How Shari’a-Compliant Financing Curtails Your Economic Freedom
There has been much talk about Shari’a-compliant finance (SCF) in recent months, but many Americans are still in the dark about exactly what it is and what it portends for the American economy and the freedoms Americans enjoy.
This may be why the judge in the Holy Land Foundation trial in Dallas last fall declared a mistrial and five of six defendants face a retrial (one was found not guilty of most of the charges against him). Terror expert Douglas Farah surmised at the time that part of the reason might have been because “perhaps the prosecution tried to cram too much information in with a group of jurors largely unfamiliar with anything to do with the case.” And Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism had a heated exchange with Alan Colmes of Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes about whether the mainstream news media had even managed to get the story right.
So what exactly is SCF?
Part of Shari’a Law
SCF is a part of Shari’a law (also known as Islamic law), and dates back to the 9th Century. Shari’a law encompasses every facet of one’s life, and those who seek to impose it upon Muslims – and the world – look to regulate everything from aspects of religious and social customs to political and military responsibilities. Shari’a law is, in fact, the law in countries like Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Iran. The Taliban also recognizes Shari’a law, and subjected all of Afghanistan to it before U.S. forces entered that country after 9/11.
Earlier this year, Britain’s Archbishop of Canterbury faced a firestorm after he suggested in a BBC interview that the adoption of Shari’a law in Britain “seems unavoidable and, as a matter of fact, certain conditions of Sharia are already recognised in our society and under our law, so it is not as if we are bringing in an alien and rival system.” While his seemingly willing acceptance of this might shock, UK Muslims on welfare are eligible to receive extra benefits if they have more than one wife – even though polygamy is considered illegal under British law. So, in essence, the Archbishop was correct when he said “certain conditions” of said Shari’a law are already recognized in today’s British society.
Here is a partial listing of the effects of Shari’a law:
- Women must obtain permission by their husbands or other male family members to do just about anything, including leaving the house – which she must do in the company of a male family member.
- Women and girls who are considered “disobedient” may be beaten into submission. (Mahmoud Salash, an imam in Lexington, Kentucky, said men “should beat them lightly” and it is acceptable because “it’s in the Koran.”)
- Those who dishonor the family are subject to “honor killings.” Typical reasons include a woman being raped or a woman dating/marrying a man against the will of her family. (Earlier this year, two girls in Irving, Texas were the victims of an alleged “honor killing” by their Muslim father, who is said to have disapproved of their American boyfriends and lifestyle.)
- Dhimmitude (inferior status) of non-Muslims.
- Death for those who slander Islam and for Muslims who leave the faith (apostates).
Risks involved with Shari’a-Compliant Finance (SCF)
Under SCF provisions, profits must not benefit from anything considered haram (forbidden) in Islam such as gambling, alcohol, entertainment, pork products, etc. As such, Western financial institutions wishing to obtain some of the billions of petrodollars from the Middle East are offering services that meet these requirements. Still, not all profits will meet these stringent constraints and so to “cleanse” or “purify” them, they are donated to Islamic charities. Charity sounds well and good until you stop to think that some of these charities support Islamic Jihad. In fact, the three largest Shari’a-compliant charities in the United States were closed down by the government for funding terrorist organizations: the aforementioned Holy Land Foundation, the Benevolence International Foundation and the Global Relief Foundation.
How many Americans would approve of SCF if they knew its full implications? Deroy Murdock makes an apt comparison:
Turn your clock back 70 years. Imagine that Wall Street banks and brokerage houses sold Nuremberg-compliant bonds and stock funds in 1938. American Nazi sympathizers bought financial instruments certified by Berlin-based advisors as free of “Jewish profits” from, say, Salomon Brothers and Bloomingdale’s.In turn, a percentage of such funds’ gains underwrote pro-Nazi charities, like the German-American Bund, and similar organizations in the Fatherland, like the Hitler Youth.
And so by investing in SCF schemes, Western financial institutions not only give Shari’a law credence but also ultimately aid Islamists in their attempt to use our own financial system against us. As it is, the West is subject to the ups and downs in the Middle Eastern oil industry. Could SCF be the next sub-prime crisis in the making? Think about it: the more money that is invested in the Middle East, the greater ability for the Middle East to pipe the tune the West dances to.
The Center for Security Policy has embarked on a national campaign to warn the public that U.S. financial institutions and businesses engaged in SCF pose a danger to American and Western freedoms. The initiative was launched with a panel discussion at Harvard Law School on April 17th, two days before the Islamic Finance Project of Harvard University Law School’s Islamic Legal Studies Program presented the Eighth Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance.
In addition to the panel discussion, CSP provided the Harvard board of governors a letter stating (in part):
We believe that Harvard has a civic and academic responsibility to disclose fully all material information about Shariah.
Simply stated, the fundamental purpose of authoritarian Shariah law is the establishment of a world-wide hegemony, a caliphate, under which that code is imposed on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. In other words, Shariah law has, among its goals, the destruction of our Constitution and basic liberties.
