Adnan Yousif: The Godfather of Global Shariah-Compliant Finance
Most of us in the West never heard of Adnan Yousif, but we probably should, because he has been named as a driving force behind the global spread of Shariah-Compliant Finance in a fluff piece published overnight on The Economist web site.
Yousif is important enough for The Economist to devote an entire article to him. Once again, as is The Economist’s standard operating procedure when it comes to Shariah-Compliant Finance, the article reads like a marketing brochure and not a news article…
Yousif seeks to promote Shariah-Compliant Finance globally, and despite the shameless tone of The Economist article, global Shariah-Compliant Finance is indeed something to be worried about because the whole purpose behind Shariah-Compliant Finance is “missionary work.” In other words, the promotion of Shariah itself.
If you harbor any doubts about this purpose, you may wish to review an article we published on the subject back on 5 March in which Muslim leaders at the World Islamic Economic Forum in Jakarta, Indonesia call on “Islamic banks” to continue their “missionary work.”
Anyone who is seeking to promote Shariah-Compliant Finance globally should properly be viewed as a threat.
Because Shariah is our enemy’s threat doctrine and anything that promotes Shariah poses a threat. Shariah is a barbaric doctrine stuck in the 12th century–or even earlier actually–and it has no place in a world concerned about human rights and liberty.
We decided to do some snooping around Yousif’s bank’s (Al Baraka) web site to see what we could find out. Not too much stood out to us until we got to page 39 of the bank’s annual report (the link will open up a PDF file):
Page 39 is the page on which Al Baraka calculated the 2008 zakat donations for its customers.
For readers who don’t know, zakat is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. It is a form of required tithing for pious Muslims. The problem with the system of zakat is that zakat typically goes to Muslim charities and those charities all too often end up sending the money to those who are “fighting for allah.”
Take a look at page 39 of that annual report. We thought it was very instructive to see in black and white the details behind how zakat is calculated by a Shariah-Compliant bank.
Even more importantly, as the eagle-eyed David Yerushalmi of SANE pointed out to is, on page 38, paragraph 3 to be exact, the bank acknowledges that it pays “purification” funds to charity. This is an obscure aspect of Shariah-Compliant Finance which goes to the heart of the problem of lack of disclosure.
Under this system of “purification,” when profits are earned from activities which Shariah advisors subsequently deem to be haram (prohibited under shariah), such as interest income or proceeds from activities involving pork, alcohol, gambling, etc., those profits are purified in a manner in which an identical amount is donated to charities selected by the Shariah advisors.
Notice that there is no disclosure whatsoever in the annual report about the amount or destination of these purification funds.
We won’t hold our breath for The Economist to send their ace investigative reporters to ask Yousif where Al Barakra’s purification funds end up…