Posted by paulipoldie on December 25, 2008
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
(Sources at end)
General Questions About Shariah Islamic Law
1. What is Shariah, also called Shariah Islamic Law?
• Shariah, meaning “the way” or “path”, is the entire body of Islamic law dating back to the 7th century
• It is a legal framework regulating how Muslims must live their lives, both privately and publicly, in order to be considered devout Muslims.
• Shariah has remained virtually unchanged for the past 1000 years.
• Shariah today is the law of the land in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, parts of Nigeria, Indonesia, and the law under which the Taliban operate in Afghanistan and, more recently, in Pakistan. Al-Qaeda radicals operate under Shariah Islamic Law too.
2. What areas of life are covered by Shariah?
• Shariah stipulates behavior regarding political life, divorce, child rearing, hygiene, sexuality, marital concerns, finance, penal codes, sexuality, supremacy of men, subjugation of women, treatment of non-Muslims, dietary laws, hygiene, social relationships, banking, business, economics, contracts, prayer and spirituality.
• Shariah also mandates that devout Muslims participate in Jihad (“holy” or “just” war) and da’wa (proselytizing and propaganda) in order to achieve the goal of Shariah, to create a one world Islam, known as the “Caliphate”. Violent Jihad is waged against non-devout Muslims and non-Muslims who refuse the “invitation” to live according to Shariah.
3. Why is Shariah considered “indivisible? What happens to Muslims who do not follow Shariah Islamic law?
• Shariah is an all-embracing body of religious, social, political, and military duties which, according to Shariah authorities, cannot be segmented in any way.
• Under Shariah, a Muslim is “devout” if he follows, or at least recognizes that one should follow, every aspect of Shariah. There is no ability to pick and choose a part of Shariah as authoritative and a part as “obsolete”.
• Those who aren’t faithful to Shariah in its entirety are not recognized as true Muslims, and are punished.
• Muslims who choose to reject all or part of Shariah are deemed “apostates” and are subject to punishment or even death.
4. Why is Shariah considered by many who live under it to be a barbaric, authoritarian and cruel system?
• Shariah is seen by many who live under it as an oppressive and violent political movement, much like communism and fascism, controlling through fear of barbaric and cruel punishments and death.
• Shariah has been used as the basis for political leaders to retain control over Muslims and non-Muslims by forcing them to adhere to an oppressive Shariah “constitution” developed more than 1000 years ago.
• More than ever before in history, Shariah “authorities”, schooled for many years in all aspects of political Shariah, have gained strength. Shariah law authorities are empowered by petrodollars and share political powers with sovereign rulers who fear overthrow by Shariah radicals.
5. What percentage of Muslims wish to live under Shariah Islamic law?
• Polls suggest that only 10-15% of the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims worldwide wish to live under the all-encompassing Shariah system that dictates all aspects of a Muslim¹s life including religious, social, political, and military obligations.
• This translates into a huge pool – 120-180 million – of recruits and supporters for one of the primary tenets of Shariah: Jihad.
• Shariah law authorities are empowered by petrodollars and share political powers with sovereign rulers who fear overthrow by Shariah radicals.
• If there is a choice, peace-loving Muslims (which are the majority of Muslims) choose to stay away from authoritarian Shariah law.
• It is Muslims themselves who are most oppressed under Shariah, especially Muslim women, children, gays and peace-loving Muslims.
6. What are some examples of authoritarian Shariah law?
• Capital punishment for those who slander or insult Islam.
• Murder of Muslims who wish to leave Islam.
• 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;
• Requirement of the testimony of four male witnesses to prove rape;
• Stoning of adulteresses;
• Slavery is permissible.
• Waging Jihad is a religious obligation
• Amputation of body for criminal offenses;
• Female genital mutilation;
• Inferior status for all non-Muslims, known as Dhimmitude.
7. What is the purpose of authoritarian Shariah Islamic Law ?
• The primary purpose of authoritarian Shariah law is to promote a Shariah-based Islam as the only legitimate theo-political system (church and state are one) and help establish its rule worldwide through Jihad and da’wa (acts of kindness) of many kinds, including word (propaganda & intimidation which suppresses of free speech ), the sword (violence), and money (economic influence and finance).
