Businessmen Worried Over Renewed Incidents Of Terrorism

8 04 2009

Source: online news

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has already lost sufficient chunk of foreign/ domestic investment and business activities due to rising phenomenon of terrorism and bomb blasts forcing many investors and businessmen to look for safe destination for investment.

Due to this factor businessmen have always been clamouring for improving law and order situation enabling them to promote business and economic activities smoothly but the current fresh and vigorous wave of bomb blasts, killings of innocent citizens and the security personnel and the hair-raising incident of the flogging of a teenage girl in Swat publicly have created new waves of concerns in traders and industrialists. This was observed by Mian Shaukat Masud, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a meeting of local business community at ICCI, called to discuss these matters.

The businessmen said that such agonizing incidents will act as a demoralizing factor for prospective investors who will desist from considering Pakistan for investment ventures. They said Pakistan’s economy will be the biggest loser from these inhuman and ghastly acts which no religion in the world allows. In the past few days more than 150 people have lost their lives in the gory bomb blasts in different parts of the country.

The siege of Manawan Police Training Centre; suicide blast at a crowded mosque in Bajaur during Friday prayers last month; suicide attack at the entrance of Special Branch of Police at Sitara Market, Islamabad; Saturday’s attack on FC Islamabad and Sunday’s bomb blast at an Imambargah in Chakwal, near Rawalpindi will send disappointing signals to entrepreneurs and investors throughout the world providing more supporting material to foreign emissaries to advise investors and people against visiting Pakistan.

Mian Shaukat Masud said already trade and industry is struggling for its survival due to many unfavorable factors while deteriorating law and order situation will make conditions worst for them. He said if this trend continued, businessmen will be plunged into deep troubles as they will not be able to do business in such environment where they would always be worried about their life and property. He called upon the government to take all possible measures and equip security apparatus with better technology, equipment and tools to forestall such incidents effectively and control the elements that have expedited their nasty agenda of creating anarchy, bloodshed and frustration in the country in connivance with foreign elements.

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The 28,000 victims of terrorism

8 04 2009
July 7, 2005
Source: Timesonline

New figures show dramatic increase in global attacks

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THERE were nearly 3,200 terrorist attacks worldwide last year, the Bush Administration said yesterday, using a broader definition that increased fivefold the number of incidents that Washington had previously tallied for 2004.

In figures published in April, the US State Department said that there were 651 significant international terror incidents, with more than 9,000 victims.

But under the newer, less-stringent definition of terrorism, which counts domestic attacks without an international element, the National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC) reported 3,192 attacks worldwide, with 28,433 people killed, wounded or kidnapped.

Iraq, with 866, had the most attacks against civilians and other non-combatants, according to the report. Under the April figures, Iraq was considered to have suffered 201 attacks in 2004.

The new tally included attacks on Iraqis by Iraqis, a category previously excluded because it was not considered international terrorism. But attacks against coalition forces were omitted, because soldiers are considered combatants. Insurgent attacks on Iraqi police, deemed non-combatants, were included.

The Bush Administration’s terrorism figures have been the subject of repeated controversies. Last year the State Department withdrew its annual report on global terrorism after claiming that terrorism incidents had been declining for three years and that 190 cases reported in 2003 represented the lowest total since 1969.

American officials trumpeted the report as evidence that the US was winning the War on Terror. But the document was found to be full of errors, and officials acknowledged that it had vastly understated the number of attacks.

This year the State Department decided not to publish the terrorism figures in its annual report. It handed the responsibility to the new NCTC. John Brennan, its interim director, said that the methodology that produced the April statistics was so flawed that the numbers were unreliable.

For example, when Chechen rebels blew up two airliners over Russia in near- simultaneous attacks last year, only one attack was counted under the old system.

On board one aircraft were 46 Russians. The other had 43 Russians and one Israeli civilian, a foreign citizen. That allowed only the second attack to meet the criteria for international terrorism, which under the old system required terrorists to claim at least one citizen from another country among their victims.

According to the NCTC figures, America suffered only five terrorism incidents last year, which included an arson attack in Utah for which the Animal Liberation Front claimed responsibility. Mr Brennan said that the low number of attacks on US soil reflected the good job that the Bush Administration has done in protecting the US homeland. But he noted that many attacks overseas are aimed at American and Western interests. According to the report, only 19 per cent of terrorist incidents last year were attributable to Islamic extremists.

A quarter were recorded as secular or political attacks, but it said that the motives for 56 per cent remain unknown. Asked how the NCTC distinguishes between freedom fighters and terrorists, Mr Brennan said that the centre’s database is not “black and white and perfect”.





