Britain: “A World Capital for Islamic Finance”

sovereign-wealth-funds-are-also-more-cautious-about-investing-in-europeby Soeren Kern:

“I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.” — David Cameron, Prime Minister, Great Britain.

But critics say that British ambitions to attract investments from Muslim countries, companies and individuals are spurring the gradual establishment of a parallel financial system based on Islamic Sharia law. The Treasury also said some sukukIslamic bond issues may require the government to restrict its dealings with Israeli-owned companies in order to attract Muslim money.

The London Stock Exchange will be launching a new Islamic bond index in an effort to establish the City of London as one of the world’s leading centers of Islamic finance.

Britain also plans to become the first non-Muslim country to issue sovereign Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, beginning as early as 2014.

The plans are all part of the British government’s strategy to acquire as big a slice as possible of the fast-growing global market of Islamic finance, which operates according to Islamic Sharia law and is growing 50% faster than the conventional banking sector.

Although it is still a fraction of the global investment market — Sharia-compliant assets are estimated to make up only around 1% of the world’s financial assets — Islamic finance is expected to be worth £1.3 trillion (€1.5 trillion; $2 trillion) by 2014, a 150% increase from its value in 2006, according to the World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, published in May 2013 by the consultancy Ernst & Young.

But critics say that Britain’s ambitions to attract investments from Muslim countries, companies and individuals are spurring the gradual establishment of a parallel global financial system based on Islamic Sharia law.

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the plans during a keynote speech at the ninth World Islamic Economic Forum, which was held in London from October 29-31, the first time the event has ever been held outside the Muslim world.

“Already London is the biggest center for Islamic finance outside the Islamic world,” Cameron told the audience of more than 1,800 international political and business leaders from over 115 countries.

“And today our ambition is to go further still. Because I don’t just want London to be a great capital of Islamic finance in the Western world, I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.”

 

UK Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the World Islamic Economic Forum in London on October 29, 2013. (Image source: 10 Downing St. Facebook page)

Cameron said the new Islamic bond index on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) would help stimulate fixed-income investments from Muslim investors — especially investors from oil-rich Persian Gulf countries — by helping them identify which listed companies adhere to Islamic principles.

Investors who practice Islamic finance — which is said to be structured to conform to a strict code of ethics based on the Koran and Sharia law — refuse to invest in companies that are linked to alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco, weapons or pork. Islamic finance also forbids collecting or paying interest and requires that deals be based on tangible assets.

Unlike conventional bonds, sukuk are described as investments rather than loans, with the initial payment made from an Islamic investor in the form of a tangible asset such as land. The lender of a sukuk earns money as profit from rent, as in real estate, rather than traditional interest.

Cameron says the British Treasury will issue £200 million (€235 million; $320 million) worth of sukuk as early as 2014. The objective is to enable the government to borrow from Muslim investors. The Treasury plans to issue fixed returns based on the profit made by a given asset, thereby allowing Muslims to invest without breaking Islamic laws forbidding interest-bearing bonds.

The Treasury also said some sukuk bond issues may require the British government to restrict its dealings with Israeli-owned companies in order to attract Muslim money.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

 

 

The U.K. aims to become the “unrivaled center for Islamic Finance” in the West.

sukukBy Jerry Gordon:

Word came from UK Prime Minister David Cameron of a plan to float a 200 Million Sterling ($324 Million) Sukuk issue next year. This would be the first Shariah compliant sovereign debt issued by a Western government. The Financial Times noted the comments of Chancellor of Exchequer Osborne who trumpeted the announcement as making the City of London the “unrivaled center for Islamic Finance”. The Wall Street Journal, in an article, “U.K. Considers Islamic Bond Sale” reported:

Treasury officials are working on details for a potential offering of Sukuk – bond-like instruments that comply with Shariah law –that could be launched early next year. The issue would raise about 200 million Sterling ($324 million) according to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office.

‘This government wants Britain to become the first Western sovereign to issue an Islamic bond, “Prime Minister David Cameron is expected to say in a speech at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London on Tuesday.

Turkey issued its first $1.5 billion Sukuk in September 2012 [at the urging of the Islamic Development Bank, of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation]. Tesco PLC and HSBC Holdings PLC have issued Sukuk bonds through subsidiaries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Some $27 Billion Sukuk have been issued globally so far in 2013,  less than the  $40 billion in 2012.

The London Stock Exchange is also planning to launch an Islamic market index that will enable investors to identify companies that comply with Islamic business practices, the prime minister’s office said.

Islamic financial principles prohibit lenders from receiving interest. Sukuk offer fixed payments based on the profit generated by an underlying asset, but include no interest. The concept behind the Sukuk was explained in this Guardian article,“Could principles of Islamic finance feed into a sustainable economic system?”

*******

The U.K. announced plans five years ago to become the first Western government to issue bonds compliant with Islamic law only to disband the initiative in 2011 when the Debt Management Office said the securities don’t “provide value for money.” Shariah Finance Watch in a March 2013 post identified the growing use of Sukuk flotations as a means of forcing Shariah compliance in international financial markets. It noted:

1. Islamic issuers increasingly issue Sukuk rather than conventional debt instruments. Therefore, creditors who want to invest in the credit markets are compelled to invest their money in a Shariah-compliant way.

2. On the flipside, Islamic investors who invest in the credit markets are increasingly insisting on Shariah-compliance, thus compelling issuers/borrowers to issue Sukuk instead of conventional credit instruments, such as debentures. This is happening in the sovereign debt markets, as well as the corporate debt markets. The power wielded by oil-rich Islamic nations, institutional and individual investors makes this form of Islamic imperialism to impose Shariah-compliance globally potentially very powerful.

We wonder who are the Shariah experts that will advise the London Stock Exchange in developing the index of compliance with alleged Islamic business practice?  And how much of a split of the profits in these Sukuk issues goes to fund Zakat, Muslim charity, one purpose of which is to follow the way of Allah, Jihad?

Read more at New English Review

Sharia banks that fund terrorism

sharia-bank-terror-relationship

Money Jihad:

The relationship is simple.  Jihadists know they can trust sharia-compliant banks to maintain their anonymity, not ask too many questions, and facilitate high-dollar transactions on behalf of their terrorist groups.  Some Islamic financial institutions, such as National Commercial Bank and Islami Bank Bangladesh, have taken the relationship a step farther by donating a portion of their bank profits in the form of zakat as an act of corporate “charity” to terrorist organizations, or in the case of Al Rajhi, through private zakat donations of leading bankers.  Saudi Arabia and Iran are key bases for these activities, but this is a global phenomenon.  Here’s Money Jihad’s short list of the worst offenders:

Al Rajhi Bank:  The Saudi financial institution has served as the sharia bank of choice for the world’s jihadists, including East Africa embassy bomber Mamduh Mahmud Salim, Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, and organizations like Indonesian Kompak and Al-Haramain.  Bank co-founder Sulaiman Al-Rajhi appeared on the infamous Golden Chain document of Al Qaeda financiers.  These allegations were reinforced by the recent U.S. Senate investigation into HSBC’s correspondent relationships.

Al Shamal Islamic Bank:  Osama Bin Laden co-founded the Al Shamal in Sudan and invested $50 million there.  During the 1990s and early 2000s, Al Qaeda distributed money to its cells through Al Shamal.  Funds passed through Al Shamal were used in preparation for terrorist attacks.

