The Western world needs to sit out the relief efforts for the latest Indonesian earthquakes. I know that the West won't do that, but it really should.
Instead, it is time for the followers of Islam to step up and take care of the people of Indonesia. The zakat (charity to poor and needy Muslims) is one of the five pillars of Islam, and seeing that Indonesia is the largest Muslim country by population, Muslims from around the world should begin to quickly collect and distribute that assistance to those affected by the earthquakes in Indonesia.
Why shouldn't the West assist, too? Well, because it is quite likely that the aid that we send will end-up being misappropriated. Relief funds sent to the Aceh region of Indonesia following the 2004 tsunami were used to create a Sharia police force. Several other reports indicated that much of the humanitarian aid was used by local governments and leaders to secure there own welfare and power, not to assist the victims of the natural disaster as was intended.
I said it in February of 2007, and I'm saying it again: Don't send aid to Indonesia. It is time for Islam to take care of its own.
USMC 9971 OUT