Australia is about to get their first Shariah-compliant equity fund and the fund distributor is already busy touting the fund to capture money from non-Muslims by fraudulently claiming that his fund is “socially responsible.”
We’ve covered much of this before on SFW, but it never hurts to refresh ourselves to debunk the notion that Shariah-Compliant Finance is “ethical” or “socially responsible.”
Most of the claims of social responsibility center around the fact that Shariah-compliant funds are forbidden from from investing in companies that do business in alcohol, pornography, gambling and other vices. So far so good, right? One might think so, but there is another shoe to drop.
For instance, some Islamic financial institutions have been implicated directly in bankrolling terrorists. From 1988 to 2001, when it was designated a terrorist entity by the United States and the United Nations, Bank al Taqwa [registered in the Bahamas] transferred tens of millions of dollars to Hamas, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and others.
An elite cadre of scholars dominates the advisory boards of Shariah institutions, and these same thinkers are often called by Western institutions who want to develop Shariah-compliant products. However some, such as Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi, are banned from entry into Britain and the United States for making statements supporting Islamist terrorism, while another, Mufti Taqi Usmani, who has advised the Wall Street Islamic index, has promoted the extension of full Shariah law into Western countries and has ties to the Taliban.
Most troubling, perhaps, is the appearance of Iranian institutions, such as Bank Melli, at the top of a listing of the world’s top 500 Islamic financial institutions, published by The Banker. Bank Melli is under U.S. and EU sanctions for facilitating Tehran’s support of Hamas and Hezbollah and funding Iran’s uranium enrichment program. In total, Iran has six of the 10 biggest Shariah-compliant institutions and double the Shariah assets of any other country. Moreover, two of Saudi Arabia’s largest Shariah-compliant banks have been implicated in a suit by Lloyd’s of London for material support of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The Jihadists of course think that these activities ARE socially responsible, which is one big reason why Shariah-Compliant Finance must be resisted in the West.