National Commercial Bank:  Offering conventional and sharia banking services, Saudi Arabia’s self-described first, largest, and most prominent bank is NCB.  Among other misdeeds, a Saudi audit revealed that NCB transferred $74 million in the 1990s as zakat through its charitable front organizations to Al Qaeda (see here, here, and here).  Khalid bin Mahfouz, the head of the bank, exploited libel laws to sue author Rachel Ehrenfeld in an effort to silence accusations about his role in financing terrorism.

Arab Bank:  This conventional bank in Jordan maintains a wholly-owned subsidiary (Islamic International Arab Bank PLC) that offers full-range sharia services.  Arab Bank has transferred money on behalf of Comité de Bienfaisance et de Secours aux Palestiniens (CBSP), a notorious French charity, to a known financial subunit of Hamas.  The Jordanian bank has paid out insurance benefits to families of suicide bombers for the Saudi Committee—another charity that funds Hamas.  Arab Bank has handled transactions for the Holy Land Foundation, whose leaders now sit behind bars for financing terrorism.  It has been the subject of American investigations, but the bank has consistently refused to turn over related documents to the U.S.

Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited:  IBBL, Bangladesh’s biggest sharia bank, has handled Wahhabi accounts to propagate radical Islam since its inception.  In 2011, the Bangladeshi home ministry intelligence revealed that 8 percent of the bank’s profits were diverted as corporate zakat to support jihad in Bangladesh.  One of the men on IBBL’s board of sharia advisors was arrested in connection with a terrorist attack against Bangladeshi police officers.  The U.S. Senate slammed British bank giant HSBC for maintaining relationships with IBBL despite evidence that it served terrorists like Shaikh Abdur Rahman of Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh and terror-funding Islamic charities like IIRO.  The Senate’s report also implicated HSBC for disregarding evidence of terror financing at another Bangladeshi sharia bank with whom it worked:  Social Islami Bank.

Bank Melli:  The Iranian Islamic bank sent “at least $100 million to an Iranian Revolutionary Guard branch that supports Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terrorist groups, the Quds Force” between 2002-06.

Bank Saderat:  Another major Iranian sharia finance house, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned the rocket-funding Bank Saderat, stating that “The bank is used by the Government of Iran to transfer money to terrorist organizations, including Hizballah, Hamas, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. A notable example of this is a Hizballah-controlled organization that has received $50 million directly from Iran through Bank Saderat since 2001.”

Other culprits include Dubai Islamic Bank, which is active in both the U.A.E. and Pakistan, and Tadamon Islamic Bank.

So much for “ethical finance.”  For further developments, please continue reading Money Jihad, Shariah Finance Watch, and @moneyjihad on Twitter.

See also:

What You Should Know About Shariah Compliant Finance (counterjihadreport.com)

Muslim MasterCard: Compass pointing to Mecca embedded in new bank card

Daily Mail:

A compass pointing the way to Mecca is embedded in a new MasterCard aimed at Muslims.

Gulf state-owned bank Al Hillal in the United Arab Emirates has rolled out the new bank card which complies with Islamic laws banning charging interest on loans in a bid to appeal to the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims.

Islamic law or Shariah forbids ‘riba’, the charging of interest on loans, because it enables the rich to exploit the poor, creates social and economic tension and encourages risk, according to scholars.

MasterCard spokesman James Issokson said, according to NBCNEWS.com: ‘We continue to see a growing demand, especially in the Middle East, for Islamic banking in general, and more specifically in our case, for cards that are Shariah-compliant in accordance with the tenets of the Islamic faith.’

As well as the compass which allows the cardholder to orientate themselves towards prayers five times a day, the new MasterCard has other benefits.

Cardholders have access to travel vouchers to pay for the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca, which Muslims are required to do at least once in their lifetime if they have the means.

Mr Issokson said: ‘A percentage of the money spent using the card is donated to local charities.’

Read more

Money Jihad – Seven ways to stop funding terror

Money Jihad:

Money Jihad has previously proposed methods to limit zakat and hawala—two major mechanisms for funding terror.  Here’s a more comprehensive set of our recommendations that would reduce terrorist financing overall:

  1. Drill, baby, drill.  The U.S. should expand offshore oil drilling, open federal lands for drilling, ease its permitting process for new refineries, encourage hydraulic fracturing methods that tap previously inaccessible energy sources underground, and approve the Keystone XL pipeline.  Increasing domestic U.S. and Western Hemisphere energy production will reduce reliance on Persian Gulf oil supplies and thereby minimize the profits reaped by hostile, foreign regimes that sponsor terror.
  2. Eliminate foreign aid to Pakistan.  Pakistan uses its ISI spy service to fund the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and Lashkar-e-Taiba.  Continuing to waste money on Pakistan is not only wasteful when we can least afford it, but it is suicidal.
  3. Study the true enemy and threat.  Among the most important concepts for the Western public to understand are:

    If we fail to acknowledge Islam as the animating force behind terror finance, we’ll get confused and aim at the wrong targets.  For example, we’ve spent billions of dollars complying with extensive bureaucratic requirements such as currency reports that have yielded minimal results.

  4. Launch a new offensive against Muslim American charities and entities that fund terrorism.  Pick a few of the highest profile ones and make an example of them by prosecuting their leaders and dressing them in orange jumpsuits.  Prosecute Islamic Relief USA under the laws against providing material support for terrorism.  Prosecute the Council on American-Islamic Relations under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.  Strip the halal food certifier IFANCA and the mosque deed financier North American Islamic Trust of their tax-exempt status.
  5. Tax hawala. Terrorists use the traditional Islamic money transfer system known as hawala to exchange money without being monitored.  Hawala dealers in the U.S. are required to register with FinCEN, a financial regulator, but about 85 percent of hawaladars ignore the requirement.  Imposing a simple one percent tax on hawala remittances would help put hawala under the jurisdiction of tax authorities rather than financial regulators who focus more attention on large banks than on small money services businesses.  A one percent tax would be a mild, positive step in beginning to track the transactions to countries that intend us harm.
  6. Designate ISI and Muslim World League as terrorist entities.  Pakistan funds jihadists through its ISI intelligence agency.  Saudi Arabia funds Hamas, Al Qaeda, and other Wahhabi movements abroad through the Muslim World League (MWL) which is comprised of eight subdivisions including the notorious International Islamic Relief Organization and the World Assembly for Muslim Youth.  The U.S. should declare the ISI and MWL to be foreign terrorist organizations in the same fashion that the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps has been designated.
  7. Stop paying ransoms to jihadists.  Enforce U.N. Resolution 1904 which prohibits paying ransoms to terrorists or broker a new treaty banning the payment by governments or insurance companies of ransoms to specified terrorist groups.  Al Qaeda affiliates, the Taliban, Abu Sayyaf other jihadist organizations have made millions of dollars in the kidnap-for-ransom business.  Discourage recreational travel by Westerners to locations such as Somalia, Yemen, and the southern Philippines.

Any one of these proposals alone could help reduce terrorist revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Other analysts have proposed improving and standardizing financial regulations, adopting conditions-based aid rather than open-ended foreign aid through the use of millennium challenge accounts, encouraging divestment and terror-free investing, promoting alternative energy sources, enacting harsher sanctions against Iran, a putting a greater focus on the prosecution of white collar financial crimes.