Alan Krueger: Civil Liberties and Terrorism

8 04 2009

Princeton University economist Alan Krueger finds an interesting connection between civil liberties and terrorism that undercuts the idea the economic conditions are the driving force behind terrorist acts:

Murdercide, by Michael Shermer, SciAm Skeptic: … The belief that suicide bombers [murdercide] are poor, uneducated, disaffected or disturbed is contradicted by science. Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, found in a study of 400 Al Qaeda members that three quarters of his sample came from the upper or middle class. Moreover, he noted, “the vast majority—90 percent— came from caring, intact families. Sixty-three percent had gone to college, as compared with the 5–6 percent that’s usual for the third world. These are the best and brightest of their societies in many ways.” Nor were they sans employment and familial duties. “Far from having no family or job responsibilities, 73 percent were married and the vast majority had children. . . . Three quarters were professionals or semiprofessionals. They are engineers, architects and civil engineers, mostly scientists. Very few humanities are represented, and quite surprisingly very few had any background in religion.” …

[A] necessary condition for suicide is habituation to the fear about the pain involved in the act. How do terrorist organizations infuse this condition in their recruits? One way is through psychological reinforcement. …[T]he celebration and commemoration of suicide bombings that began in the 1980s changed a culture into one that idolizes martyrdom and its hero. Today murderciders appear in posters like star athletes. Another method of control is “group dynamics.” Says Sageman: “The prospective terrorists joined the jihad through preexisting social bonds with people who were already terrorists or had decided to join as a group. In 65 percent of the cases, preexisting friendship bonds played an important role in this process.” Those personal connections help to override the natural inclination to avoid self immolation. “The suicide bombers in Spain are another perfect example. Seven terrorists sharing an apartment and one saying, ‘Tonight we’re all going to go, guys.’ You can’t betray your friends, and so you go along. Individually, they probably would not have done it.”

One method to attenuate murdercide, then, is to target dangerous groups that influence individuals, such as Al Qaeda. Another method, says Princeton University economist Alan B. Krueger, is to increase the civil liberties of the countries that breed terrorist groups. In an analysis of State Department data on terrorism, Krueger discovered that “countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which have spawned relatively many terrorists, are economically well off yet lacking in civil liberties. Poor countries with a tradition of protecting civil liberties are unlikely to spawn suicide terrorists. Evidently, the freedom to assemble and protest peacefully without interference from the government goes a long way to providing an alternative to terrorism.” …





The economics of terrorism

8 04 2009

Source: The Hindu

THE UNPRECEDENTED terrorist attacks by air in New York and Washington have opened a new phase in the history of mankind and President Bush has already declared it as the “first war of the 21st century.” For many in India, it is a grim reminder of the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai though not comparable on any tragic scale to what happened in New York and Washington. The real significance of Black Tuesday (September 11) is that it is almost sure to shock the U.S. into treating terrorism as its overriding security concern.

The U.S. might take a vow to wipe off terrorism from this planet but even a casual look at the economics of such criminal activities makes it an impossible task. Though most countries might make a mistake of believing it as a plain or politically/ideologically motivated criminal activity the actual truth comes to the surface only when we take a closer look at the economics. It is certainly not a war between nations, religions or classes or even civilisations, as Prof. Samuel Huntington would like us to believe.

It is fundamentally a broad conflict that puts the moderate against the extremist. The job of fighting terrorism cannot be separated from the task of preventing, containing and ending conflicts. All too often the places that generate terrorism as well as drug-trafficking, health epidemics, refugees, outflows and environmental disasters are shattered societies where hunger, greed, repression and poverty have fed violence, despair and extremism.

A close nexus

“Organised crime” will be a defining issue of the 21st century as the cold war was that of the 20th century and colonialism that of the 19th century. Transnational crime will proliferate because crime groups are the major beneficiaries of globalisation. The global drug industry alone now accounts for 2 per cent of the world economy and it is constantly rising.

According to a 1999 World Bank report, the smuggling trade between Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and Pakistan was worth more than $2.5 billions in 1997. If smuggling from other neighbouring nations is included in this network, the turnover could easily cross $5 billions most of it is in narcotics and its related ingredients like various chemicals which go for refining heroin.

There is a close nexus between Taliban and Pakistan in drug- trafficking. According to the U.N. Drug Control Programme, Afghanistan produced 4,600 metric tons of opium in 1999 — three times more opium than what is produced elsewhere in the world. This opium is processed in refining factories in Pakistan before being sent to Lagos en route to Europe and America. It is this drug money, running into several millions of dollars, that fuels terrorism, funds networks across the world and makes possible missions like the WTC air attack.

