Coalition to Stop Shariah Statements
November 6, 2008
STATEMENT BY THE COALITION TO STOP SHARIAH
U.S. TREASURY‘S EFFORTS TO PROMOTE SEDITIOUS ‘ISLAMIC FINANCE‘
We are Americans opposed to the “stealth jihad” being waged in this country by those who promote Shariah – authoritative Islam’s theo-political-religious program for establishing a global theocracy. As such, Shariah and its espousal of violent and stealthy jihad constitute sedition. We are determined to resist efforts now underway to create “parallel” Muslim societies and otherwise to insinuate Shariah into this country via its mosques, prisons, campuses, media, government and financial institutions.
Of particular concern is the progress being made to establish Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF) within Western, and most recently, U.S. banks and other institutions that trade securities. Islamic finance’s leading Shariah authorities have made plain that they consider SCF to be “jihad with money,” “financial jihad” and a means of promoting their objective of destroying the West’s economic system and replacing it with an Islamic one.
Incredibly, in recent days, the U.S. Treasury Department has begun embracing Shariah-Compliant Finance. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert Kimmitt has professed an interest in “studying the salient features of Islamic banking to ascertain how far it could be useful in fighting the ongoing world economic crisis.” According to a press report out of Saudi Arabia, he has declared that “experts in the Treasury Department are currently learning the important features of Islamic banking.”
To this end, the Treasury Department is hosting in its headquarters building on Thursday, November 6th a “seminar for the policy community” entitled “Islamic Finance 101.” This event is being co-sponsored – and, it would appear, orchestrated – to promote Shariah-Compliant Finance by one of America’s leading promoters of the industry: the Islamic Finance Project at Harvard Law School. Harvard has benefitted from the infusion of millions of dollars from a Wahhabi Saudi prince and his government. Such funds are evidently translating into its fealty to the Islamist agenda and the promotion of Shariah and SCF by Harvard professors such as Samuel Vogel (who will preside at the Treasury seminar).
It is especially alarming that the Treasury Department is now in a position to impose its submission to Shariah on the various financial institutions which it has bought in recent weeks or otherwise controls. With the nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, its purchase of – at last count – 17 banks and the enormous leverage associated with its $700 billion slush-fund, Treasury can be an irresistible force should it actively promote Shariah-Compliant Finance. The fact that Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari, the official charged with administering that slush fund, is the host of “Islamic Finance 101″ certainly looks like active promotion of Shariah-Compliant Finance.
The Coalition to Stop Shariah calls on the Treasury Department to cancel this indoctrination session, to cease its efforts to promote Shariah-Compliant Finance and to recognize Shariah for what it is – sedition – and treat it accordingly by banning its use in U.S. financial institutions and products.
POINT-COUNTERPOINT: COALITION RESPONDS TO TREASURY DEPARTMENT PRESS GUIDANCE ON ISLAMIC FINANCE SEMINAR
The U.S. Treasury Department has issued press guidance in response to alarms raised in recent days by the Coalition to Stop Shariah and by other, like-minded individuals and organizations. The guidance tries to allay critics’ concerns about 6 November closed-door “seminar for the policy community” co-sponsored by Treasury and Harvard University Law School’s Islamic Finance Project. The seminar, dubbed “Islamic Finance 101,” is designed to promote what is better known as Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF).
The following reproduces in their entirety the Department’s press guidance, with bolded text in the original, together with rebuttals by the Coalition (CSS).
1) Treasury guidance:
The Treasury Department has a long standing engagement on Islamic finance because of the growth of the sector globally and the ongoing participation of US financial services firms in Islamic finance. Treasury has always emphasized that the development of the Islamic finance sector requires that Islamic financial institutions continue to be held to the same regulatory and prudential standards to which other financial institutions adhere to [sic]. This is the approach that US regulators have always taken with respect to Islamic finance, and this is the approach that the Treasury Department advocates in its discussions with international financial institutions and standard setting bodies.