Ultimately, you have to examine the biggest sources of revenue for jihad, then look at what actions would be likeliest to reduce those revenue streams.

Home Ownership In America, The Sharia Way…

By Steve Russo:

Hello America, Are You Sharia Compliant? Yes, New Laws and New Businesses Are! Don’t Be Left Behind, Get On Board! Welcome To The New America and Don’t Complain, or You’ll Be Called An Islamophobe! The White Washing Of Sharia Law In America.

Home Ownership the Sharia Way…
Whether you want to buy a new home or lower your monthly mortgage payments, getting Sharia compliant financing is easier than you think. Apply now and take advantage of our free prequalification consultation today.
http://guidanceresidential.com/islamic-home-finance-sharia-compliant?gclid=CJDpt-f2qrECFQGFnQodp04AHw

When searching for something unrelated last night, I stumbled upon this little gem and had to admit, I was surprise, but not shocked. Yes, like it or not, Sharia has taken root in America. And before one says, “It doesn’t concern me, I’m not Muslim!” Those famous last words will come back to haunt you. For radical Islam doesn’t just move in and take over in one week. It takes a series of baby steps and sits and waits (like cancer) and takes over slowly and uses the laws of it’s host against them. And then…. Boom! Hello Sharia! Ask the UK, France, Italy, Sweden, Demark and a host of other European, African and Asian Countries, How that has worked out for them.

Here’s a few small examples….

“We’re Not in Sweden Anymore” …
A European country goes down the tube while anyone daring to point this out gets slurred as a ‘Nazi’. http://frontpagemag.com/2012/ingrid-carlqvist/taking-sweden-back/

Political Correctness Is Transforming British Education ……
To accommodate Muslim sensibilities, schools in the UK are having to ignore fact and teach fiction. http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3170/british-education-political-correctness

Malaysian Prime Minester: Under Sharia, LGBT Community ‘Will Not Be Tolerated’…
http://www.bikyamasr.com/73189/homosexuality-will-not-be-tolerated-in-malaysia-says-pm/

‘Canadian Women Should Cover Up to Protect from Sex Attacks’
http://www.torontosun.com/2012/07/16/muslim-street-cleric-wants-to-protect-canadian-women-from-sex-assault-by-forcing-them-to-cover-up

Pa. Judge’s Ruling Proof of Sharia Law in US Courts?
http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2012/February/Pa-Judges-Ruling-Proof-of-Sharia-Law-in-US-Courts-/

California High Court Judge Has Muslim Brotherhood Link?…
http://creepingsharia.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/californias-first-muslim-superior-court-judge-led-muslim-brotherhood-founded-student-group/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Many Muslims are loyal to the non-Muslim countries in which they live, of course, but it is in spite of Islamic teaching.  Unlike other faiths, Islam is not just a religion but a political system as well.  The state is intended to be inseparable from religious rule.  Islamic law, or Sharia, is complete and not designed to coexist with or be subordinate to other legal systems.

Muslims are not meant to be ruled by non-Muslims.  The Qur’an is very clear that they are to resist unbelievers by any means until Islam establishes political supremacy.  This doesn’t mean that everyone must be forced to become Muslim, but rather that everyone must submit to Muslim rule.

Qur’an (5:3) – “This day have I perfected your religion for you.”  This verse is often interpreted to mean that any government outside of Sharia is unnecessary at best, and corruptive at worst.

Example: Islam- Questions and Answers: What is the ruling on standing when the national anthem is played, or when the flag is saluted if you are a Muslim?  http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/111877

Islamic Sharia Law is a political system that contravenes American freedoms in numerous ways.  Sharia asserts authority over non-Muslims.  It mandates discrimination, harassment, and second-class status for both non-Muslims and women. It denies free speech … under the guise of ‘hate speech laws.

Islamic law is absolutely incompatible with democracy.  It is a theocratic system with Allah alone at its head.  Allah’s law is interpreted by a ruling body of clerics.  There is no room for a secular political system in which all people are treated as equals.

In fact, concerns about sharia are warranted due to its many provisions that conflict with the standards of American jurisprudence.  For example, it disadvantages women in terms of inheritance, divorce, child custody and other areas of family law.  Sharia already has shaped numerous cases … where one state court decided how assets should be distributed according to Islam.  Islam’s foundational and doctrinal texts simply do not uphold the concept that all men (and women) are created equal under God.  Thus, in any proceeding governed by sharia law, a woman’s testimony is worth only half that of a man’s.  Furthermore, under the sections of sharia law civil code governing marriage and child custody, a marriage contract is between the woman’s father (or other male guardian) and her husband. http://www.newenglishreview.org/blog_display.cfm/blog_id/37647

Islam has the right to move to destroy impediments, whether systems or circumstances, that rob the person of the freedom to choose [Islam]” and that “Muslims should reject [democracy] entirely, for it is filthy.

Islamic law ultimately requires the subjugation of non-Muslims, and ‘freedom of religion’ for Muslims essentially means the freedom to make others unfree.  Other religious denominations (not Hindus or Buddhists for whom no legal status exists) are to be reduced to dhimmi status, as a protected but politically immature minority.

If instead of sharia law, one were to insert Nazism, then Islamic totalitarian political, social, and economic postures become clear.  Yet superficial writing, authorial naïveté, yellow journalism, and outright obfuscation and lies are permitting this insidious system to creep into American society.  Thus, Americans need to continue the long-term project of informing themselves about sharia. … Likewise all politicians must learn to speak more precisely about Islamic law, carefully distinguishing between practices that are protected by the U.S. Constitution and those that are not, thus minimizing the confusion that Islamists exploit.

To quote the 20th century cleric, Sayyid Qutb, “It is Allah and not man who rules.  Allah is the source of all authority, including legitimate political authority.  Virtue, not freedom, is the highest value.  Therefore, Allah’s law, not man’s, should govern the society.”

Islamic law is based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah, which are set and fixed.  There is no need for addition or correction.  Neither is there any room for the law of fallible man (particularly non-Muslims).  Nor should it take the place of Allah’s perfect law, which tells a man everything he needs to know about daily life (down to which hand he should “hold it in” while urinating).

If Allah is not the authority then anything less is a secular dictatorship, including rule by the Muslim people.  As an American-Muslim jurist complained in a recent fatwa, “democracy gives free reign to the authority of the Ummah, and puts no ceiling on it.”

Also, the law of one person, one vote is essential to democracy, but heretical to Islam.  According to the Qur’an, the testimony of a woman is worth only half that of a man, and Jews and Christians are never to have equal standing with Muslims under the law (and certainly never in a position of authority over Muslims).  Atheists are to be killed outright.

Muhammad ruled on Allah’s authority and did not submit his decisions to the will of the people.  Neither is there any tradition of democracy in the 1400 year history of Islam in the Middle East and Persia.  If the entire world became Muslim overnight, it is highly doubtful that democracy would last, since it would be applicable only to the most mundane of matters not already decided by Islamic law.

Keep all of this mind, as you watch America change before your eyes… One creeping step at a time!

