A Shameless, Shallow Advertorial for Shariah Finance from Oxford Analytica and Forbes.com
Malcom Forbes must be spinning in his grave. His namesake publication’s web site has published an article which basically promotes a financial and economic system which by its very nature seeks to replace capitalism and our free enterprise system:
In fact, the article reads less like journalism and more like a press release from a public relations firm.
And like such press releases and “advertorials,” it completely ignores much of the reality surrounding Shariah Finance.
For instance, the basis of the article is that, despite the Dubai Debacle, “Islamic” finance is doing just swell. Readers of SFW know that this is simply not the case. If everything was sunshine and roses in the world of Shariah Finance, then why did Qatar have to bail out its banking system earlier this year?
And if Shariah finance amounts to protection against downturns, then why have Islamic nations been hit hard by the recession?
And it’s not as if Dubai’s default on its sukuk (Islamic bonds) was an isolated incident. There have been defaults in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia too. In fact, the default rate on sukuk is higher than that of conventional bonds…
Facts are pesky things, but there is even more to the “Islamic finance” puzzle, of which Oxford Analytica seems to be blissfully unaware.
For instance, do the analysts at Oxford Analytica realize that Iran dominates the world of Shariah Compliant Finance? Do they realize that Iran’s Bank Melli, the largest Shariah Compliant Financial Institution in the world, is under US, EU and Australian sanctions for its financing activities involving terrorism and proliferation of nuclear material and ballistic missiles?
Was Oxford Analytica aware that an “Islamic” finance scheme in Lebanon associated with the Jihadist terrorist group Hezbollah was actually an investment swindle which bilked investors out of their money?
What about the Shariah scholars who control Shariah Compliant Finance? Is Oxford Analytica familiar with perhaps the most prominent Shariah scholar widely associated with Shariah Finance, Mufti Taqi Usmani? Despite the fact that Usmani is a committed, hate-mongering Jihadist with reported ties to the Taliban, he sits on the Shariah advisory boards and collects big paychecks from Western financial institutions like HSBC…
Or what about Sheikh Yussef al-Qaradawi, who called for Islamic economics to replace capitalism? Qaradawi is not some obscure Sheikh sitting in a cave in northern Pakistan. He’s the number 1 Sunni Shariah scholar in the world and he sits on the Shariah advisory boards of several financial institutions. He is also an outright Jihadist who has endorsed suicide bombing:
And guess who agrees with Qaradawi on the issue of Islamic finance replacing capitalism and free enterprise?
That would be the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran:
We have only scratched the surface here when it comes to the many problems and concerns associated with Shariah finance. Space and time prevent us from addressing the appalling lack of full and fair disclosure inherent in Shariah finance, not to mention the fact that the very purpose of Shariah Finance is to promote Shariah (We wonder if Oxford Analytica even has a clue as to the implications of that aspect of the subject!).
There is much that Wall Street has to learn about Shariah Finance and they better start now, because the ridiculous lack of due diligence on this subject by both the financial media and the financial services industry will eventually come back to haunt us all…