CSS: There is only one problem with this statement: It completely misses the heart of the matter, namely Shariah. The totalitarian program authoritative Islam calls Shariah is a seditious conspiracy whose express purpose is the violent overthrow of the U.S. government and Constitution. Shariah-Compliant Finance (or, as those trying to obscure the Shariah-compliant character of this industry increasingly prefer to call in the West, “Islamic finance”) is an instrument of that conspiracy. Thus, its most prominent practitioners have called it “financial jihad” and “jihad with our money.” Regulators cannot possibly hold an illegal conspiracy to “the same regulatory and prudential standards” as they apply to other, legal financial institutions.
2) Treasury guidance:
The seminar is not a commercial event to promote Islamic finance. It is important for Treasury officials and other government officials to have a robust understanding of existing markets and market practices globally. The seminar has a purely academic focus and is not a promotion of Islamic finance or any product or particular practice.
CSS Response: The Coalition has not described “Islamic Finance 101” as a commercial event. It need not be to have the effect of promoting Shariah-Compliant Finance. In fact, given the control the Treasury Department now exercises over much of the U.S. financial sector, it strains credulity that anyone would argue that the predictably positive impression Treasury officials take away from a seminar conducted exclusively by advocates of SCF will not have down-stream commercial implications.
More, if this was to be an objective academic analysis, why are their only promoters of SCF invited as faculty. There are many scholars who have written and published about the dangers of SCF; none of them were invited for a reason.
3) Treasury guidance:
The purpose of this seminar is to help US policy makers and regulatory agencies better understand Islamic finance. Treasury, working with Harvard’s Islamic Finance Project (part of the Harvard Law School), has invited academics, regulators and industry practitioners to give short presentations that provide an overview of the sector, and background on recent developments. Most of the attendees are from US government policy making and regulatory agencies, along with a small number of outside academics, business representatives, and staff from international financial institutions.
CSS Response: Again, the Treasury press guidance fails to recognize that not one individual participating in this training session is likely to explain: what seditious Shariah is; who are the Shariah advisors employed by most Shariah-compliant banks and financial institutions and what they espouse with respect to the replacement of secular, democratic governments with a theocratic Caliphate; the fact that some advisors explicitly endorse violent jihad as a means of accomplishing this end-state; the skimming off of proceeds by Shariah advisors in the form of “zakat” (tithing) and “purification” of funds, which then are given to their favorite “charities” (not the Red Cross or United Way); or that a rigorous legal analysis has concluded that there are civil liabilities and criminal exposures associated with SCF transactions.
4) Treasury guidance:
The seminar is designed to help the policy makers and regulators address questions that they encounter regarding Islamic finance. The presentations will provide an understanding of industry terminology, examples of typical transaction structures, and an overview of the size and geographic distribution of the Islamic financial sector. There has been a strong interest by staff at US policy and regulatory agencies that do not normally have the opportunity to learn about Islamic finance. This “Islamic Finance 101” seminar is a repeat of a seminar previously held at Treasury in 2002, with the assistance of Harvard.
CSS Response: If the seminar does not provide information along the lines mentioned in response to Guidance 3), the presenters are deliberately denying policy-makers and regulators answers to questions they should be posing. It is not merely a disservice to be providing such an incomplete and misleading portrayal of this subject. To the extent that it is allowing a seditious conspiracy to flourish, such behavior is a felony offense under the 18 U.S. Code Section 2382.
There are two important differences between Treasury enabling such a propaganda exercise to take place today as opposed to 2002. First, in the immediate aftermath of the murderous attacks inflicted by adherents to Shariah on 9/11, the U.S. capital markets and government were not poised to embrace an instrument of their destruction, as they appear to be today. And second, in 2002, Treasury neither owned large numbers of American financial institutions nor was it in a position to extend (or withhold) billions of dollars in “troubled asset” relief to the ones it has not yet taken over – putting the Department in a position to coerce such institutions into Shariah-compliance, should it choose to do so.