But drugs may not be the largest part of the global mafia’s business. Mafia related stock-frauds use offshore corporations through various hideouts in the international system to manipulate the stock market.

There are around 50 “states” in the world, e.g. Bahamas, the Pacific island of Nauru, Yugoslavia and the Republic of Montenegro, that exist largely by selling their national sovereignty to those who wish to buy it in order to make their business deals inconspicuous. The “state” of Dominia advertises itself on the World Wide Web — its passport can be bought in a package with a name change, under the slogan “Perfect for someone who would like to leave his past behind”. There is no secret as to what these states do; but since they have the formal attributes of independent states, they cannot simply be closed down.

Estimates of profits

Internationalisation of criminal activities induces organised crime in different countries to establish strategic alliances to cooperate, rather than fight, on each other’s turf, through subcontracting arrangements and joint ventures, whose business practice closely follows the organisational logic of what Manuel Castells, of the fame of The Rise of Network Society, has characterised as “the network enterprise”, the characteristic of the Information Age. Furthermore, the bulk of the proceedings of these activities are by definition globalised through their laundering via global financial markets.

Estimates of profits and financial flows originate in the criminal economy very wildly and are not fully reliable. Yet they are indicative of the phenomenon. The 1994 United Nations Conference on Global Organised Crime estimated that global trade in drugs amounted to about $500 billions a year; that is, it was larger than the global trade in oil. Overall profits from all kinds of illegal activities were put as high as US$1 trillion a year in 1993, which was about the same size as the U.S. federal budget at that time. Sterling considers plausible the figure of $500 billions as the likely global turnover of “narco-dollars.” In 1999, the IMF ventured a very broad estimate of global money laundering in a range between 500 billion and 1.5 trillion dollars a year (or 5 per cent of global GDP).

Need for new agency

The recent global experience of catastrophic terrorism at World Trade Center in New York necessitates the formation of a new institution in India to gather intelligence and deal with all terrorism-related issues. It may be called a National Terrorism Intelligence Bureau, which can collect and analyse information so that it may give a timely warning of suspected catastrophic terrorist activities much ahead of time. The Bureau could have access to data of all law-enforcement agencies and it should be the apex organisation. The Bureau may have following broad functions:

First, to monitor and timely warn the government bodies concerned, and law-enforcement agencies regarding terrorist threats; second, to receive and store all lawfully collected relevant information from any government agency including law- enforcement, phone tapping and judicial information; third, to protect established civil liberty of citizens; fourth, to produce integrated reports that could be disseminated to any agency needing them: finally to suggest ways for counter-terrorism intelligence, including bilateral efforts of individual agency. In short, the Bureau would combine the active intelligence gathering approach of the national security agencies, which are not legally constrained in their foreign investigations, with the domestic authority and investigative resources of law enforcement agencies.

Breeding ground

In devising strategies to fight the terrorists and terrorism, it would surely be useful to minutely observe and understand the forces that drive them. Poverty (illiteracy) amid plenty is one of the greatest challenges and the breeding grounds for terrorism. According to the World Development Report 2000-2001, “at the start of new century, poverty remains a global problem of huge proportions. Of the world’s 6 billion people, 2.8 billion live on less than $2 a day, and 1.2 billion on less than $1 a day. Six infants of every 100 do not see their first birthday, and 8 do not survive to their fifth. Of those who do reach school age, 9 boys in 100, and 14 girls, do not go to primary school.” Similarly, technical hegemony is creating a new map of the world. A small part of the globe, accounting for some 15 per cent of the earth’s population, provides nearly all of the world’s technology innovations. A second part, involving perhaps half of the world’s population, is able to adopt these technologies in production and consumption. The remaining part, covering around a third of the world’s population, is technologically disconnected, neither innovating at home nor adopting foreign technologies. Thus, a concerted attack on poverty and technology diffusion on a large scale will go a long way to contain terrorism and it will dry up the ideological base which sustain the terrorists and terrorism. Lecturing poor countries about weak governance, while providing precious little money for technological advance, public health and other needs, is mere rhetoric which will not work.

Quarrels over ideology have ended. The prosperity of the richest countries is at an all-time high, and so is their capacity to look beyond their own immediate needs. At the same time, the crisis of the poorest countries is acute, and the shortcomings of the current strategy of globalisation painfully evident. Much of the poorer world is in turmoil, caught in a vicious circle of disease, poverty and political instability. Large-scale financial and scientific help from the rich nations is an investment worth- making, not only for humanitarian reasons, but also because even remote countries in turmoil become outposts of disorder for the rest of the world, as has been happening in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sudan.