As another cleric, Sufi Muhammad, recently put it, “True Islam permits neither elections, nor democracy.” http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/islamists-triumph-in-swat-valley-bowing-down-to-the-taliban-a-609575.html

Whitewashing Religious Law for Youngsters….. http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/05/whitewashing_religious_law_for_youngsters.html

Shariah Law and American State Courts: An Assessment of State Appellate Court Cases..
http://shariahinamericancourts.com/

The Case for Banning Sharia Law in America
http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/11/the_case_for_banning_sharia_law_in_america.html

No Surprise Here: Useful Idiots at HSBC turned blind eye to terrorist money

SFW:

Regular readers of SFW know that we are no fans of HSBC.

After all, HSBC has been at the forefront of the financial jihad to facilitate Shariah-compliant finance on a global scale.

Moreover, HSBC employed the Jihadist monster Mufti Taqi Usmani as the chair of their Shariah Advisory Board. Then, when the heat over that relationship became too hot, they cynically replaced him…with his son. We detailed all of this over the past couple of years:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2009/02/27/hsbcs-shariah-man/

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2010/03/09/mufti-taqi-usmani-no-longer-chief-of-hsbcs-shariah-advisory-board/

Given HSBC’s association with Jihadists like Usmani and their deep involvement with the promotion of Shariah, the fact that they have proven to be lax at compliance with counterterrorism money laundering laws and regulations should come as no surprise. That too is a topic that we have covered here on SFW:

Like the time that they were fined $1 billion for lax money laundering compliance:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2011/05/24/hsbc-to-be-fined-1-billion-for-lax-money-laundering-compliance/

In fact, there is no doubt that HSBC is the Western world’s chief enabler of Jihad and Shariah:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/blog/2012/05/04/hsbc-leading-western-enabler-of-financial-jihad/

On top of all this OLD news, we have fresh reports that HSBC has not learned its lesson at all. In fact, HSBC appears to have been hard at work doing the same things for which they have been fingered in the past. A report released yesterday by the US Senate details HSBC’s deplorable record when it comes to vigilance in the areas of terrorism and other nefarious activities. It almost seems as if HSBC was the bank of choice for evil when you read about their history and couple it with the Senate report.

The worst part and probably the biggest smoking gun that HSBC cannot dismiss these charges as simply a matter of carelessness? How about THOUSANDS of transactions involving the Islamic Republic of Iran in violation of sanctions!

Again, this should come as no surprise. After all, Iran is the world’s most active state sponsor of Jihadist terrorism and also dominates the world of Shariah-compliant finance. Seems like a natural fit for the useful idiots (and perhaps worse) at HSBC:

http://money.cnn.com/2012/07/16/news/companies/hsbc-money-laundering/index.htm

 

Shariah-Compliant Finance Forecast to Reach $5 trillion by 2016

Shariah Finance Watch:

The global Islamic finance and banking sector is pegged at $1 trillion with an estimated growth rate that is four times higher than conventional financial services, according to organizers of the upcoming International Islamic Finance Conference 2012. This will put the value of Shariah-Compliant assets at $5 trillion by 2016…

Source: http://www.ameinfo.com/islamic-finance-set-reach-5-trillion-304950

 

You may be wondering – Does Your Financial Institution Participate in Shariah Compliant Finance?

The most common requests we receive here at SFW are questions as to whether banks or brokerage houses “are Shariah-compliant?”

As a result of these numerous inquiries, for the past several weeks, we have carefully compiled a list of financial institutions active in the USA that have some form of tie to Shariah Compliant Finance.

In some cases, the entire institution is Shariah-compliant. In other cases, the overall institution is not Shariah-compliant but it has a division or subsidiary that is, or it offers a product that is Shariah-compliant. In still more cases, some of the entities listed below do not offer financial products at all, but play key roles in enabling Shariah Compliant Finance in the West.

We went to great lengths to confirm each of the names listed below. However, there may be institutions that we have overlooked. We encourage readers to contact us with questions, comments and criticisms via the Comments section below:

Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions

AIG

Amana Mutual Funds Trust

Ameen Housing Cooperative

Bank of America

Anchor Finance Group

Arcapita

Al-Baraka Bancorp

Barclays

Beam Capital Management

Bloomberg

The BMB Group

BNP Paribas

Calyx Financial

Century 21

J.P. Morgan Chase

CIMB Group

CitiBank

Clearstream

The Coca-Cola Company

Credit Suisse

Deloitte

Deutsche Bank

Devon Bank

Dow Jones

Ernst & Young

Failaka Advisors

The Fairfax Institute

Fiqh Council of North America

Fitch Ratings

GE Capital

Goldman Sachs

Guidance Financial

Guidance Residential

Harvard Law School

HSBC

Idealratings.com

Iman Fund/Allied Asset Advisors

Ijara Loans

International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)

International Islamic Financial Market

International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA)

Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB)

KPMG

LARIBA

Merrill Lynch & Co.

Moody’s Investor Services

Morgan Stanley

Bank of New York Mellon

NASDAQ

Natwest

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

Shariah Capital

Standard Chartered Bank

Standard & Poor’s

Thomson Reuters

UBS

UIB Capital

University Islamic Financial Corporation

Virji Investments

Wafra Investment Advisory Group

Wellington Management

Westlaw

Bank of Whittier

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

World Islamic Economic Forum

Zayan Takaful

Chris Holton: Shariah Compliant Finance and Financial Jihad

June  6, 2012 by 

CLICK HERE FOR A TRANSCRIPT OF THIS VIDEO [PDF]: http://supportsecurefreedom.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/christopherholtonf…

Christopher Holton is Vice President for Outreach at the Center for Security Policy. He directs the Center’s Divest Terror Initiative and Shariah Risk Due Diligence Program. He has been involved in legislation in 20 states to divest taxpayer-supported pension systems from foreign companies that do business with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Islamic Republic of Sudan and the Syrian Arab Republic. Since 2008, Holton has been the editor-in-chief of the Shariah Finance Watch blog.

In 2005, Holton was a co-author of War Footing, published by the US Naval Institute Press. Holton’s work has also been published by National Review, Human Events, American Thinker, Family Security Matters, BigPeace, World Tribune, WorldNetDaily, Newsmax and The Hayride.com. Before joining the Center, Holton was President of Blanchard and Company, a $200 million per year investment firm and editor in chief of the Blanchard Economic Research Unit.

Related article:

Holton to Congress:  Currently no disclosure or transparency standards for zakat, sharia products (Money Jihad)

Shariah Finance And Its Radical Ties Demand Close Scrutiny

 

By REP. ALLEN B. WEST at IBD:

As a vehicle for legitimizing and promoting Shariah throughout the world, Shariah-compliant finance is a phenomenon that is taking the financial world by storm right under the noses of American investors.

Given the stated mission of Shariah is to bring about the rule of Islam worldwide, anything that promotes the Shariah mission warrants careful scrutiny. American investors deserve to know where their money is being invested, and the fact that their hard-earned dollars could be helping fund the very radical terrorist groups that are seeking to destroy this nation is shocking.

It is vital that we come to grips and recognize not just the kinetic aspects of radical Islam, but also the idea of “stealth jihad,” which can infiltrate our operating systems.

Shariah is an Arabic term used to describe Islamic doctrinal law regarded in the Islamic world as immutable, indivisible and mandatory for all Muslims to follow in all aspects of life.

Shariah mandates as a religious obligation:

•  Violent jihad against non-Muslims to establish Islam’s rule worldwide.

•  The killing of apostates from Islam.