5) Treasury guidance:
Islamic finance is a small, but growing part of the global financial system. Islamic finance is of growing significance in regions of strategic importance to the US, particularly in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. Islamic finance constitutes a minute fraction of the U.S. financial market due to low demand. A number of products are available, but the market has not gained traction. However, U.S. financial institutions have been active globally in the Islamic finance arena for over 20 years, particularly in project finance and investment banking.
CSS Response: Islamic finance may indeed be, for the moment, a “minute fraction of the U.S. financial market.” Perhaps that is due to low demand; perhaps it is due to well-founded misgivings on the part of investors or institutions concerned about rushing into another subprime-style “black box,” let alone one in the service of America’s enemies. If, however, the Treasury Department and other agencies of the U.S. government become boosters for the industry or demand its adoption, the percentage of penetration of SCF business being done both here and abroad by U.S. financial institutions is sure to grow. As it does, it will inexorably advance the stealthy and seditious penetration of Shariah into our society, as well as our capital markets.
American Islamic Forum for Democracy
M. Zuhdi Jasser, President
Make no mistake. So-called “sharia compliant financing” is neither about religion nor about God. It is about Islamist control and collectivization of Muslims against ‘the west’ and free markets. SCF systems are nothing more than a ruse to give transnational Islamist movements and their controlling Muslim theocrats an economic power base. Attempts to appease requests by Islamists to provide for so-called ‘SCF’ are misguided. SCF provides sanction of a dangerously separatist economic system which incubates Islamist ideology among Muslims and keeps them apart from the general population. Islamist theocrats exploit western deference to religious freedom in order to lay the foundations of a system which feigns religion in order to control the economic decisions of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
SCF allows government and banks to empower Islamist theocrats who really only want to control Muslim economics rather than actually stimulate the open economic freedom of Muslims. This is the difference between theocracy and liberty. Instead of lay citizens controlling their own economic transactions, ‘the invisible hand’ becomes the hand of the Islamist cleric. Government leaders should be informed of the fact that many very pious Muslims do not want clerics to determine what is and what is not “sharia compliant”. So-called ‘Sharia-compliance’ is only a personal decision and not one for clerics or government. It is a personal decision rooted in religious freedom and economic freedom alike. To many pious Muslims, only God can determine what is and what is not truly “sharia-compliant”. Do not be misled into believing that SCF is about ‘helping Muslims be free’. Quite the contrary it is about giving Islamist clerics the tools to limit the economic choices of Muslims and economically collectivize Muslim networks against other networks. SCF is about control and diversion. For the west to succumb to the infiltration of SCF is to abandon so many Muslims who escaped the Middle East in order to be free from the SCF clerics.
M. Zuhdi Jasser
American Islamic Forum for Democracy
The Institute on Religion & Democracy, Religious Liberty Program
Director, Faith J. H. McDonnell
Statement Regarding the U.S. Treasury-Sponsored Seminar on Shariah-Compliant Finance
This afternoon the U.S. Department of Treasury is sponsoring “Islamic Finance 101.” The forum, in cooperation with the similarly innocuously-named “Islamic Finance Project” of Harvard Law School, invites U.S. government employees involved in policy-making to learn about “Islamic financial
services,” which, the Treasury Department declares, ” are an increasingly important part of the global financial industry.”
The Institute on Religion & Democracy is deeply concerned with this development because “Islamic Finance 101” is nothing less than “Shariah-Compliant Finance 101.” Using Islamic sources, the Center for Security Policy has defined Shariah as “authoritative Islam’s theo-political-religious program for establishing a global theocracy.” Such a theocracy does not come about through the use violent jihad alone. Islamists also use the less obvious forms of jihad, such as the economic jihad of Shariah-Compliant Finance.
As advocates for religious liberty around the world, the IRD has seen the devastating effects of Shariah on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Particularly egregious has been the imposition of Shariah as well as the brutal backlash against those who resist, on Christians in Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Somalia, and elsewhere. And we have seen the use of stealth jihad in these nations, as well.