During the cold war, the U.S. and its allies invested trillions of dollars to stop the spread of communism. Now, a similar amount should be spent for wiping out terrorism from the globe and the generous aid could facilitate the poor, backward countries in integrating into a global economic network.

Needless to say that at present America’s foreign aid is just 0.1 per cent of its GDP, a derisory shadow of what it used to be. In 1969 the Pearson Commission recommended that donor countries give 0.7 per cent of their gross national product in official development assistance (ODA). The total gap in international development cooperation is close to $100 billions a year, precisely the amount that would be available if the appropriate ODA, according to the 0.7 per cent target, were met. The challenge is to persuade the industrial countries that aid expenditure to build a more secure world is a vital investment and certainly more efficacious than military expenditures.

Following America’s lead, most of the large and developed economies have allowed their own foreign-assistance programmes to shrink since the end of the cold war. Even when the United States reaped a peace dividend of more than 2 per cent of GDP by reducing its defence spending after 1990, it cut, rather than increased, foreign-assistance spending as a share of its national income. The need of the hour is that American administration should pledge to raise foreign assistance to at least 0.3 per cent of the GDP. This would not only bring the world’s richest country back in line with the average aid proportion of other donor nations, but would make available an extra $20 billions a year to invest in economic development. Such a turnaround in America’s role could harness much larger contributions from the European Union, Japan, and other potential donors (both public and private). This increase in foreign assistance by donors would have a positive impact in a serious attempt to contain terrorism as well as break the nexus of illegal economic activities and terrorism at global scale and will foster social capital, civil society and development.

DEVENDRA MISHRA





Jihad Economics and Islamic Banking

8 04 2009

Source: Rightsidenews


By Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen
[From Armed Groups: Studies in National Security, Counterterrorism, and Counterinsurgency; Edited by
Jeff rey Norwitz; U.S. Naval War College , June 2008, chapter 28.
]

The
United States and the West cannot win the war against radical Islam merely with the most sophisticated military strategies. Winning requires understanding the role of shari’a and the Muslim Brotherhood in developing a global ideological and political movement supported by a parallel “Islamic” financial system to exploit and undermine Western economies and markets.

This movement is the foundation and the major funding source for the political, economic, and military initiatives of the global Islamic movement.1

Shari’a finance is a new weapon in the arsenal of what might be termed fifth-generation warfare (5GW).2 The perpetrators include both states and organizations, advancing a global totalitarian ideology disguised as a religion. The end goal is to impose that ideology worldwide, making the Islamic “nation,” or ummah, supreme.3

Rising oil prices and the West’s dependency on Middle East oil, combined with willful blindness and political correctness, provide a surge of petrodollars, making financial and economic jihad so much easier to carry out. Moreover, according to shari’a, Muslims hold all property in trust for Allah.4 Therefore, under the shari’a, all current and historic Muslim acquisitions everywhere, including the United States , belong to the ummah, in trust for Allah.

Shari’a is the crucial source and ultimate authority dictating the actions of practicing individuals and radical Muslim states and movements alike. Failing to understand the political use of shari’a hampers the U.S. ability to mount effective policies, plans, and strategies to successfully counter this fast-growing totalitarian threat.

This ignorance is illustrated by the statements of Massachusetts representative Barney Frank and Utah senator Bob Bennett. Responding to opponents of Bourse Dubai’s then-proposed acquisition of 20 percent of NASDAQ in September 2007, Frank quipped, “In the ports deal, the concern was smuggling something or someone dangerous. . . . What are we talking about here”–smuggling someone onto a stock exchange? 5 Similarly, Bennett said, “ Dubai is making a purchase on the open market of an asset that’s for sale. What’s wrong with that?”

Although Senator Bennett is correct—buying portions or all of NASDAQ is legal, and NASDAQ regulations could not be changed without Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approval—Bourse Dubai’s shari’a influence in the heart of the U.S. markets and economy should have been of grave concern.

Shari’a is the set of Islamic laws established by Muslim jurists, based on the Qur’an and deeds of the prophet Muhammad, as recorded beginning more than 1,200 years ago. Its end goal, for all time, is establishing a world ruled entirely by Islam and the harsh shari’a laws. These laws govern every aspect of daily life and prohibit individual, political, and religious freedoms.

