QInvest and Fortis Bank Nederland to create first Shariah Compliant “Mezzanine” Shipping Fund.
The Netherlands has now joined the Shariah nightmare as one of that country’s biggest banks, Fortis, is teaming up with QInvest of Qatar to launch a fund to target financing opportunities in the marine transportation industry.
This actually gives SFW the opportunity to comment on the wider implications of Shariah Compliant Finance and some of the disturbing aspects associated with it.
First of all, we would like to point out that the arrangement between QInvest and Fortis illustrates the manner in which Islamic nations are using their wealth as a pry bar with which to force Shariah on Western civilization. Islamic investors, and Arabs in particular, have been investing in Western opportunities for several decades. It has only been relatively recently that they have been insisting upon Shariah compliance as a condition for investment.
This is, of course, no coincidence.
There can be little doubt that the driving force behind the requirement for Shariah compliance in the QInvest-Fortis arrangement is QInvest. QInvest is one of Qatar’s leading investment houses. Qatar, in turn, is the current headquarters for the infamous Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Qaradawi is no mere resident of Qatar. He is the chairman of the Shariah Advisory Board of Qatar Islamic Bank and Qatar International Islamic Bank. He is also the dean of the Islamic Department of the Faculties of Shariah and Education in Qatar.
He has issued many fatwas and opinions known for their advocacy of Jihad and support of suicide bombing and terrorism. We have covered this extensively at SFW:
Note also that Qaradawi puts his money where his mouth is; he is the head of the Union of Good, an umbrella group of more than 50 charities which has been tied to funding terrorism.
But we must report that Qaradawi is NOT on the Shariah Advisory Board of QInvest. Nevertheless, QInvest’s Shariah Advisory Board illustrates some of the problems associated with Shariah Compliant Finance.
The Chair of QInvest’s Shariah Advisory Board is Sheikh Walid Bin Hadi. Sheikh Bin Hadi is also on the Shariah Advisory Boards of Qatar Islamic Bank (with Qaradawi), Qatar International Islamic Bank (again, with Qaradawi), International Bank of Qatar, Qatar International Syrian Bank and several others.
It should be pointed out that Sheikh Bin Hadi’s position with the Qatar-Syria bank should be viewed as troubling since Syria is a serial state sponsor of Jihadist terrorism and has been under US and international economic sanctions for years as a result of its support for groups like HAMAS, Hezbollah and Jihadist insurgents operating in Iraq.
What is also significant is the fact that this man sits on the advisory boards of several banks which are supposed to be competitors, yet there is no talk of a conflict of interest. Nor does the Islamic world seem troubled by the fact that perhaps as few as 25 shariah scholars worldwide all make the rules, interpret shariah and sit on the boards of all the major financial institutions. This is a system that is teeming with opportunity for conflicts of interest, as well as fraud, waste and abuse, not to mention criminal racketeering involving the funding of terrorist organizations.
Lest you believe the fable that Sheikh Bin Hadi is just a harmless religious scholar, here is a sample of his extreme views when it comes to human rights…
In January 2002, Sheikh Bin Hadi was commenting on the Muslim practice of polygamy and revealed his other thoughts on the treatment of women in the process. He set out different supposed rationales for polygamy – barrenness, demographic inequality, preventing adultery, and increasing the birth rate – but, he explained, in the final analysis every man has his own reasons: “The Prophet said: ‘Do not ask a husband why he beats his wife’… According to the same principle, ‘Do not ask a husband why he takes a second wife.'”
This primitive-minded man makes decisions involving millions of dollars in business activity for a living. We suspect that Western financial institutions, such as Fortis Bank, are not conducting thorough due diligence on people like Sheikh Bin Hadi.
The second member of QInvest’s Shariah Advisory Board is Sheikh Dr. Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah. Guddah hasn’t written or opined much about non-financial issues, but he is still a poster child for conflicts of interest potential for racketeering.
Also a member of Qatar Islamic Bank’s Shariah advisory board under Qaradawi, Ghuddah also sits on the shariah boards of no fewer than three shariah governing bodies: the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), and the Islamic Fiqh Academy. In other words, Ghuddah helps make the rules according to shariah and then he accepts pay to interpret shariah and apply those same rules. That’s a lot like the coach of a football team also refereeing the games his team plays in.
Perhaps even more disturbing about Ghuddah is the fact that he seems to specialize in zakat, or the tithing which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Under the system of zakat, one of the eight required destinations of zakat payments is to those who are fighting in the way of allah. That is why dozens of Islamic charities which receive zakat payments have been discovered to funnel money to Jihadist terrorist groups.
Ghuddah has written two detailed works involving zakat:
• The Fiqh and Accountancy of Zakat
• Zakat and Taxation
If there is anyone involved in shariah compliant finance who knows the truth–the whole truth–about zakat and Jihad, it’s Ghuddah and he is now benefiting financially from Fortis Bank in The Netherlands.
The third and final member of QInvest’s shariah advisory board is Sheikh Nizam Yaquby. Sheikh Yaquby is very much in demand in the financial services industry because he is one of the few shariah scholars who actually also has a Western education in business and economics. As a result, it’s hard to find a financial institution whose board he ISN’T on. And big Western financial institutions who should know better, like HSBC, AIG, and Dow Jones just seem to be oblivious to this situation.
To sum things up, the QInvest-Fortis Bank deal is like a microcosm of the entire shariah compliant finance industry. It raises many questions about the ethics and legality of the entire industry.