• Shariah is institutionalized around the world through infiltration into Shariah funded mosques, universities, banks, companies, lobbying groups, and Islamic charities all over the world.
8. What are the sources of Shariah Islamic Law ?
• Much of Shariah is a post-Quranic, meaning not written in the Quran or the words of Mohammad. It is a man-made, politicized doctrine and more radical than the Quran. In fact, the word Shariah only appears in the Quran once. However, some ideas of Shariah Law are in the Quran and also in the Hadith, or interpretation of the life of Mohammad. It is important to remember that just because a Muslim follows the faith of Islam and reads the Quran, it does NOT mean they subscribe to or promote or want to live under Shariah Islamic Law. Many peace-loving Muslims worldwide do NOT want to have any connection with Shariah Islamic Law.
9. How is Shariah related to Jihad?
• The goal of Shariah is to create a one world Islam in which a Shariah-based Islam reigns supreme, known as the caliphate.
• Shariah obligates all “devout” Muslims to either wage or support violent Jihad against the non-Muslims who refuse to live according to Shariah.
• The Sept 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in which nearly 3000 Americans were murdered was an act of Shariah-sanctioned Jihad.
General questions about Shariah Islamic finance also known as Shariah Compliant Finance (SCF)
1. What is Shariah compliant finance, often called “Shariah Finance”, or “Islamic Finance”?
• Shariah compliant finance is a mechanism designed to wage Jihad against the West through economic control.
• Shariah Finance is “political totalitarian control through finance”
• Traditional banking has been the sole and primary source of banking in the Middle East and by Muslims since the beginning of banking history. The first Shariah Bank: The Islamic Development Bank was created in 1973 – 1974.
2. How did Shariah compliant finance begin?
• Shariah compliant finance is not part of the Quran, and was created in the 1930’s by Hassan al-Banna as a means of creating an economic infrastructure for the institutionalization of Shariah, and funding of Jihad. Hassan al-Banna (1906-1949) was an Egyptian social and political reformer best known for founding the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Banna’s leadership was critical to the growth of the brotherhood during the 1930s and 1940”s.
• It was not until the 1970’s when oil prices rose and OPEC was created that Shariah Finance got its real start as Shariah authorities saw an opportunity to harness petrodollars toward their goal of a one world Islam through Jihad, which of course, requires money, influence, economic power, and a place to house this with real bricks and mortar. Traditional banking, similar to Western banking has existed in the Middle East since the start of banking. Muslims investors like most investors all over the world, do not choose to mix politics, religion and money.
3. How does Shariah Islamic Finance work?
• Banks and the real estate on which they sit provide global hard asset locations for the promotion and legitimization of Shariah worldwide.
• As stated earlier, most Muslims do not want to live under Shariah Law, which explains why Shariah Banking was unsuccessful and represented only a market share of investment assets in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Indonesia as recently as 2004. In fact, Saudi Arabia did not have an official Shariah Islamic Bank until 2004. Traditional banking was primary. Though Saudi Arabia has ruled under Shariah Law for years, they resisted the entry of Shariah Banking until 2004. The Saudi Royal Family was not interested in having religious radical Sheiks manage their money or have any access at all. Today Egypt continues to hold back Shariah Banking, having suffered serious fraud and bankruptcy issues by Shariah banks in the 1980”s. Unfortunately, Egypt today is being pressured into creating Shariah Banks by Shariah faithfuls who claim Egyptians are not devout Muslims without Shariah Banking. The government of Egypt is being shamed and threatened into Shariah compliance.
4. What is the difference between the stated purpose of Shariah Islamic Finance and the real purpose as evidenced in recent, well-documented examples?
• While the stated purpose of Shariah finance focuses on issues of forbidden interest and prohibition against investments in pork and alcohol, this not the true focus of Shariah finance
• For example, Shariah states that investments in banking are forbidden because the excess of interest income , yet in 2008 Muslims who appear to be Shariah faithful investors purchased 8.5% of Citibank this past year, purchased Barney’s clothing store which sells sexy “non-Islamic” western wear, hotels which serve alcohol, and have purchased thoroughbreds and racetracks, and hotels with gambling. All these activities are forbidden under Shariah, yet it appears it is these same investors who are demanding Shariah Islamic investments? Most of the transactions above are private deals, so no public disclousure of transparency is required or accessible.