The means by which this end is to be achieved include violent Jihad. Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist promoters of SCF have regarded it as another tool to advance their agenda. Some have even called it “financial Jihad.”
The letter was signed by representatives from 18 organizations, including the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, the Alliance of Iranian Women, the David Horowitz Freedom Center and others.
Several prominent individuals in the fight against Islamic terrorism, Shari’a law and Shari’a finance contributed to the panel discussion. One, M. Zuhdi Jasser, head of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (and a Family Security Matters Contributing Editor), had this to say in a delivered statement about SCF:
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. Transnational Islamist movements of Muslim theocrats seek SCF systems as nothing more than a ruse. Islamist theocrats exploit Western deference to religious freedom in order to lay the foundations of economic systems which feign religion in order to strangulate the economic freedoms of Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Governments and banks who facilitate SCF become complicit in the protection of theocrats who seek to control economics rather than stimulate the 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. For many pious Muslims, any cleric determining what is and what is not “Shariah compliant” defies the entire basis of religious freedom and economic freedom alike. To many pious Muslims, only God can determine what is and what is not truly “Shariah compliant.” Individual Muslims are free to choose how to live their lives in a personally “Shariah compliant” manner as long as our nation provides the milieu for free markets and infinite economic choices.
SCF is not about choices. It’s 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 to self-determine what is and what is not SCF in our own private daily practice while countering the theocratic influence of Islamists. SCF schemes are less about Muslims than they are about Islamists and their need to control Muslim populations and their monies.
Speaking in person was Manda Zand Ervin of the Alliance of Iranian Women:
I was born and raised in iran. On June 17th of 1979 I fled the Sharia rule and left my ancestral homeland behind. Since I have been living in the free society, I have become an advocate for the human rights of the women and children of Iran. I have studied Sharia laws – not only the laws pertaining to women and children, [but] also all of the others and I have found them only workable in the 6th Century Arabian Peninsula society.
Ever wonder why all the Islamic countries are so far behind the rest of the world, considering the enormous amount of petrodollars they receive? Besides the corruption, it is the Shariah law that keeps them behind.
Ayatollah Khomeini took over the secular Iran in 1979, to reverse the constitutional revolution of 1906, for modernity, and turned it back to the Shariah laws. After forcing the women and children to live as second class citizens under the Shariah laws, he ordered the implementation of the Shariah banking laws – one of which was the removal of interest payments. Khomeini declared that it was Ursury and Allah has made it harum (meaning forbidden to the Moslems) in the Bagharah Surah, in the Koran.
Khomeini disrupted the whole system of the secular, Western style-banking and damaged the thriving economy of Iran. Iran’s economy has steadily worsened and although the Islamic regime did bring the Ursury back to the banking system (under another name, of course), other financing and economic laws [and] such inadequate fiscal policies [and] lack of legal transactions in Shariah laws have prevented Iran’s economy to recuperate.
There are Moslems who have come to the West just to be able to feed their fami[lies], a Pakistani cab driver told me. But to millions of other Moslems, who have fled the rule of Islam and Shariah laws, it is disconcerting when the same laws they fled from threaten them in the West.
Finally, Wafa Sultan made a statement by proxy, as she and her family live in hiding in southern California. (A subtle death threat to Sultan was recently issued by the Father of Islamic Finance, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who lives in Qatar.)
I am Wafa Sultan. I was born and raised as a Muslim, and had lived for the first three decades of my life under Islamic Shariah which reduced me to subhuman creature.
And here I am, living in the United States of America, the cradle of freedom and Western civilization, regaining my rights and enjoying my humanity.
It’s my responsibility and out of respect and appreciation I have made it my mission to warn my fellow Americans against the danger of applying Islamic Shariah, which violates the basic human decencies. Applying Islamic Shariah here in America is an insult to every human being that values our way of life, especially to every man and woman who are (sic) risking their lives to get rid of it in their Islamic countries.
Please be aware of al-Quradawi, them most prominent Imam in the Islamic world, who has been issuing various fatwa to kill the infidels. Right after my last interview on Al Jazeera, he accused me of insulting Allah and Muhammed. And it is due to his accusation that I am in hiding.
Can you comprehend yourself as an American citizen living in hiding in your own country?
Please don’t take your freedom and other Western values for granted; defend them and stand up against the hateful Islamic Ideology backed by Shariah law.
Thomas Paine once said, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my time that my children might live in peace.”
Likewise, it would be shameful for all of us to set still and allow the Islamists to prevail. Thank you for providing me with this opportunity to express my strong opposition to apply any decree of Islamic Shariah law.
American taxpayers deserve to know not only the facts about SCF, but also which financial institutions may be taking part in what is ultimately an illegal endeavor. Financial need (greed?) should not trump common sense.
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Note — The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of The Family Security Foundation, Inc.