The Islamist government in Sudan was finally forced into a peace agreement in 2005 that stopped its genocidal jihad against the Christians, followers of traditional religions, and Muslims who resisted Shariah. Immediately they began a financial jihad, backed by the same Arab governments who backed the genocide. They are currently seducing Southern Sudanese desperate for education, healthcare, employment, and infrastructure with Islamic-financed schools, hospitals, roads, and mosques. Those who have been paying with their lives to resist the jihad of bombs and bullets are in danger of succumbing to the jihad of money.
And so we fear that Shariah-Compliant Finance is only an entry level course in a much broader program of Shariah, the end goal of which is to supplant modern constitutionalism with archaic and undemocratic Islamic theocracy.
We support the goals of the Coalition to Stop Shariah, and we call upon those responsible within the United States government to examine the evidence that if they submit to Shariah-Compliant Finance at any level, they are putting the United States in far greater danger than an economic crisis.
Statement from ACT! for America
At a time when our financial and credit markets are in obvious turmoil, the appeal of massive inflows of cash via Shariah-Compliant finance may appear to be hearty bread to a hungry man. But since there is no such thing as a free lunch, it is clear that the price to be paid for this bread is far, far greater than we as a nation can afford.
Great Britain has learned the hard way that Shariah-Compliant Finance is a primary means by which Islamic shariah law injects itself into a society. Shariah law, a theologically-based totalitarian law system, is the antithesis of the legal tradition that made America the freest, most prosperous nation in the history of the world.
ACT! for America’s 50,000 members and 220 local chapters are fully committed to fight the imposition of Shariah-Compliant Finance and shariah law on our great nation, and we are convinced that, as more Americans learn the truth about shariah law and Shariah-Compliant Finance, a grassroots groundswell will arise that will demand that our government and our financial institutions reject this threat to our liberties and our constitutional form of government.
Statement from Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET)
Presented by Kyle Shideler
The Endowment for Middle East Truth is pleased to join the other members in the Coalition to Stop Shariah here today to oppose the act of dhimmitude by the U.S Treasury Department that is represented by the “Islamic Finance 101” meeting. With its recent acquisition of many failing banks and with $700 billion dollars at its disposal, Treasury has a responsibility to U.S taxpayers greater than any time since the days of Alexander Hamilton. And it was Alexander Hamilton who reportedly said, “A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.” That’s the position the Treasury department will have put themselves in if they go down the road of Shariah Complaint Finance. Like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and subprime lending, the U.S Government will be putting its faith in a financial instrument whose goals are driven by political ideology, not profit margin. And Shariah Compliant Finance’s goal is not nearly as well intentioned as putting American citizens into homes they unfortunately may not be able to afford.
Instead of seeking to put Americans in homes, the goal of Shariah Complaint Finance is to, “Sabotage our miserable house,” to paraphrase the Muslim Brotherhood’s General Strategic Goals for North America Memorandum as revealed in the Holy Land Foundation trial.
It is supremely ironic that the Treasury Department, the same government agency responsible for prosecuting so-called charities which fund Islamic terrorism, is now considering a financial system which will mandate that its banks and investment products donate to such charities. Those donations will be directed by Shariah Advisory Boards. Boards filled to the brim with individuals who belong to organizations listed as un-indicted co-conspirators in that same terrorism trial. Organizations like the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT) to name only a few.
We implore the Treasury Department to exercise due diligence in its examination of Shariah Complaint Finance, and not involve itself in mortgaging the security of this country.
Amb. Henry F. Cooper, Chairman Lt. Gen. Daniel Graham, Founder
500 N. Washington St. * Alexandria, VA 22314 * (703)535-8774 * Fax (703)535-8776
November 5, 2008
Mr. Frank Gaffney
Center for Security Policy
1901 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 201
Washington, DC 20006
Regrettably, I cannot make your press conference tomorrow with the Coalition to Stop Shariah, and so I am writing to stand with you in objecting to the Shariah-Compliant Finance initiative of the US Department of the Treasury. I view this initiative as implicitly promoting a very serious threat to our individual freedoms and
collective security and am astounded that the Treasury Department at its most senior levels is party to undermining our national security. After all, the Treasury Secretary is a member of the National Security Council-which, as the President’s most senior council on national security matters, is charged with protecting our nation against all threats foreign and domestic, including the very serious terrorist threat our nation faces.