• Shariah Law is about control and creation of a one world Islam, and Shariah finance is a means of achieving that control through economics, finance and real estate.
5. How is Shariah Finance being promoted by global and U.S. banks and investment companies?
• Shariah Finance is being promoted as “ethically responsible,” “culturally respectful” Islamic religious investments. This on the basis that Shariah forbids investment in gambling, alcohol and pornography. But what about a political agenda that mandates violent Jihad, stones women, forces girls to marry, and calls for the death of Muslims who leave the faith. Is this “ethically responsible”?
• Shariah Finance is being promoted to non-Muslims as a way to diversify their portfolios with a new kind of investment.
• Because collecting interest is considered exploitative and “un-Islamic”, Shariah investments are artificially re-formulated so that interest cash flows become “rents” and “profits”. This is achieved through derivative structures and contracts. This is perfectly legal, much as other western derivatives.
• Banned Industries: Shariah investments may not invest in “haram”industries”, i.e. non-Shariah industries such pork, alcohol, media, entertainment, gambling, and interest based financing.
6. What are the processes of “Zakat contributions” and oversight of “purity” of Shariah investments? What are some of the inconsistencies one finds if one digs deep into the prospectus of a Shariah Investment?
• Zakat contributions: Shariah Law mandates that devout Muslims give “zakat” or charity to Shariah Approved Charities. Muslims are obligated to donate 2.5% of assets. Shariah Banks in the Middle East are donating these profits directly to Islamic Shariah Charities on behalf of investors. The charity is chosen by the Shariah sheiks that sit on the “advisory board” of these banks. It may well be that up to 20% is being donated, a number we have heard about, but have no direct evidence.
• In speaking with American bankers setting up shop in the Middle East and offering Shariah investments, our team was told that a particular American bank was paying a 20% tax to the government in which they were operating, for the right to conduct this business. Businesses often pay taxes to the government in which they are directly operating. It becomes a question of whether this is tax money is really “zakat” and is being directed to Islamic charities, of which many of which fund terror. We just don’t’ know.
• It is very unclear how American Investment Companies transacting in America are handling this charitable obligation requirement of Shariah Law. Transparency is very weak in disclosing exactly how, where, if and who is paying this Zakat or Shariah charitable obligation .
• There are two central Zakat collecting agencies. One in UAE and one in Malaysia. These Zakat agencies donate to Shariah approved charities. There are 8 Shariah approved categories of Zakat including the needy , however up to 4 of the Shariah approved charities can be interpreted to “fund Jihad”. This is because the goal of Shariah is to create a one world Islam through Jihad, and so funding is required to train, support, transport and arm Jihadis.
• Purification: Oversight of Shariah investments by Shariah authorities requires that the return on investment NOT contain “interest” of profits attained from investments in un-Islamic companies, excess interest income. If return on investment does by chance include these “tainted” or “impure” profits, they must be given to Shariah Zakat charities so that the Shariah investment remains “ pure”.
• Example of purification: Under Shariah Return on Investment (ROI) cannot include interest income or income from “unislamic “ companies (like pork or alcohol producers). If there is a Shariah mutual fund that only invests in shoewear companies (completely Islamic), these companies have operating cash on their balance sheets that are invested in overnight money markets. This overnight interest income cannot be distributed as part of ROI, and must be “purified” by giving this funds away to Shariah approved charities. The kind of overnight interest income can be quite substantial.
• Though transparency is very weak, one Islamic fund did disclose that purification was approx 6% of ROI. Extrapolation: There is currently $ 1 trillion dollars of Shariah Assets in the US as of Nov 2008, and if this money were to yield 5% annually (ROI), this translates to $3 billion of the return on investment would be distributed to Shariah approved Charities. Given that 4 categories of Shariah charity allow for “support of Jihad”, it can be extrapolated that $1.5Billion of these dollars are funding terror. This example assumes that the 6% purification number we uncovered is accurate. Again, transparency is very very weak.
7. What exactly is not being disclosed by Banks, Law firms & Consultants promoting Shariah Finance? In Prospectuses and on websites?
• The true nature of Shariah Law and its connection to Jihad.
• Disclosure that Sept 11th was a Shariah Jihad attack.
