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Pakistan Bans Media Coverage of Terrorist Linked Charity

As of November 3rd, Islamist charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and 59 other organizations cannot be covered by Pakistani media. The groups in question are known to have ties to terrorist groups such as al-Qaida. Jamaat-ud-Dawa in particular is suspected of planning the three day terrorist siege of Mumbai, India’s financial capital, in 2008 which killed at least 166 people.

That siege was carried out by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a terrorist organization in which Hafiz Saeed, a cleric associated with JuD, is suspected of playing a leading role. Television or radio stations which break the ban will be in breach of Pakistani obligations under U.N. resolutions.

Not everyone is convinced that JuD is up to no good, or that Saeed is connected to LeT, but the latter organization has been listed as a terrorist group by the United Nations and the United States, and Saeed has had a $10 million bounty placed on him by the U.S. government.

Shortly before the official announcement of the ban, Saeed held a press conference to announce that JuD and affiliated, also banned groups, would be providing aid to victims of a recent earthquake in northern and northwestern Pakistan. Even before the media ban, JuD was among a number of groups which were prohibited from providing aid. Saeed stated that Pakistanis have been working with his charity and donating money despite the official stance against the group.

If banning nominally charitable groups from providing aid in situations like this seems odd, it’s important to remember that not all charities are non-partisan organizations. Non-profits in the United States routinely support politicians, and even charities here have political agendas, whether they act upon the openly or not. In the modern world, little if anything is not, or cannot be, politicized, and charities can provide excellent fronts for funneling money to terrorist organizations.

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Malala Fund Receives First Donation

Malala Yousafzai
IMG: via The Malala Fund

Malala Yousafzai is fifteen years old. Last year, the Taliban, who sought to silence her from speaking up for Pakistani women’s education rights, shot her in the head. They shot to kill, but Malala was stronger than they had reckoned—and she survived.

“Here’s what they accomplished,” said Angelina Jolie, who spoke at the recent Women in the World Summit in New York City. “They shot her point-blank range in the head—and made her stronger. The brutal attempt to silence her voice made it stronger.”

Malala, who was moved to England for recovery after she was shot, now attends school in Birmingham. But she hasn’t forgotten what it was like when she was in Pakistan. She formed Malala fund, an educational charity designed to help more women and girls become empowered and educated in Pakistan and around the world.

On Thursday, April 4th, Malala announced the first donation to the fund—$45,000. “Today I am going to announce the happiest moment of my life, and that is the first grant of Malala Fund,” Malala said in a recorded video announcement that played at the Women in the World Summit. “I invite all of you to support Malala Fund and let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls.”

The video was presented by Angelina Jolie, who pledged to give an additional $200,000 to the charity. The first grant will be given to a group in Malala’s homeland, the Swat Valley in Pakistan. It will help to educate forty girls between the ages of five and twelve who would otherwise be forced into domestic labor. By giving the girls a safe place to study as well as providing financial support to their families, Malala Fund paves the way for women’s education and empowerment in Pakistan. .