Financial Jihad

Funding the jihad, i.e., financial jihad, or Al Jihad bi-al-Mal, is mandated by many verses in the Qur’an, such as chapter 61, verses 10.11: “you . . . should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives,” and chapter 49, verse 15: “The [true] believers are only those who . . . strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah.” This has been reiterated throughout Islamic history and in recent times. “Financial Jihad [is] . . . more important . . . than self-sacrificing,” according to Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood (MB) spiritual leader Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi.6

Qatar-based Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi, one of the most prominent Sunni scholars in the world today, reiterated the legal justification for “financial jihad [Al-Jihad bi-al-Mal]” in a lecture he gave on 4 May 2002 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to him, “collecting money for the mujahideen (jihad fighters . . . ) was not a donation or a gift but a duty necessitated by the sacrifices they made for the Muslim nation.” 7

Historical Development

The origins of the modern financial jihad infrastructure, including all Islamic economic and financial regulatory organizations like the 1991-Bahrain-registered and -based Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), date back to the 1920s and were an invention of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. He designed political, economic, and financial foundations to enable Muslims to fulfill a key form of jihad mandated by the Qur’an—financial jihad.8

He viewed finance as a critical weapon to undermine the infidels—and “work towards establishing an Islamic rule on earth.” 9 He was first to understand that to achieve world domination, Muslims needed an independent Islamic financial system to parallel and later supersede the Western economy. Al-Banna’s contemporaries and successors (such as the late Sayed Qutb and current Yusuf al-Qaradawi) set his theories and practices into motion, developing shari’a-based terminology and mechanisms to advance the financial jihad–– “Islamic economics,” finance, and banking.10

Early 1930s MB attempts to establish Islamic banking in India failed. Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser shut down the second attempt, in 1964, after only one year, later arresting and expelling the Muslim Brotherhood for attempts to kill him.11

But Saudi Arabia welcomed this new wave of Egyptian dissidents, as did King Saud bin Abdel Aziz earlier waves in 1954 and 1961.12 Their ideas so appealed to him and his clerics that in 1961, Saud funded the MB’s establishment of the Islamic University in Medina to proselytize its fundamentalist Islamic ideology, especially to foreign students.13 In 1962, the MB convinced the king to launch a global financial joint venture, which became the cornerstone and engine to spread Islam worldwide. This venture created charitable foundations, which the MB oversees and from which most Islamic terrorist groups benefit.14

The first were the Muslim World League (MWL) and Rabitta al-Alam al-Islami, uniting Islamic radicals from 22 nations and spinning a web of many other charities with hundreds of offices worldwide.15 In 1978, the kingdom backed another MB initiative, the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), which, with all these “charities,” is implicated for funding al Qaeda, the 9/11 attacks, Hamas, and others.16 These “charities” are used to advance the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi political agenda, namely empowering the ummah and imposing worldwide shari’a. “I don’t like this word ‘donations’,”. al-Qaradawi told BBC Panorama on 30 July 2006. “I like to call it Jihad with money, because God has ordered us to fight enemies with our lives and our money.”17

In 1969, the Saudis convened Arab and Muslim states to unify the “struggle for Islam,” and have ever since been the Organization of the Islamic Conference’s (OIC’s) major sponsor. The 56 OIC members include Iran, Sudan, and Syria. The Jidda-based, “pending the liberation of Jerusalem,” OIC’s charter mandates and coordinates “support [of] the struggle of the Palestinian people, . . . recovering their rights and liberating their occupied territories.” 18 The OIC charter includes all the MB principles. Its first international undertaking in 1973 was to establish the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) “in accordance with the principles of the shariah,”19 as prescribed by the MB—and to launch the fast-growing petrodollar-based Islamic financing market. The IDB, more a development than commercial bank, was established largely “to promote Islamic banking worldwide.” 20 “[A]n Islamic organization must serve God… and ultimately sustain …the growth and advancement of the Islamic way of life,” writes Nasser M. Suleiman in “Corporate Governance in Islamic Banking.”21

And the IDB has done just that. Between 1975 to 2005, the IDB approved over $50 billion in funding to Muslim countries,22 ostensibly to develop their economic and educational infrastructures, but effected little regional economic impact. Its educational efforts, however, paid huge yields—via the rapid and significant spread of radical Islam worldwide. Moreover, in 2001 alone, the IDB transferred $538 million23 raised publicly by Saudi and Gulf royal telethons to support the Palestinian intifada and families of Palestinian suicide bombers. The IDB has also channeled UN funds to Hamas, as documented by bank records discovered in the West Bank and Gaza. Yet, the IDB received UN observer status in 2007.24

According to a 1991 U.S. Library of Congress report on Sudan, the IDB also supported Faisal Islamic Bank, established in 1977 under Sudan’s Faisal Islamic Bank Act by Saudi prince Muhammad ibn Faisal Al Saud and managed by local Muslim Brotherhood members and their party, the National Islamic Front. Soon other political groups and parties formed their own Islamic banks. Together, Sudanese Islamic banks then acquired 20 percent of the country’s deposits “providing the financial basis to turn Sudan into an Islamic state in 1983, and promoting the Islamic governmental policies to date.”25 Sudan Islamized its banking in 1989. However, Pakistan was the first country to officially Islamize its banking practices, in 1979.