• Disclosure that Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iran & the Taliban/Al-Qaeda are Shariah governments or regimes.
• The political nature of Shariah goal to create one world Islam, or hegemony.
• The tenets of Shariah law such as polygamy, forced child marriages, etc.
• Treatment of non-Muslim according to Shariah.
• The philosophy, writings and mandates of paid Shariah Scholars who are schooled first and foremost in Shariah Law and must embrace every aspect of Shariah Law including Jihad against the West and inhumane rules of living and justice.
• The exact process of “purification” and giving of “zakat”. How much is given away, who decides and where it goes.
• The eight categories of approved Zakat of which 4 can be interpreted to mean “ in the service of Jihad”. Meaning funding of suicide bombers, support for Jihadists including their meals and travel.
8. Who are key drivers of Shariah Finance on Wall Street, in London Dubai? Are these drivers providing full disclosure of Shariah?
The following key drivers of Shariah Finance are NOT providing full disclosure of the true nature of Shariah Islamic Law, it’s connection to Jihad, human rights abuses, Taliban and Al-Qaeda, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
a. Investment Firms/ Banks: Citibank, HSBC-Amanah, UBS, Barclays, Deutche, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, BOA, Goldman Sachs, Lloyds, Barclays, Arcapita, Inc.
b. Hedge funds: Millennium, Zweig-DiMenna, Toqueville Asset, Paulson & Co, Ospraie Capital.
c. Index Providers: Dow Jones, S & P,
d. Law Firms; Gerstyn Savage, Patton Boggs, Kings & Spalding, Clifford Chance, Murtha Cullina LLP
e. Consulting Firms: Shariah Capital
f. Real Estate Investment Companies: Guidance Residential, Blackstone
9. How might the promotion of Shariah Finance on Wall Street be fraudulent?
• Shariah Mutual Funds promote themselves as “ethical funds.”
• One must ask, however, how a political doctrine that conducts Jihad against non-believers, & oppresses Muslim women, children and gays, and who calls for the death of peace-loving Muslims who criticize Shariah or choose to leave the faith “ethical”?
• How would an American investor of Shariah finance react if he knew that Sept 11th was an act of Shariah-sanctioned terror? Isn’t this a material omission of fact and therefore fraudulent marketing of Shariah investments by all investment service providers? Is this securities and consumer fraud?
10. Is a Shariah finance investor entitled to know that some of his ROI might be donated to Shariah Zakat charities, of which many have been found to fund terror?
• Every Shariah finance investor should be aware the US Treasury Department has designated 27 Muslim charities in the US and worldwide as terrorism entities due to their funding of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda, HAMAS and others.
• Every Shariah finance investor should ask himself if he is the unwittingly funding terror himself.
• Every Shariah Finance investor should understand that there are 8 categories of acceptable “charity” as defined by Shariah Law, of which 4 may be interpreted to mean “support of Jihad”, such a supporting families of suicide bombers.
11. Do All Muslims Support Shariah Islamic Finance?
Not at all.
Here’s who has spoken out publicly despite personal threats by Shariah radicals.
Muslim Canadian Congress
American Islamic Congress for Democracy
Muslims against Shariah
Timur Kuran- Professor of Economics and Political Science and Gorter Family Chair in Islamic Studies- Duke University.
12. Who are some Muslim critics of Shariah IslamicFinance?
• Pakistani scholar Fazlur Rahman takes a position supporting fixed interest, as does the well-known scholar, Seyyed Vali
• Reza Nasr. Muslim Turkish academic Timur Kuran has stated the following objections to Islamic finance:
? Shariah-compliant finance is an “invented tradition” of our time that does not go back to Muhammad’s time
? The complex Shariah financial tools involve thinly-disguised payments of interest
? Shariah-compliant finance merely serves the Islamist goal to enhance a separate Islamic identity, preventing assimilation
? Shariah-based economics have also dismally failed in relieving poverty in Muslim lands
13. Has there been Muslim consumer rejection of Shariah Islamic Finance?
• While this is hard to quantify, traditional banking, non-religious non-political, was the only kind of banking until Shariah banking was created in 1970”s.
