At SFW we have maintained all along that Shariah-Compliant Finance is not merely a tool with which pious Muslims can properly practice their religious principles, but rather a form of financial jihad with which the Jihadists can gain leverage over Western civilization and make us “play by their rules.”

We recently found stark evidence of this on a web site called Campden FB, which is a business web site focusing on family businesses.

In an article entitled “Islamic Finance and Shariah Compliance,” the unnamed author(s) spell out a decidedly anti-American agenda:

Conventional finance and thinking has been the norm for the last century, in tandem with the Anglo-American dominance of the world economy. However, it is now clear that an era of re-balancing is underway and one of the beneficiaries could be Shariah-compliant vehicles.

After this opening salvo, the article goes on to analyze the differences between trusts and inheritances under Shariah and common law. In fact, there have been instances in which conflicts have arisen over which law takes precedence in the estate planning process, Shariah or common law.

The article winds up with some typically misleading statements:

Shariah investment philosophy shares many synergies with conservative trustees such as the avoidance of speculation, gearing and unethical investments. 

We have discussed the issue of “ethical” investing and Shariah before on SFW, but it is certainly worth revisiting. The whole “ethical” investing concept in Shariah is a red herring as it is applied in the Western context. Among the industries considered “unethical” are alcohol, pornography and gambling. (Nothing unusual here.)

Also typically excluded are pork and the hospitality industry however. While pork may be religiously excluded under Islam, the idea that engaging in the pork industry is somehow unethical is, of course, pure nonsense. The Shariah prohibition against investing in the hospitality industry is somewhat more confusing. There are many possible reasons for this, including the fact that many entities in the hospitality industry are heavily involved in serving alcohol and many are also involved in gambling. Moreover, without restrictions imposed by Shariah, such as floors segregated according to gender, hotels can aid and abet sin. We wrote about Shariah-Compliant hotels here:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/2009/05/04/whats-next-shariah-compliant-hotels-complete-with-zakat-payments-to-islamic-charities-and-eeoc-violations/

What is hardly ever expanded on in discussions about Shariah and “ethical” investing is the supposed prohibition on investing in companies involved in producing “weapons.” ¬†This policy actually appears to be aimed at companies that build weapons for infidels, but not companies that build weapons for Islamic nations. For instance, Iran boasts the largest Shariah-Compliant financial institutions in the world and the very largest, Bank Melli, is under US, EU and Australian sanctions for its activity in financing Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear program.

Here is another worrying statement from the article:

Trustees’ role in stewardship ties in with the holistic approach of Islam that wishes money to be beneficial for the community rather than growing for its own sake. An annual charity tax or Zakat means that accumulated wealth has a half-life such that hoarding becomes self-defeating.

The whole issue of zakat is troubling, simply because Shariah mandates that a portion of Zakat go to those who are engaged in Jihad in defense of Islam. In fact, numerous Muslim charities have been implicated in funding terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda and HAMAS. But, rather conveniently, Campden FB neglects to discuss this aspect in any way.

Here is a link to the article (NOTE: The article may require registration to view):

http://www.campdenfb.com/default.asp?title=IslamicfinanceandShariacompliance&page=article.display&article.id=18024

 

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