Rising oil revenues encouraged MB leaders to formalize al-Banna’s vision. In 1977 and 1982, they convened in Lugano, Switzerland, to chart a master plan to co-opt Western economic “foundations, capitalism and democracy” in a treatise entitled “Towards a Worldwide Strategy for Islamic Policy,” also known as The Project. MB spiritual leader al-Qaradawi wrote the explicit document, dated 1 December 1982.26 The 12-point strategy includes diktats to establish the Islamic state and gradual, parallel work to control local power centers . . . using institutional work as means to this end. This requires “special Islamic economic, social and other institutions,” and “the necessary economic institutions to provide financial support” to spread fundamentalist Islam.27

Consequently, the IDB founded the AAOIFI in 1990. AAOIFI members include the Saudi Dallah al Baraka Group, al-Rajhi Banking & Investment Corporation, and Kuwait Finance House28—all implicated in funding al Qaeda and other MB offspring, according to Richard Clarke, the former national coordinator for security, infrastructure protection, and counter-terrorism.29 The 18 AAOIFI members also include Iran and Sudan, both on the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctions list; Iran is a U.S. State Department-designated terror-sponsoring state, too. UAE banks wired most of the funding for the 9/11 attacks.30

In addition, the “de facto Islamic Central Bank,” the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB),31 was established in 2002 in Kuala Lumpur “to absorb the 11 September shock and reinforce the stability of Islamic finance.” Chairing the organizers’ meeting, then Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamed Mahathir stated, “A universal Islamic banking system is a jihad worth pursuing to abolish this slavery [to the West].” IFSB members include the central banks of Iran, Sudan, and Syria (all designated state sponsors of terrorism) and the Palestinian Monetary Authority (PMA), which is widely documented since its inception to be a terror funder.32

According to Dallah al Baraka Group and Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) president Saleh Kamel,33 more than 400 Islamic financial institutions34 currently operate in 75 countries.35 They now hold more than $800 billion in assets 36 growing 15 percent annually. HSBC, UBS, J.P. Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds TSB, and BNP Paribas are but a few that offer Islamic banking and shari’a-based products to their Western clients—and promote them as “ethical investments.”

Billionaire Sheikh Saleh Abdullah Kamel and his family, like other wealthy Saudis, have built their terror-funding-affiliated $3.5 billion Dallah al Baraka Group to service the shari’a.37 Its business, finance, and media sectors incorporate agriculture, communication, health care, real estate, tourism, trade, transportation, and finance companies—including 10 banks and many leasing and finance firms, Arab Radio & Television and Arab Digital Distribution, and the International Information & Trading Service Co., producing the Top 1000 Saudi Companies Directory, among other publications.

Rapidly rising oil prices fill the coffers of Islamic banks, fuel the expansion of shari’a economics and financial jihad–-and threaten the United States and the entire non-Muslim world, in real time. Indeed, shortly after 9/11, Osama bin Laden called on Muslims “to concentrate on hitting the U.S. economy through all possible means. . . . Look for the key pillars of the U.S. economy. Strike the key pillars of the enemy again and again and they will fall as one.” 38

The NASDAQ acquisition, purchases of over 52 percent of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and 47.6 percent of OMX (Nordic exchange), and vigorous expansion of shari’a finance all steadily implement al-Banna.s plan to spread and ultimately impose shari’a worldwide.

Bourse Dubai in December 2006 loudly proclaimed its new conversion to “shari’a compliance and accounting practices.”39 Yet, responding to a specific inquiry on the Islamic nature of Bourse Dubai from the Partnership for New York City on 22 October 2007, Bourse Dubai denied being an Islamic exchange.40 Still unaware of the implications of importing shari’a finance, however, hoards of Westerners eagerly attend such pricey events as the October 2007 Islamic Finance Summit in New York,41 which focused on the “innovations in shari’a compliant finance.” According to an eyewitness, when one participant timidly inquired, “What is shari’a law?” a leading Islamic scholar responded from the podium: “It’s good for you.”