• Demand for Shariah banking has been artificially created by Shariah radicals who threaten peace-loving Muslims saying that they are not “true” Muslims unless they live a life according to Shariah law (which includes banking with an Islamic Shariah Bank). Even still as of Aug 2008, only 20% of Muslim assets worldwide are in Shariah banks. There is tremendous pressure being put on liberal Muslims through mosques that in order to be a devout “true” Muslim they must engage in Shariah Banking and donate to Islamic Charities.
• During the 1980’s there were numerous Shariah banking failures in Egypt due to lack of transparency and alleged fraud. To this day, Nov 2008, Egypt is one of the last Islamic countries NOT to engage in Shariah banking. There is pressure every day by Shariah radicals on the Egyptian government, so the expectation is that Shariah banking may well start again in Egypt soon.
• 14. Who are the Shariah authorities advising U.S. financial institutions, law firms and consultants, and what risks do they impose on their U.S. clients?
• The top 20-30 advisers include Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Sheikh Mohamed Ali Elgari, Faysal Mawlawi, Sheikh Nizam Yaquby, Suleyman al-Maniya and others.
• Analysts suggest there may be conflicts of interest and antitrust issues, since the same advisers often are on the Shariah advisory boards of dozens of Islamic banks, U.S. banks, and various Islamic indexes (the Dow Jones Islamic Index, the S&P 500 Islamic Index), as well as smaller financial services companies such as mortgage financer Guidance Financial Group.
• As advocates of Shariah Law, these advisors embrace Jihad against the West, subjugation of non-Muslims, and oppression of Muslim women, children, homosexuals and non-believers.
15. Could you give examples of profiles of prominent Wall Street and London Shariah Scholars who sit on “Shariah Advisory Boards” in banks on Wall Street and all over the world?
• Yusuf Qaradawi: A prominent Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, Qaradawi is chairman of the Shariah boards of the two Qatari Islamic banks owned by the ruling families among many others. He is well known for his statements in favor of Jihad, including suicide-homicide attacks against Israeli citizens by Palestinian terrorists and legal rulings supporting the Jihad carried out by Hamas and Hizballah against Israel.
• Muhammad Taqi Usmani: A radical Deobandi cleric and a former Shariah court judge from Pakistan, Usmani sits on dozens of Shariah boards in the West and is a key executive in the Karachi Deobandi madrassa Darul Uloom, which has trained thousands of Taliban and jihadist cadres. He was complicit in the murder and suffering of countless innocent Ahmadi Muslims declared apostates in Pakistan. He has said that Muslims living in the West “must live in peace until strong enough to wage Jihad’ against their fellow-citizens in order “to establish the supremacy of Islam.” Usmani is on the board of the Dow Jones Islamic Index (as of May 2007, now he is off their website?), UBS-Warburg, Guidance Financial Group, Citiicorp-Citi Islamic Investment Bank, HSBC Amanah Finance, Saudi American Bank, Islamic Development Bank of Jedda, First Islamic Bank of Bahrain, and many other institutions.
• Sheikh Yusaf Talal DeLorenzo: DeLorenzo is considered to be the leading authority on Shariah Finance in the United States and one of the half-dozen best-known Shariah Advisors internationally. Although he has carefully avoided making public statements in support of Jihad, his affiliations, high praise of Shariah scholars like Taqi Usmani and Yusaf Qaradawi indicates he is a full supporter of Shariah Islamic Law. To e an Islamic Scholar, by definition you must embrace Shariah Islamic Law in its entirely, it is indivisible. He studied with prominent Deobandi Scholars at madrassa Jamia Uloom Islamia in Pakistan. The international Crisis Group (ICG), a human rights think tank in Brussels said the Jamia Uloom madrassa is the “fountainhead of Deobandi militancy countrywide”, has “ carried the mantle of Jihadi leadership” and “boasts close ties with the Taliban”. DeLorenzo himself was an advisor to Pakistani president Zia ul-Haq the military dictator, who in the late 1970’s put into place the network jihadi madrassa that eventually produced the Taliban. Delorenzo, who lives in Virginia, said “in order to be more readily understandable to regulators in Muslim-minority countries, such as the U.S. and Europe, there is nothing wrong in using another term, like Ethical Advisory Board “ (instead of Shariah Advisory board). DeLorenzo has also said” Adapting Islam to modern finance” could influence other areas of Shariah which has “ essentially been in a coma for several centuries…and desperately needs reviving.” Sheik DeLorenzo as of Sept 2008 sits on these advisory boards: Dow Jones Islamic Market Index, Guidance International, Inc., Brown Brothers Harriman Islamic GLobal Equity Fund, Socially Acceptable Market Investments (SAMI), Thababi Ijara Fund I in UAE, Ihila.com in Dubai, Muslim E-financials in Washington D.C. , Devon Islamic Ventures. Sheik DeLorenzo is the Chief Shariah Officer at Shariah Capital in Greenwich, Connecticut. Shariah Capital has been involved in many of Shariah Islamic deals made in America