Although High Frontier is primarily a single issue organization-building effective missile defenses, I find it so troubling that the Treasury Department would promote such seditious actions that I feel I must speak out for our supporters who for over 25 years have championed defending our nation against ballistic missile attack. I think they will stand with me in joining you to oppose this astounding development that also threatens their security. And I think Danny Graham would approve.
I believe all Americans who love our nation as the world’s preeminent beacon of freedom must resist such insidious developments, and I intend to inform our supporters of your important work and urge they also stand with us.
Henry F. Cooper
Chairman, High Frontier
Beth Gilinsky, Founder
“Women United supports the effort by Center for Security Policy and the others gathered here this morning to expose and educate the public about the practice known as Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF).
“If SCF were merely about money, Women United might not be here today. But Women United wishes to highlight, in addition to the other homeland and national security implications of growing Shariah-
Compliant Finance, the fact that ‘wider sharia acceptance’ is one of the goals of Shariah-Compliant Finance.
“As an organization made up of women leaders from across the world who are standing in solidarity with women and children suffering human rights abuses, the possibility of SCF mission creep is of
enormous concern us. We fear that participation of American companies, banks and executives in SCF is increasingly serving to legitimize the same Shariah authority that calls for barbaric punishments — beatings, stonings, whippings, even death — against women who are victims of gang rape, wish to divorce violent husbands, are mutilated, wish to drive, dress differently or pray differently, or are otherwise ‘disobedient women’.
“We also understand that Shariah authority, courts, and norms are, little by little, being exported, and insinuated into American society. Such an imposition of Shariah values and authority could
jeopardize individual women and children living in America, as well as our American society as a whole in which basic civil and human rights are protected and all are guaranteed equal protection under
“Women United calls on American elected officials, business and financial leaders to reject Shariah-Compliant Finance, as it appears to be quickly becoming a new path for jihadists to legitimize and
insuate Shariah further into America. Let our business leaders truly be leaders and light the way to keep America Sharia-Compliant- Finance-free, and to keep our women, and women everywhere, safe from
brutality and violence. Thank you,
November 6, 2008
American Center for Democracy
Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld
The U.S. financial crisis is attributable, in part, to a lack of transparency. If the government adopts Shari’a-based financing, our financial system will be rendered even more opaque. Such a policy also entangles American finance with Islamic law in violation of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause which mandates separation of State from Church or Mosque.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) created by the Saudis in 1969 for the purpose of “liberating Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa from Zionist occupation” is leading the charge for global expansion of Shari’a-based financing. The OIC High Commissioner for the Boycott of Israel coordinates the efforts of OIC’s fifty-seven member states to economically isolate the Jewish state, a blacklisting policy first declared by the Arab League Council on December 2, 1945. The boycott is enforced via the Damascus-based Central Boycott Office.
Congress unanimously condemned Saudi Arabia on April 5, 2006, (H.Con.Res.370) for its continued enforcement of the boycott in violation of commitments it made to the World Trade Organization in 2005. The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security reported a 20% increase in Arab boycott requests in 2006 from the previous year. In June 2006, the Saudi ambassador admitted his country still enforced the boycott, and the Saudis participated in the 2007 boycott conference in Syria.
Adopting Shari’a-based financing violates U.S. law which makes it illegal for American individuals or companies to cooperate with the Arab boycott, mandates reporting of boycott requests, and imposes civil and criminal penalties against violators.
Therefore, the American Center for Democracy and Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld protest the Treasury Departments’ plan to subject America’s citizens and its financial industry to Islamic rule in violation of the Constitution and U.S. law.
Family Security Matters
Americans must learn that the creeping encroachment of Shar’iah finance is a danger to America. Its ultimate goal is seditious, as it seeks to undermine our Constitution with shar’iah law itself…a body of law that is totalitarian in nature and inimical to all Western concepts of freedom and equality, protected under the U.S. Constitution.