Have None. Absolutely None’
  • 5. ‘No-one Starves in Britain’
  • 6. ‘Actively Awaiting the Return’
  • 7. ‘Diamonds are Made from that Pressure'
  • Conclusion
  • References
  • Index


Publication Date: 26 August 2021
288 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781786999450
Hardback: 9781786999443
eBook ePub: 9781786999412
eBook Kindle: 9781786999429

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