16. What are other names for Shariah Finance?
• In America and around the globe, these are the names for Shariah Finance: Islamic Finance and Shariah Finance, Shariah Compliant Finance, Shariah Banking, Islamic Banking, Interest Free Banking, Ethical Banking, Socially Responsible Banking, Riba-free banking.
• How can a political movement that promotes forced child marriages, subjugation of women, killing of homosexuals, polygamy and stoning of adulterers , jihad against non-believers be ethical???? The justification is : slamic investments don’t invest in gambling or alcohol.
17. If Shariah is really as oppressive and barbaric as described here, how is it possible that American companies and banks all over the world have embraced Shariah banking as a new marketplace?
• The campaign to globalize Shariah including Shariah Finance is being enabled by sovereign Middle East Rulers actively promoting and funding the political goals of Shariah.
• The result is a multi million dollar advertising campaign directed at Western banks to educate them about “ethical financing needs” of over 1.2 billion Muslims eager to invest in Western investments as long as certain “benign” Islamic religious requirements are met.
• At oil prices of $100 barrel, the Middle East takes in $1trillion dollars in revenues, much of which is profit. Years ago, Sovereign Islamic rulers didn’t have access to western markets. Today, thanks to the Internet banking and bankers developing a ‘multicultural “ viewpoint… Western financial markets have opened up to Islamic countries. Mid-East rulers want a good return on their investment like everyone else. Let’s not forget however, that Mid-East rulers can invest freely in America, without Shariah banking. And they do. Note Prince Talaweed, currently has an 8.5% state in Citicorp.
• At a recent Islamic Finance conference in New York City, an attendee asked, “I understand Shariah Finance. No interest, no pork; but what does Shariah exactly mean?” The entire room of over 300 investment bankers, lawyers and the presenters of the conference went silent. Sheik Nizam Yaquby, was asked to respond. He answered this question with a simple “Shariah is the path on which we walk, the water which we drink”. Not one person in the room followed up with a question. The group went back to looking at flowcharts and graphs. (A team of experts working to expose Shariah finance has been attending these conferences).
18. Why are Western banks allowing this?
• Western banks are not asking the real questions about the goals, methods and laws of Shariah because they are blinded by promise of enormous fees and annuities. This is not uncommon with Western Banks:
– The Sub-prime mortgage meltdown occurred because bankers where not asking the right questions and doing their own independent due diligence. There is a term for this; it is called “moral hazard”. This means that an investment firm has less incentive to protect themselves from fraud if they have a law firm someone they trust saying they have done the due diligence and everything is legitimate. This is why the sub-prime mortgage collapse resulted in a global economic crisis. Firms relied on the assurance of other firms, colleagues, lawyers, that the mortgages were well documented. Very few firms did independent due diligence. And so when there is a loss in value in value, every firm across the globe has a loss because there are no “fire walls”. Essentially, it becomes a house of cards.
-The Savings and Loans disaster of the 1980”s, Latin American debt crisis of the 70:s, dot.com crisis of the 90”s…all were the result of blindness, perhaps willful, on the part of American and global bankers.
-In each case, when the lack of transparency and poor due diligence became known, millions of American investors, homeowners, and breadwinners lost their retirement savings, homes and/or livelihood
19. How fast is Shariah Islamic Finance growing?
• Estimates for total funds committed to some kind of SCF investment or transaction is $ 1 trillion worldwide as of Jan 2007.
• Annual SCF growth is estimated at 15-25%.
20. What kinds of Shariah Finance investments are being offered?
• U.S. Financial Institutions are quickly creating the same array of SCF ( Shariah Compliant Finance ) products that exist in traditional finance markets:
-SCF bonds (sukuk)
– SCF mutual funds
– SCF mortgages
– SCF hedge funds and SCF REITS
-SCF insurance products.
