Yours truly was interviewed for the article linked below that was published by the American Banker.

The article is disappointing.

It wasn’t so much what the article says, but what it does not say that bothers me.

I spent a great deal of time on the telephone with the author explaining the concerns over Shariah Finance, including the issues surrounding zakat and Islamic charities funding jihad. None of that made it into the article. Perhaps the author is not to blame; maybe the editor omitted all of that material. Nevertheless, what resulted was a fragment of the truth about Shariah Finance and Shariah Banking. I went to great lengths to describe the disturbing ties of Shariah advisers like Mufti Taqi Usmani and Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. None of that information made it into the American Banker article.

The article quotes the chief of University Islamic Bank. SFW has a history with University Islamic Bank:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/category/university-islamic-bank/

University Islamic Bank includes a testimonial from the Imam of a mosque with a very troubling history on its web site:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/2010/07/22/a-quote-for-the-day/

University Islamic Bank was in serious trouble back in 2009:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/2009/04/01/serious-trouble-at-university-islamic-bank/

SFW also monitored and commented on an exchange between a blogger and the chief of University Islamic Bank which contains some troublesome statements and reveals some troublesome ties:

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/2009/03/07/blogger-confronts-michigan-banker-about-shariah-compliant-finance/

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/2009/03/08/part-2-of-islam-in-action-blogs-qa-with-the-president-of-university-bank/

http://www.shariahfinancewatch.org/2009/03/15/part-iii-of-islam-in-action-blogs-exclusive-qa-with-the-ceo-of-university-islamic-bank/

Most fundamentally, the article fails to address the issue of the actual purpose of Shariah Finance: to promote Shariah. Nor does the article even bother to define shariah or the objections that have been raised to it.

Finally, the article completely mischaracterizes legislation in Louisiana, Tennessee and Arizona as “anti-sharia” bills. This is completely wrong and can only be the conclusion of someone who has not actually read those bills. In each case the legislation is formulated to protect individual constitutional rights against the incursion of foreign laws in US state court cases. There is no mention of shariah or Islam in any of these bills and to suggest that they are somehow misguided is frankly ridiculous, unless you happen to believe that it is okay for Americans to subjected to laws which were not the product of our democratic processes. Furthermore, to cast these bills as somehow a threat to Shariah Finance is even more absurd. It’s too bad that they don’t threaten Shariah Finance in our view, simply because Shariah Finance is not held to the same standards of transparency that other financial products and institutions are held to.

http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/176_111/sharia-banking-ban-islamic-finance-1038686-1.html

 

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