•  The killing of adulterers and homosexuals.

•  Severe discrimination against women, including stoning.

•  Barbaric punishment, such as limb amputations and gouging out of eyes for petty crimes like theft.

•  Severe discrimination against, and the subjugation of, non-Muslims.

•  Last, and most pertinent to this subject, is Shariah mandates that Muslims who cannot engage in physical jihad using force, must support jihad with money.

Shariah is at the heart of the ideology of terrorist groups such as al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Hamas and other jihadist organizations, including the Muslim Brotherhood and those who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks on American soil and continue to terrorize and threaten Americans and their way of life.

Many well-known American banking financiers and institutions are involved in Shariah finance for the lure of substantial profits from Middle Eastern petrodollars.

But Shariah finance is not just an innocent form of free-market capitalism. Shariah finance was conceived and is practiced as one of the key instruments of the radical Islamist movement in its struggle against the West.

An astounding $1.5 trillion is currently invested in Shariah finance, and that amount is expected to grow dramatically in the years ahead — thanks largely to the ever-increasing coffers of oil-exporting nations ruled by Shariah, including Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Scrutiny, however, is something Shariah-compliant finance has never had to endure from American policymakers. Shariah finance is almost completely alien from the standards of disclosure and transparency customary in the U.S. and other Western financial markets.

A small cadre of Shariah advisers — Muslim authorities on Shariah — determine capital and credit flows with little, if any, of the accountability at the heart of federal and state securities laws. This gives rise to unique risks for Western firms engaging in Shariah-compliant finance, including racketeering, anti-trust, and securities and consumer fraud.

Shariah advisers to the banks are themselves the real problems with Shariah-compliant finance. All too often, they are outright jihadists with ties to terrorism. In fact, the most prominent Shariah scholar in the financial world — a Pakistani named Mufti Taqi Usmani — sits on the Shariah advisory boards of some of America’s best-known banking institutions.

Usmani referred to Americans in Iraq as “stinking atheists” and “the worst-ever butchers and vultures of the world” who are “clawing off the flesh of bodies of innocent Iraqi Muslims.”

Until his hateful, jihadist militant credo was exposed to the public, Usmani headed HSBC’s Shariah advisory board, as well as that of Dow Jones. This shows how unaware and reckless the financial world actually is when it comes to true due diligence on Shariah-compliant finance.

It should be pointed out that when Usmani was removed from HSBC’s Shariah advisory board, he was replaced by his own son. Usmani is still active on the Shariah advisory boards of U.S. and Western firms, including Guidance Financial Group, Swiss RE, Arcapita and UBS-Warburg.

Shariah-compliant finance affords Shariah advisers the opportunity to channel funds skimmed off investments in the form of “zakat” to terrorist charities of their choice. This is exactly what happened in the case of Bank Al Taqwa and Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Sunni Islamic world’s foremost Shariah scholar.

Qaradawi was chairman of the Shariah advisory board of the bank, which was shut down by the U.N. and the U.S. Treasury Department for funneling money to jihadist terrorist organizations, including Ayman al-Zawahiri’s Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Much of the money came through a Shariah-compliant real estate firm in New Jersey named BMI.

Shariah-compliant finance should be seen by regulators, the financial sector and investors alike as problematic in the extreme. It is inconsistent with America’s constitutional principles, legal codes and financial regulations that require transparency and disclosure of risks that are material to investors, particularly in the post-9/11 world.

The true nature of Shariah must be fully revealed. In the absence of such transparency and disclosure, Americans are in jeopardy of aiding and abetting economic warfare in the form of financial jihad against our own country.

Shariah finance is a grave matter of concern for America as it impacts not only our economic security, but also our national security.

• West, a Republican, represents Florida’s 22nd congressional district. He spent 22 years as an officer in the Army, including multiple tours in the Middle East.

Islam’s Cloud Over America

 

Justin O. Smith

by Justin O Smith

President Obama, Governor Haslam and a host of state and local officials fiddle, while the flames of Sharia law and Sharia finance dance across the State of Tennessee and all America; and, it is now evident that Nathan Buttrey was less than forthcoming with the facts when I spoke with him on June 8th. However harmless the ‘Tennessean’, reporter Chas Sisk, Clint Brewer or Nathan Buttrey and the Gov’s office tries to portray Ms Samar Ali’s appointment to the Economic Community Development office, it definitely does warrant greater scrutiny.

As reported in ‘Shariah Finance Watch’ by Frank Gaffney, ‘Washington Times’ columnist and ex-Assistant Deputy Secretary of  Defense, on June 7th and corroborated in the ‘Tennessean’ on June 13th, Ms Ali specialized in “Shariah compliant transactions”, and she has advocated and facilitated Sharia finance deals as an associate for Hogan Lovells in Washington, DC. She structured deals so that they respected Islam’s ban on collecting interest.

Sharia finance is considered “dawa”/missionary activity by the World Islamic Economic Forum, “a trade association for Muslims”. More accurately, Sharia finance is financial “jihad”/holy war and it is a first step towards inserting Sharia law into any nation. Quite often in Muslim transactions, “zakat”, a tithe of sorts is requested to be sent to specific organizations or charities in lieu of interest, and far too often these funds aid fundamental terrorists… enemies of America, just as the case of CAIR’s Holy Land Foundation illustrated perfectly. This is the same financial system that gave rise to the Taliban through “zakat” from Prince Turki al-Faisal, the director of Saudi intelligence.

Regardless of the “spurious” nature Brewer and Gov Haslam’s RHINOs may attach to the contention of many that Ms Ali’s activities in the ECD should be closely monitored and her past Sharia finance deals reviewed, it is specious and base ignorance for Brewer, Buttrey and the Gov’s office to assert that Ms Ali’s duties “have nothing to do with Shariah law-or even finance.” They are asking us to abandon logic, common sense and reason, as they advance a ludicrous and erroneous assumption that as the international director of Tennessee’s trade program she could not possibly be in a position to advance Sharia finance proposals… What better place if not an international trade program to do just that?!?

It truly is well and good that Ms Ali has “encouraged dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian youth” through the YMCA; I am overjoyed that she has worked with Homeland Security, a network rife with Muslim Brotherhood members and Hamas sympathizers… led by Janet Napolitano, who would not know a terrorist from Obama if he were laying beside her in her boudoir; and, it is great that she has a law degree from Vanderbilt which has become a supporter of every anti-American, anti-Christian Left-Muslim agenda imagineable. I hope and pray that she is as patriotic and all-American as described, but I don’t believe anyone who does anything, even in the remotest sense, to promote Sharia finance within the US can really have America’s best interests at heart or truly love America as I do!

Don’t You wonder, “Why is Islam and everything Muslim being advocated so stridently and advanced at all levels of US government over all other religions?… contrary to the U.S. Constitution. And, why does the Left preach “multiculturalism” only for Muslims?… never for the Hindus or the Buddhists or the Christians.

America has steadily witnessed an increased Islamic “cultural exchange”/invasion largely at the behest of the Saudi government. The Saudis state that if America desires them to be more tolerant of the western civilization that America, too, must become more tolerant of Islam: in essence, they ask the US to accept the design of its own destruction by compromising the principles of freedom with the evil and subjugation of Islam.