Lost on the attendees was the inescapable fact that shari’a calls for the supremacy of Islam, thus negating the U.S. Constitution.42

Zakat

Zakat, we are told, is to help the needy. But as Janine A. Clark’s excellent 2004 study shows, zakat is used to support the middle class, to strengthen its loyalty to the rulers, and to back their radical ideology’43

Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi decrees, “Declaring holy war . . . is an Islamic duty, and fighting . . . is the Way of Allah for which Zakat must be spent.” In his 1999 publication, Fiqh az-Zakat, al-Qaradawi adds, “The most important form of jihad today is serious, purposefully organized work to rebuild Islamic society and state and to implement the Islamic way of life in the political, cultural and economic domains. This is certainly most deserving of Zakat.” 44 And as previously demonstrated time and again, Muslim jihadist-terror organizations are indeed prominent zakat recipients.

The use of charities to fund jihad, however, is not limited to radical Sunnis. On Jerusalem Day, 5 October 2007, Al-Manar TV broadcasted Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s cantankerous speech giving religious, moral, and political justification in support of “the armed Palestinian resistance” and calling for financial support to the Palestinian terrorist organizations. Nasrallah “gave Khomeini’s fatwa [45] . . . allowing charity funds . . . and the tax of 1/5 (khums)[46] to be transferred to the Palestinian terrorist organizations . . . to pay for their campaign.”47

The definition of zakat in The Encyclopedia of Islam includes in “category 7” of eligible recipients “volunteers engaged in jihad,” for whom the zakat covers “living expenses and the expenses of their military service (animals, weapons).” 48

Millard Burr and Robert Collins’s compelling study Alms for Jihad documents that when zakat, which is obligatory to all Muslims, is given “in the path of Allah,” it is given to fund jihad. There are seven broad categories of eligible recipients: the poor, converts, wayfarers, those in bondage or in debt, those committed to Allah for the spread and triumph of Islam, newcomers whose faith is weak, and new converts to Islam “whose hearts have been [recently] reconciled [to truth].” Moreover, zakat may be used to support those who admin ister it.49

In a 2006 federal case, alleged al Qaeda supporters Emadeddin Z. Muntasser and Muhammed Mubayyid were charged with soliciting and spending “funds to support and promote the mujahideen and jihad, including the distribution of pro-jihad publications,” through their now-defunct “charity” and front organization, Care International. The Boston-based organization published, among other things, the English version of al Qaeda cofounder and key Muslim Brotherhood leader Abdullah Azzam’s “Join the Caravan.”

It states, “The individually obligatory nature of jihad remains in effect until the lands are purified from the pollution of the disbelievers.”50 They collected more than $1.3 million in contributions. In their defense, Muntasser and Mubayyid claimed to merely have exercised their religious freedom and obligation to give zakat as part of their constitutionally protected freedoms. Their motion for dismissal (which the court denied) cited chapter 9, verse 60, of the Qur’an, describing “those entitled to receive zakat.”

Incredibly, the suspects’ attorneys also argued that such charitable giving, to support jihad and mujahideen, is rightfully tax exempt under the U.S. constitutional protection of religious freedom.51 Court records show Care International deposited checks “with handwritten notes such as ‘for jihad only,’ ‘Bosnia Jihad fund,’ and ‘Chechen Muslim Fighters’.” The U.S. Constitution provides protections for religious freedom, but most certainly was never intended to protect religiously sanctioned or encouraged war in or against America.

The First Amendment bars Congress from enacting laws “respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” However, the Constitution offers no protection to any group or religion supporting “holy war” against the United States or its citizens.

State Zakat Agencies

Saudi Arabia

In 2007, Saudi Arabia collected $18 billion in zakat52 —which includes the 20 percent flat corporation tax from foreign companies. The Saudis claim that the money collected develops their infrastructure. However, two-thirds of Saudi men are unemployed and the infrastructure is crumbling.53

Illustrating how funds are used, Saudi Arabia’s secretary-general of the official Muslim World League Koran Memorization Commission stated on Iqra TV, on 29 August 2005, “The Prophet said: ‘He who equips a fighter…it is as if he himself fought.’ You lie in your bed, safe in your own home, and donate money and Allah credits you with the rewards of a fighter. What is this? A privilege.”54

Since the 1970s, the Saudi government has spent more than $100 billion 55 to build thousands of mosques, Islamic centers, and Islamic studies programs in universities worldwide to advance the ummah’s power and undermine Western economic, political, cultural, educational, and legal structures and replace them with the shari’a.56 In the last 13 years alone, the Saudis gave at least $459 million to British universities for Islamic study centers, according to Professor Anthony Glees, of Brunel University.57

