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Islamic Charities and Islamic Humanism in Troubled Times$
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Jonathan Benthall

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781784993085

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781784993085.001.0001

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Islamic aid in a North Malian enclave

Islamic aid in a North Malian enclave

(p.38) 2 Islamic aid in a North Malian enclave
Islamic Charities and Islamic Humanism in Troubled Times

Jonathan Benthall

Manchester University Press

This chapter is the result of a visit in 2006 to observe the work of Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) in the Timbuktu region of Northern Mali, whose struggling economy was at that time benefiting from a short period of peace in the “Tuareg rebellions”. IRW’s local headquarters was based in the remote town of Gourma Rharous. The chapter describes its remarkable integration with the local community, and its commitment to staying there rather than moving on like some other aid agencies have done. Since Islam is deeply embedded in Malian life, this chapter provides a positive example of “cultural proximity”, i.e. the proposition that a Faith Based Organization can have a privileged access to beneficiaries who share the same religious culture.

Keywords:   Islam, Charity, Aid, Development, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Mali, Timbuktu, Tuareg, Gourma Rharous, Cultural proximity

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