Obama’s “fundamental transformation” includes making democracy inert and turning the US into a nation where everything can be stated except the Truth, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pushes the UN’s 16/18 Resolution down our throats at the behest of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation… a resolution that not only criminalizes criticizing Islam, but it also incorporates every detail of the Cairo Convention: Along with the inalienable right to practice their “religion”/ideology and habits, Muslim immigrants shall have the right to propogate and disseminate Islamic “religion” and habits… Understand?! The Cairo Convention would force the US to cooperate with Islamic nations and allow Sharia law into US banking/financial, scientific/nuclear, industrial and commercial fields. The US has not ratified this yet, however, Obama has stepped ahead on his own.

Far too many initiatives are taken in favor of the minority Islamic “religion” at the expense of the minority. Companies like Whirlpool, Dell and Tyson comply with the Islamic request for liturgical accomodations for Muslim employees. The predominantly Polish and Catholic city of Detroit has a noise ordinance that forbids the peal of Christian church bells, while the Muslim minority is allowed to broadcast their noisy prayers from 6am to 10pm. And finally, not too many years ago, America witnessed the phony liberals who like the Talibans took delight as they forced the removal of the Ten Commandments from the Birmingham Courthouse, because Muslims complained that they had been written by “the Jew Moses.” Lest anyone has forgotten, Our American Heritage is Judeo-Christian principles and Western philosophies!

The Left-Muslim alliance proposes to tear America from its Judaic-Christian roots, and during the past twenty years, I am certain it has seemed to many Americans that the Nazi Sigrid Hunke’s ‘Allahs Sonne uber dem Abenland’ (The Sun of Allah Shines Over the West) was becoming our societal reality… one where the Islamofascists “free America from Christianity” and the Jews and infidels are “eliminated in a hurry.” Does anyone besides me feel like you are watching a Wermacht parade in front of the Reichstag?!?

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit Upholds Government’s Use of Taxpayer Funds to Support Sharia

AFLC: On June 1, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that a federal taxpayer lacks “standing” to challenge the government’s use of taxpayer funds to support sharia-based activities.  The case, which is captioned on appeal as Murray v. United States Department of Treasury, et al., was brought by American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) attorneys David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise, representing the plaintiff, Kevin Murray, a taxpayer and former combat Marine who served in Iraq.  The federal lawsuit alleged that the U.S. government’s takeover and financial bailout of AIG was in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Specifically, at the time of the government bailout (beginning in September 2008 and continuing to the present), AIG was (and still is) the world leader in promoting sharia-compliant insurance products.  As the Sixth Circuit acknowledged in its opinion today, “‘Sharia’ refers to Islamic law based on the teachings of the Quran.  It is the Islamic code embodying the way of life for Muslims and is intended to serve as the civic law in Muslim countries.”  Indeed, sharia is the legal doctrine that demands capital punishment for apostasy and blasphemy and provides the legal and political mandates for global jihad followed religiously by the world’s Muslim terrorists.  As argued by AFLC, by propping up AIG with taxpayer funds, the U.S. government is directly and indirectly promoting Islam and, more troubling, sharia.  And as the Sixth Circuit noted in its opinion, Murray objects to his tax money being used to support sharia because it “forms the basis for the global jihadist war against the West and the United States.”

AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel Robert Muise argued the case before the Sixth Circuit.  Muise commented, “This decision by the Sixth Circuit is troubling on many levels.  First, it is contrary to controlling U.S. Supreme Court precedent, which allows a taxpayer to challenge a congressional spending program that violates the Establishment Clause.  And second, this decision permits the federal government to continue its practice of promoting and supporting sharia through the use of taxpayer funds.  We intend to request a rehearing by the full court, and if that does not succeed, we will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.”

After a year of document requests, depositions of current and former government witnesses, and three separate subpoenas issued to AIG and the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Yerushalmi and Muise filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the undisputed facts demonstrate that the government, through its absolute control and ownership of AIG, and with tens of billions of taxpayer dollars, has directly and indirectly promoted and supported sharia as a religious legal doctrine in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Indeed, in its opinion, the Sixth Circuit acknowledged that “AIG subsidiaries ensure the Sharia-compliance of its SCF products by obtaining consultation from ‘Sharia Supervisory Committees.’  The members of these committees are authorities in Sharia law and oversee the implementation of SCF products by reviewing AIG’s operations, supervising the development of SCF products, and evaluating the compliance of these products with Sharia law.”  The court acknowledged that “AIG’s subsidiaries received a significant portion of the funds AIG received from the federal government” and that “[s]ix AIG subsidiaries have marketed and sold SCF products since AIG began receiving capital injections from the federal government.”  And most important, the court acknowledged that “[n]either party disputes that Treasury Department financing supported all of AIG’s businesses, including the subsidiaries that marketed SCF products.”

AFLC Co-Founder and Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi remarked, “It is one thing that our government felt compelled to bail out AIG after its fortunes were destroyed due to the company’s own recklessness and bad acts.  It is quite another thing to use U.S. taxpayer dollars to promote and support AIG’s sharia businesses ? all of which don’t just sell sharia products to the Muslim world, but actively promote sharia as the best, most ethical way of life.  Indeed, the sharia authorities relied upon by AIG’s Sharia Supervisory Committees actively promote violent jihad.  The fact that the Sixth Circuit acknowledged these facts, but yet found no standing to challenge this impermissible use of taxpayer money under the Constitution is troubling, but this fight is not yet over.”

AFLC Attorneys Argued Before Federal Appellate Court Today that AIG Bailout Violates the Constitution

AFLC:

This morning, David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise, Co-Founders and Senior Counsel of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), presented oral argument in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in an appeal challenging the constitutionality of the AIG bailout.  The case, Murray v. United States Department of Treasury, et al., was brought by Yerushalmi and Muise, who are representing Kevin Murray, a taxpayer and former combat Marine who served in Iraq.  The three-judge panel that heard the case included Senior Judge Alan E. Norris, a Reagan appointee; Judge Eric L. Clay, a Clinton appointee; and Judge Richard Allen Griffin, a George W. Bush appointee.  The federal lawsuit alleges that the U.S. government’s takeover and financial bailout of AIG violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. 

At the time of the government bailout, which began in September 2008 and is ongoing, AIG was — and still is — the world leader in promoting sharia-compliant insurance products.  Sharia is Islamic law, which demands capital punishment for apostasy and blasphemy.  It also provides the legal and political mandates for global jihad followed religiously by Muslim terrorists.  As alleged in the lawsuit, by propping up AIG with taxpayer funds, the U.S. government is directly and indirectly promoting Islam — and, more troubling, sharia.

Yerushalmi commented: “It is one thing that our government felt compelled to bail out AIG after its fortunes were destroyed due to the company’s own recklessness and bad acts.  It is quite another thing to use U.S. taxpayer dollars to promote and support AIG’s sharia businesses — all of which don’t just sell sharia products to the Muslim world, but actively promote sharia as the best, most ethical way of life.  Indeed, the sharia authorities relied upon by AIG’s Sharia Supervisory Committees actively promote jihad — and by jihad we mean kinetic war against the infidel West.”