– SCF Exchange traded commodities platforms
-SCF home mortgages
-SCF Exchange traded funds.
21. 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.
22. 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 Islamic Law in the West.
• 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.
• Shariah Scholars are directing profits of Shariah investments to Islamic charities. Under Shariah, “charity” or “zakat” includes the funding of Jihad, 27 Islamic charities have been designated as funding terrorism by the US Treasury Department.
• Wall Street is branding and endorsing Shariah Islamic law as legitimate and western by promoting Islamic financial investments. Wall Street is welcoming Shariah Islamic Finance into America through our banking system. It’s easy for American’s to say: If Citicorp, Harvard Law and Business School , Dow Jones and everyone else is involved in Shariah finance..it must be safe, western culturally important..and we must then consider Shariah Islamic law in our court system, public education system, politics, etc…to be sensitive to this important population.
• Shariah Islamic Finance is giving Shariah faithful religious leaders a seat at the corporate table of every firm involved in Shariah Islamic Finance.
23. How does Shariah finance threaten freedom-loving Muslims in the West?
• In the same way the terrorist leaders who are given a world platform to speak are legitimized, so Banks and investment companies engaged in Shariah finance legitimize Shariah as a respected way of life.
• Democratic Muslims come to the West to escape Shariah and religious political oppression.
• Acceptance of Shariah in the name of blind “multiculturalism” by uniformed capitalists undermines freedom for these immigrants.
24. Could you give an example of how Shariah Finance legitimizes Shariah Law? They seem so different.
• Yes, England is a good example of how Shariah Finance drives the Shariah agenda.
• London has embraced Shariah Finance in the past 5 years.
• Lloyds Bank has announced plans to offer Shariah investments to every one of their 2000 branches.
• HBS, Citibank, Barclays, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Deutche Bank, UBS: all offer Shariah investments.
• In addition, there are more than 10 Islamic Shariah courts in England.
• Polygamy is recognized with social service benefits granted to up to four wives to one man.
• There are reports of forced child marriages, criminal penalties for “insulting Allah”.
• There are reports of “No-Go “ Shariah neighborhoods, in which western-clothed girls are at risk of rape, with no guarantee of protection by police authorities.
• The highest Chief Justice in U.K. Lord Phillips just stated that Shariah Law could be compatible with English Common Law.
• There is a crisis of forced child marriages. Children are falling off school rosters without a trace and forced child marriages are suspected.
25. Have Shariah-compliant financial institutions in the US been tied to terrorism?
Yes. Here are three examples:
• 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.
• Today in 2008, there is an active lawsuit managed by the Cozen O’Connor law firm, representing 36 global insurance companies (Ace, Chubb, Allstate) and Cantor Fitzgeral which alleges that Saudi Arabia and a network of Shariah Islamic banks (e.g., Dubai Islamic bank) were the source and/or mechanism of funding the September 11th terrorist attacks and the U.S. Cole attack which murdered over 3000 Americans. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/hot_topics/19374964.html.
• Bait u Mal al Islamic (BMI), a Shariah-compliant investment company based in Secaucus, NJ, ( which promoted itself as an Islamic alternative to conventional investments and solicited funds for real estate development), was named as the “US banker for the Muslim Brotherhood.” by U.S. Federal prosecutors. 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.
26. How widespread is the use of Shariah Islamic charities to fund terror?
• The United States Department of Treasury has designated 27 Muslim charities in the US and worldwide as terrorism entities due to their funding of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda, HAMAS and others. See a list of these orgs on this website under Shariah Islamic Charities.
27. 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.
• More recently, UAE has created the DIFC, which is a trade free zone in Dubai which states it’s preference for Shariah compliant companies and banks.
28. 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.
• Also, UAE, a promoter of Shariah Finance has exported nuclear components to North Korea.
29. What can our government do to protect our markets from Shariah finance?
• The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Trustreet PPTYS (TSY) must enforce existing federal and state securities law mandating due diligence, transparency and disclosure of material aspects of Shariah Finance.
• Mechanisms to fund terror must be exposed and criminalized.
• Petrodollars must be invested through existing Western banking regulations and markets.