By Tom Arnold – Concern Chief Executive Officer
I recently had the privilege to attend the Fourth World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists in Dubai (March 23-24). The Congress—founded by Tariq Cheema, a Pakistani physician based in Chicago—brings together leading figures in the field of government, diplomacy, academia, finance, and NGOs to discuss pressing concerns related to roles and responsibilities of business and civil society and to build upon its previous meetings held in Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, and Doha. One of the Conference’s key priorities is innovation in the fight against global hunger.
The theme of the 2011 Conference was “defining the roadmap for Muslim giving into the next decade.” Philanthropy is integral in the Muslim faith, which stipulates alms giving (zakat) of 2.5 percent of income or possessions to the poor and underprivileged.
Today there are an estimated 1.57 billion Muslims constituting 23 percent of the world’s population and contributing substantially in the social sector–developing nonprofits that address human services and social needs and creating charitable foundations that are distributing financial resources at an unprecedented level. Read the rest of this entry »