Read more…

AFLC Attorneys to Argue Before Federal Appellate Court that AIG Bailout Was Unconstitutional

AFLC:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has announced that it will hear oral argument in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 20, 2012, in an appeal challenging the AIG bailout.  The case, which is captioned Murray v. United States Department of Treasury, et al., was brought by American Freedom Law Center attorneys David Yerushalmi and Robert Muise, representing the plaintiff, Kevin Murray, a taxpayer and former combat Marine who served in Iraq.  The federal lawsuit alleges that the U.S. government’s takeover and financial bailout of AIG was in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Specifically, at the time of the government bailout (beginning in September 2008 and continuing to the present), AIG was (and still is) the world leader in promoting sharia-compliant insurance products.  Sharia is Islamic law, and it is the identical legal doctrine that demands capital punishment for apostasy and blasphemy and provides the legal and political mandates for global jihad followed religiously by the world’s Muslim terrorists.  By propping up AIG with taxpayer funds, the U.S. government is directly and indirectly promoting Islam and, more troubling, sharia.

In May 2009, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Zatkoff, who presides in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, rejected a motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought by the Obama administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) and later rebuffed their efforts to stay the proceeding so they could avoid discovery and take an extraordinary appeal to the Sixth Circuit.

After a year of document requests, depositions of current and former government witnesses, and three separate subpoenas issued to AIG and the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Yerushalmi and Muise filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the undisputed facts demonstrate that the government, through its absolute control and ownership of AIG, and with tens of billions of taxpayer dollars, has directly and indirectly promoted and supported sharia as a religious legal doctrine in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

What makes this case all the more egregious is that this doctrine — sharia — also happens to be the underlying legal and military doctrine animating jihad against the West by Muslims from the Middle East, Asia, Russia, Africa, and even right here at home, as evidenced by the tragic Fort Hood massacre.  Each and every one of the domestic and foreign jihad terrorists has proclaimed allegiance to sharia and its call for “jihad against apostates and infidels.”

Two experts on sharia, sharia-compliant finance, and jihad testified at length through affidavits in support of the plaintiff’s case.  The government could not — and did not — oppose this expert testimony with any contrary evidence.

A year’s worth of discovery uncovered the following facts in addition to what was known from the public record:

  • AIG has five wholly-owned subsidiaries which promote and practice sharia in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Bahrain, and the U.S.  These sharia-compliant companies employ or otherwise retain the services of sharia authorities to tell them how to conduct their business according to sharia, including the sharia-compliant charities to which these AIG subsidiaries must contribute.
  • The government places absolutely no controls on how its billions of taxpayer dollars are used by the sharia-compliant companies or to whom they support with their “zakat” (“charitable”) dollars.  Moreover, these companies all accept sharia’s mandate to support jihad with zakat insofar as they abide by the authoritative rulings of the world’s leading sharia authorities.
  • Over one billion taxpayer dollars have flowed through AIG’s headquarters into supporting AIG’s sharia businesses worldwide.
  • The government has actively promoted sharia and sharia-compliant finance in many ways and venues.
  • The Treasury Department has published, edited, and updated articles about sharia-compliant finance, which essentially promote Islamic law uncritically.
  • The Treasury Department has created and staffed a position called the Islamic Finance Scholar-in Residence.  No other religious law is so honored.
  • Published presentations by senior Treasury Department officials laude sharia-compliant finance and state explicitly that the U.S. government “places significant importance on promoting . . . Islamic finance” and has “recently deepened our engagement in Islamic finance in a number of ways,” including a “call[] for harmonization of Shari’a standards at the national and international levels.”
  • After the AIG bailout, the Treasury Department co-sponsored a half-day conference called “Islamic Finance 101” for government policy makers which was in effect a cheerleading program to promote sharia and sharia-compliant finance.

Yerushalmi remarked: “It is one thing that our government felt compelled to bail out AIG after its fortunes were destroyed due to the company’s own recklessness and bad acts.  It is quite another thing to use U.S. taxpayer dollars to promote and support AIG’s sharia businesses — all of which don’t just sell sharia products to the Muslim world, but actively promote sharia as the best, most ethical way of life.  Indeed, the sharia authorities relied upon by AIG’s sharia Supervisory Committees actively promote violent jihad.”

Following the close of discovery, the Obama DOJ also filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the aid provided to AIG’s sharia businesses was both unintended and de minimus.

On January 14, 2011, the court completely reversed its earlier position and ruled that there was no evidence presented of religious indoctrination, and if there were such evidence, the indoctrination could not be attributed to the federal government and besides, the amount of federal money that was used to support sharia — $153 million — was “de minimus” in light of the large sum of taxpayer money the federal government actually gave to AIG — in excess of $40 billion.

Yerushalmi and Muise immediately appealed the ruling to Sixth Circuit.  Oral argument is now scheduled.

Update: Read opening brief to appellate court here.

Update (January 30, 2012): Read WorldNetDaily article here.

The American Freedom Law Center is a Judeo-Christian law firm that fights for faith and freedom.  It accomplishes its mission through litigation, public policy initiatives, and related activities.  It does not charge for its services.  The Law Center is supported by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations, and is recognized by the IRS as a section 501(c)(3) organization.  Visit us at www.americanfreedomlawcenter.org.

What You Should Know About Shariah Compliant Finance

imagesCAAH0AXQFrom The Center for Security:

Shariah Finance Watch is a project of the Center for Security Policy‘s program to educate the public and policymakers about the dangers of Shariah. For a more in-depth look at Shariah, see Shariah: The Threat to America, a report by 19 top national security practitioners– including the former Director of Central Intelligence, the former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, and the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Shariah: The Threat to America is available on paperback and Kindle at Amazon.com.

Below are frequently asked questions about Shariah and Shariah-Compliant Finance, or Islamic Banking.

What is shariah?

Understanding Shariah law is integral to understanding the dangers of Shariah-compliant finance. Shariah law is Islamic law dating back to the 7th century and is today the law of the land in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan and the law under which the Taliban operates.

Shariah law authorities, some of whom are now being paid handsomely by Barclays, Dow Jones, Standard & Poors, HSBC, Citibank, Merrill Lynch, Deutschebank, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Credit Suisse and others have the power to dictate Shariah compliance as deemed by “scholarly consensus” on matters of finance, family, penal law, apostasy, and war. Examples of authoritarian Shariah law include: requirement of women to obtain permission from husbands for daily freedoms; beating of disobedient woman and girls; execution of homosexuals; engagement of polygamy and forced child marriages; the testimony of four male witnesses to prove rape; honor killings of those, principally women, who have dishonored the family; death to apostate Muslims who chose to leave Islam; inferior status of non-Muslims, and capital punishment for those who “slander Islam.”

What are some of the risks of shariah-compliant finance?

National Security and Financial Risks: Islamists are attempting to impose Shariah Compliant Finance (SCF) on Western institutions to use our own financial strengths against us. The most serious problem with SCF is that it legitimates and institutionalizes Shariah law (i.e., Islamic law), a theo-political- legal doctrine violently opposed to Western values. With $1 -$2 trillion petrodollars annually looking for an investment home, blind exuberance is driving financial institutions to adopt SCF, without even a minimal baseline for legal compliance. This willful blindness, and lack of both transparency and due diligence may cause SCF to be the next sub-prime crisis, but this time with deadly consequences.

Legal Risks: Western financial institutions which adopt SCF may have criminal and civil exposure to claims of aiding and abetting sedition and the material support of terrorism, securities fraud, consumer fraud, racketeering, and antitrust violations, as well as exposure to tort claims for sedition and terrorism, and for the violation of internationally recognized norms of the law of nations.

