A Note on Christian Philanthropy
A Christian says: Christians don't suck because, when they aren't murdering people, they are building shelters for the homeless and raising money for charities. You suck for saying good people suck.
An Atheist Replies: There are two aspects of this which I contend with:
1) Jesus said that if you were going to be giving, you should do it in secret because otherwise you are giving solely to be identified as a good person. You are acting selfishly. I tend to agree with this particular statement that Jesus made (see Matthew 6:1-6).
2) Building shelters and raising money for charities, generally (not just limited to Christians), is an act by the upper classes (the owners of capital) to allow them to feel better about themselves when they exploit the lower classes. It does little to alleviate the problem. If you really want to help the poor, give them capital and training that will allow them to compete with those who are currently in the upper classes. This goes doubly for aid to foreign nations. Hand-outs like the ones that you seem to advocate only help to keep the price of labor low so that rich owners of corporations can make more money. Of course, a hand-out ethic is certainly better than the let-them-starve ethic of the right wing element of US politics.
A Muslim replies: Disclosure vs. secrecy. "If you disclose the act of charity, even so it is well; but if you conceal it and make it reach those who are really in need, that is best for you. It will remove from you some of your stains of wrongdoing, and Allah is well acquainted with what you do." (2:171)
If the charity is for a public cause, it must be known and concealment itself may be a fault of the official. The harm of publicity lies in the motive of ostentation (showing-off). When charity is to be given to an individual, it is better that it be given secretly. (Taken from "Islamic Philanthropy: For the love of Allah" SHAHID ATHAR)