Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat-The Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, has denied receiving a US request to monitor the charities during the holy month of Ramadan.
Dr. Tawfiq al-Sudayri, the ministry”s undersecretary for Islamic affairs, rejected the idea of a foreign monitor saying his country is sovereign and cannot allow such a thing to happen. He noted that there is cooperation with friendly and brotherly countries in this matter and said the presence of a foreign monitor is out of the question.
The Saudi official explained to "Asharq al-Awsat" that three years ago Saudi Arabia organized the process of contribution in a very precise manner and designated the process of contribution through the known channels and licensed charities. He pointed out that the charities” accounts are open and specific according to the kind of contribution, its target, and its bank and these are monitored by Saudi Arabia”s Monetary Authority. He ruled out circumvention or penetration of the systems that the country has established.
According to recent press reports, the head of the US Treasury delegation was visiting countries in the region for the purpose of warning them of the consequences of not monitoring the funds that are collected during the month of Ramadan that starts during the first week of October. There is also talk about meetings being held on this issue to monitor the charitable work in several Gulf countries.
In a related matter, the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs issued a circular to all its branches all over the country warning the mosques” imams and callers to prayers not to collect any funds to feed the fasting except through the licensed charities in every part of the country.
Al-Sudayri also warned against being carried away by the unlicensed fast breaking coupons and pointed out that his ministry would confront any action to collect funds in violation of this. He said the processing of feeding the fasting is done only through the coupons of the licensed charities.