Terror Financing Mechanism: SCF as monitored by paid Shariah law advisors to U.S. banking institutions must “purify” certain return on investment (ROI) dollars that do not meet Shariah law standards. This money must be donated to Islamic charities – including some that promote Jihad and support suicide bombing. Investment disclosures state that these profits can be as high as 6% of profits of investments. With $800 billion already in SCF assets, the potential for billions of dollars to be siphoned off for terrorism is real. This would be a serious criminal violation of U.S. law.

Consider this example: Shariah Mutual Funds promote themselves as “ethical funds.” To be Shariah-compliant, they donate “tainted” revenues to Shariah-compliant “charities.” A post 9-11 U.S. investor in a Shariah-compliant “ethical investment” is not told that Shariah law also requires imposing Shariah as U.S. law, execution of gays and female apartheid. Is he a victim of consumer fraud? Is this same post 9-11 investor unwittingly funding terror? The government has shut down the three largest Shariah-compliant charities in the U.S. – the Holy Land Foundation, Benevolence International Foundation, and the Global Relief Foundation – after proving they funded terrorist organizations.The American taxpayer deserves answers to these questions. The Center for Security Policy (CSP) is meeting directly with members of Congress, U.S. regulatory agencies and Wall Street financial institutions in order to ensure the enforcement of existing U.S. laws on sedition, disclosure, material support of terrorism, and money-laundering. CSP is committed to revealing the civil liability and criminal exposure of Shariah law and Shariah-compliant finance.

How is shariah related to jihad?

The mu’amalat part of shariah mandates as a religious obligation, conducting violent jihad against non-Muslims to establish Islam’s rule worldwide in a form known as the caliphate.

How does shariah finance relate to shariah itself?

Shariah finance is indistinguishable from shariah itself, since its followers consider shariah immutable, indivisible, and mandatory for Muslims to follow in all aspects of life. Muslims are not allowed to pick and choose different aspects of shariah to follow. Anyone that infers that shariah finance is something apart from shariah is simply being dishonest. In fact, the main purpose of shariah finance is to promote shariah.

Where is shariah-compliant finance most prominent?

According to the November 2007 edition of The Banker, Iran dominates the world of shariah-compliant finance. Three of the five largest shariah-compliant financial institutions in the world—including the top two—are Iranian. The amount of shariah-compliant financial assets in institutions in Iran is over twice as large as the amount in financial institutions in the world’s second largest shariah-compliant country, Saudi Arabia.

How does shariah finance threaten Americans?

Shariah finance is a threat to Western values, human rights and US national security. Shariah finance has a political objective: to legitimize shariah in the West. Evidence indicates that shariah-compliant finance provides financial support to extremism and terrorism. Shariah-compliant financial institutions employ shariah scholars, many of whom have been shown to be extremists, even to the point of advocating suicide bombing and jihad against America. Among the decisions these scholars make is the donation of 2.5% or more of annual earnings to Muslim charities. Similar to zakat, earnings from investments that are judged to have been unislamic must be purified through donations to charities as well. Given the extremist tendencies of these scholars and the fact that no fewer than 27 charities have been designated as funding terrorism by the US Treasury Department, this presents a hazard which could obviously threaten US national security.

In sum, shariah finance represents a number of potential threats to the US, including possible financing of terrorism and extremist Islamist organizations and movements, infiltrating our financial markets and legitimizing shariah.

Have shariah-compliant financial institutions been tied to terrorism?

There are a number of well-documented cases in which shariah-compliant financial institutions have participated in the financial support of terrorism. For instance, two shariah-compliant banks registered in the Bahamas, Bank Al-Taqwa and Akida Bank, were, according to the US Treasury Department, shell companies actually run out of Italy and Switzerland, whose only real business was laundering money to terrorists. From 1988 until November 2001 when it was designated a terrorist entity by the US government and the UN, Bank Al-Taqwa transferred tens of millions of dollars to HAMAS, Al Qaeda, the PLO, Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), the Taliban, Egyptian Gama’a al Islamiya and the Tunisian An-Nahda.

In another case, prominent members of the Saudi royal family were co-investors with Osama Bin Laden in the Sudanese Shamal Islamic Bank while several designated terrorists maintained accounts there.

How have shariah-compliant financial institutions used charities to fund terrorist groups?

Generally, shariah-compliant financial institutions have provided funds to terrorist and extremist groups through Islamic “charities.” The financial institutions donate the money to the charities which then steer the funds to terrorist groups. For example, both Bank Al-Taqwa and Akida Bank used charities in Europe, the Middle East and the US to funnel money to terrorist groups.

Have shariah-compliant financial institutions in the US been tied to terrorism?

Yes. Bait u Mal al Islami (BMI), a shariah-compliant investment company based in Seacaucus, NJ, which promoted itself as an Islamic alternative to conventional investments and solicited funds for real estate development, was called by US federal prosecutors as the “US banker for the Muslim Brotherhood.” In testimony before a US Senate committee, former White House counterterrorism advisor Richard Clarke said that BMI’s financial services were little more than a cover “to conceal terrorist support,” and that its investor list “read like a who’s who of designated terrorists and Islamic extremists.”

BMI worked closely with the Bank Al-Taqwa/Akida Bank network in transferring millions of dollars to terrorist groups through them, while receiving large amounts from well-known donors suspected of funding terrorism. These included the Hamas top leader, Mousa Abu Marzouk, who made a number of investments with BMI. Tellingly, BMI continued to work with Marzouk even after the latter was declared an internationally designated terrorist by the United States government in 1995.

How widespread is the use of Islamic charities to fund terror?

No one in the West knows for sure how widespread the use of Muslim charities for terrorism funding actually is, however, the US Treasury Department has so far designated no fewer than 27 Muslim charities in the US and worldwide as terrorism entities due to their funding of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, HAMAS and others.

We know that there is state sponsorship of terrorism. Is there state sponsorship of shariah finance?

State sponsorship of shariah finance has been ongoing since its inception with the founding of the first shariah-compliant bank in 1975, Islamic Development Bank (IDB). In Iran, which has more shariah-compliant institutions than any other nations, all of the banks are in fact state-run.

Have shariah-compliant financial institutions been tied to weapons of mass destruction?

Yes. Iran’s largest bank, Bank Melli, which was named in the November 2007 edition of The Banker as the largest shariah-compliant bank in the world, has been put under sanctions by both the US government and the European Union for its role in financing Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

How does shariah finance threaten freedom-loving Muslims in the West?

The effect of legitimizing and promoting sharia in the West can already be seen in Western Europe. Promoting shariah incapsulates Muslim communities from mainstream society and even creates enclaves controlled by shariah. Shariah-compliant finance plays a particular role in this because, a devout Muslim living in a Western country in which there are no shariah-compliant banks are allowed to use conventional “infidel” institutions under the sharia doctrine of “extreme necessity.” However, once shariah-compliant institutions do exist, they are religiously obligated to patronize them exclusively. Thus, by allowing the spread of shariah finance in the West and the US, we are pushing Muslims toward shariah.

What can our government do to protect our markets from shariah finance?

There is much that the government can and should do to regulate sharia finance to ensure that it does not result in the promotion of sharia in the US and the financing of terrorism.

Visit the Shariah Finance Watch blog for the latest news on SFC