Friday, June 22, 2012
Shariah Finance And Its Radical Ties Demand Close Scrutiny
By REP. ALLEN B. WEST
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.