Background

Fact Sheet on U.S. Treasury Endorsement of Shariah Compliant Finance

Background

The U.S. Treasury is holding a workshop at its headquarters on Thursday, November 6 to promote Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF) to U.S. government personnel.  The invitation is downloadable at http://www.saneworks.us/uploads/news/applications/7.pdf .

This “seminar for the policy community,” entitled “Islamic Finance 101,” is being made possible by a collaboration between the Treasury Department and Harvard University – the most prominent and aggressive institutional advocate in American academia for Shariah and Shariah-Compliant Finance.

The meeting will be hosted by Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari, the man responsible for allocating the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).  TARP is increasingly being seen as an enormous slush-fund available for whatever purpose Treasury deems useful.  If its leverage is applied in the service of imposing Shariah-Compliant Finance on banks or other financial institutions desperate for government hand-outs, the penetration of SCF, and Shariah more generally, into America’s capital markets could accelerate dramatically.

Shariah is Sedition

The theo-political-legal program authoritative Islam calls Shariah requires its adherents to work for the realization of global Islamic theocratic rule.  They are obliged to advance this goal through violent means (jihad) where possible, and through stealthy means where not. 

Many of today’s most prominent Shariah scholars are deeply involved with Shariah-Compliant Finance, serving as advisors to various banks, financial institutions and organizations established to administer, regulate or otherwise promote this industry.  The more candid of these have openly described SCF as “jihad with money” and “financial jihad,” an instrument for helping to destroy the Western economic system.

Harvard as Cheerleader for Shariah

The Harvard Law School’s Islamic Finance Project is bought and paid for by the Jihadist Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia and neighboring environs.  Among the most visible faculty advocates for Shariah-Compliant Finance are:

  • Professors Frank Vogel and Samuel Hayes have co-authored a book on the subject, Islamic Law and Finance: Religion, Risk, and Return. In it, they make clear the comprehensive and unified nature of Shariah: “Islamic legal rules encompass both ethics and law, this world and the next, church and state. The law does not separate rules enforced by individual conscience from rules enforced by a judge or by the state.”
  • Noah Feldman, another Harvard law professor, has written two books and numerous articles with the theme that Shariah is constructive, even desirable, insofar as it serves as a check-and-balance on executive power and means of safeguarding human rights. Feldman chooses not to dwell in his paeans to Shariah on its repressive traditions – notably, its institutionalized mysogeny, its brutal punishments for various infractions (including death sentences for the Muslim apostate and the recalcitrant infidel) or its seditious ambitions with respect to the U.S. government and Constitution.

The ‘Islamic Finance 101’ Line-up of Shariah-Boosters 

The non-governmental speakers for the Treasury-Harvard seminar on Shariah-Compliant Finance virtually assure that the audience will receive nothing but laudatory information about SCF – and no indication at all of what Shariah is and, given its inherently seditious purpose, what are the financial, legal and strategic implications of enabling in our capital markets practices explicitly designed to advance Shariah in America? 

The following are among those who will be ensuring that “Islamic Finance 101” provides only a most selective and misleading understanding of Shariah-Compliant Finance: 

  • Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo is one of the half-dozen most important Shariah advisors and an Islamist of note, although he is careful about his professions of adherence to Shariah in public. A product of the radical jihadist madrassa Jamia Uloom Islamia in Karachi he has been involved at a very high level in many Islamist institutions of the Wahhabi/Ikhwan networks in the United States. These include service as: the Secretary of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA); a member of the Board of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT); the Director of the Graduate School of Islamic and Social Sciences; and the Director of Education of the Islamic Saudi Academy. He is also very active in international SCF management and leadership organizations and a long-time colleague of jihadist Shariah scholar Mufti Taqi Usmani.

    DeLorenzo has also translated a two-volume set on major fatwas on Shariah-Compliant Finance in which, among other requirements, he advances rulings prohibiting dealings with churches.  With respect to the question of taking interest from infidels in dar al Harb (i.e., the “land of war” or non-Muslim territory), he observes that doing so may have some value, and be permissible, if it serves to weaken Islam’s enemies.
     

  • Rushdi Siddiqui is not as well known as DeLorenzo but possibly even more important as the founder and “global director” of Dow Jones Islamic Market Index Group. He is credited with creating over 65 Islamic indexes. He is not known to have received a religious education but has played a key role in developing and promoting Shariah finance. At Dow Jones, he manages the Shariah board (which has included, until recently Usmani and still retains DeLorenzo). He also teaches at the online Dow Jones Islamic University.

    Through his DJIM involvement he has also been closely associated with the other Islamists at the North American Islamic Trust (including Bassam Osman, Idris Ali, Muzamil Siddiqui) and those of NAIT’s subsidiary and IMANX manager, Allied Asset Advisors. Rushdi Siddiqui is also a key figure in the international SCF scene as a director at the Dubai International Financial Center and head of business development at Dubai Bank, where he was said to assist in the development of the bank’s Shariah board.

  • David Loudon is vice president and corporate counsel to Devon Bank. Not very well-known until recently, Loudon is a member of the family that owns Devon Bank in Chicago which started offering SCF only six or seven years ago (i.e., after Freddie Mac began buying Islamic mortgages in 2001). It currently is reported to offer Islamic mortgages in 36 states.

    Loudon and Devon Bank are primarily of interest because of their ties with some very unsavory SCF outfits. Prime among them is the now defunct Sunrise Equities and the modestly named Shariah Board of America (SBA).  Sunrise Equities (founded 2001) is the outfit that gave Barack Obama office space on its premises during his run for the U.S. Senate in 2004. Its president and CEO, Salman Ibrahim evidently helped Devon Bank set up its SCF programs and secure the blessings of the Shariah Board of America, for which Ibrahim was a board member and reportedly one of SBA’s three vice presidents.  Ibrahim, who is alleged to have been a Taliban sympathizer, disappeared along with two other execs of Sunrise with up to $80 million this past September. The people defrauded are about 300 Pakistani and Indian Muslims.

    The SBA (www.shariahboard.org) is a division of the Rahmat-e-Alam Foundation, which appears to be active in South Asia and is very likely a Deobandi outfit. Most of its members and Shariah experts were educated in Deobandi institutions in India and Mufti Taqi Usmani is mentioned as one of their advisors. They also appear to have very close associations with the radical Deobandi proselytizers of Tablighi Jamaat and the Chicago mosque Masjid al-Noor, where the president of SBA, Mufti Navalur Rahman Miftahi, is the head imam.  (This mosque may be the Tablighi headquarters in Chicago).
     

  • Mahmoud El-Gamal‘s record is bit harder to characterize. He supports Shariah Finance, but has been known to be critical of some aspects of it – at times sharply, as in the following quotation: “The modus operandi of Islamic finance is worrisome for two reasons: it glorifies irrational adherence to outdated medieval jurisprudence, and supports the development of a separatist and boastful Islamic identity. This mixture has proven disastrous in recent years….”  (http://us.ft.com.ftgateway/superpage.ft?news_id=fto05222007224053). His inclusion in this Treasury training workshop reinforces the impression, however, that, of late, el-Gamal has embraced the Islamists’ party line on SCF.
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