RAMADAN BANK RUN: During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, millions of Pakistanis scamper to pull money from bank accounts and other places to hide it from religious tax collectors. The government deducts 2.5 percent as zakat, the annual donation many Muslims are religiously required to make as a basic tenet of the Islamic faith.

NOT A MATTER OF FAITH: Pakistanis do this, not to avoid paying zakat, but to make sure the money doesn't go to the government, which is viewed by most people as incompetent and corrupt.

MODERN RELIGION: For many years, Pakistan required all Sunni Muslims, who make up a majority of the country's population, to pay zakat straight to the government. That regulation changed recently, but many Pakistanis seem unaware and continue to pull their money out of the banks to elude the state. Instead, they pay zakat to needy individuals and hundreds of private charities operating in the country — some of which are actually fronts for Islamist militant organizations.