The worldwide Muslim riots following the publication of the Muhammad cartoons in Denmark’s largest daily, Jyllands-Posten, began only after Saudi Arabia recalled its ambassador to Denmark; after Sheikh Osama Khayyat, imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, praised on national Saudi television the Saudi government for its action; and after Sheikh Ali Al-Hudaify, imam of the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, called “upon governments, organizations and scholars in the Islamic world to extend support for campaigns protesting the sacrilegious attacks on the Prophet.”58 Saudi-controlled OIC initiated and coordinated Muslim rioting worldwide after the Danish Muhammad cartoon publications.59

Moreover, to wield more control over Muslim communities worldwide, better orchestrate “spontaneous demonstrations,” and better allocate funds for them, the Saudi-backed OIC established the clerical International Commission for Zakat (ICZ) on 30 April 2007. Previously, there were more than 20,000 organizations that collected zakat. Now, however, the Islamic clerics’ centralized “expert committee” based in Malaysia also supervises and distributes zakat funds globally. The new committee distributed roughly $2 billion collected over Ramadan 2007 to Muslim “charities”.60

In a show of unity, the Shiite Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah argued, “If there had been a Muslim to carry out Imam Khomeini’s fatwa against the renegade Salman Rushdie, this rabble who insult our Prophet Mohammed in Denmark, Norway and France would not have dared to do so.”61

The Saudi role in terror financing is no secret. Yet, the U.S. admin istration keeps telling us that the Saudis are our allies. On 10 December 2002, criticizing the Joint Inquiry Staff (JIS) report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI), Senators Jon Kyl and Pat Roberts stated, “The pervasiveness in Saudi Arabia of Wahhabism, a radical, anti-American variant of Islam, was well known before 9/11. The JIS should have inquired why the country of Saudi Arabia was given such preferential treatment by the State Department and whether the intelligence agencies were complicit in the policy.”62

In early 2008, however, U.S. government officials publicly noted that the Saudis continue the financing of radical Islamic groups.63 United Arab Emirates64 Like every Muslim country, the UAE collects mandatory Islamic charity (zakat. the Third Pillar of Islam—an annual wealth tax), of 2.5 percent to 20 percent from Muslim institutions and companies. Being non-Muslims, foreign banks and oil companies theoretically don’t pay zakat. But foreign banks and oil companies do pay at least 20 percent

of their profits in the form of a mandatory tax rather than zakat. In 2003, the UAE established an independent federal agency collecting zakat on government tax revenues from “companies listed on the Dubai Financial Market and Abu Dhabi Securities Market . . . oil-producing companies and branches of foreign banks.” In 2007 these revenues were estimated at $13.5 billion.65

Although presenting itself to the West as a moderate. ally, the UAE has consistently supported the. peaceful. and violent advancement of shari’a and terrorism worldwide. In 2006, to support suicide bombing, the UAE gave $100 million to the Palestinian Authority to build a new town named Sheikh Khalifa City, in honor of the UAE president. The city houses families of “shahids and prisoners” andprisoners.and was built on the ruins of Morag, one of the evacuated Israeli settlements in Gaza.66

On July 27, 2005, the Palestinian Information Center carried a public HAMAS statement thanking the UAE for [its] “unstinting support.” The statement said: “We highly appreciate his highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Bin Sultan Al-Nahyan (UAE president) in particular and the UAE people and government in general for their limitless support . . . that contributed more to consolidating our people’s resoluteness in the face of the Israeli occupation.”

The HAMAS statement continued: “the sisterly UAE had . . . never hesitated in providing aid for our Mujahid people pertaining to rebuilding their houses demolished by the IOF. . . .

The UAE also spared no effort to offer financial and material aids to the Palestinian charitable societies.”67

Indeed, as documented by the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (CSS),68 Hamas charitable societies are known as integral parts of the Hamas infrastructure, and are outlawed by the United States and Israel.

Hamas also included a special tribute, promising to “never forget the generous donations of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan [al Nahayan of Abu Dhabi],”69 the current UAE president’s father. The multibillionaire was an early PLO patron and, from the 1970s until his 2004 death, contributed millions of dollars to the PLO’s terror agenda, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad.70

Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan was the first Arab ruler to understand the strategic importance of economic jihad71 against the West. He was first to use oil as a political weapon after the 1973 Yom Kippur War.72 He was also the major sponsor of the first international Islamic bank, the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). The bank was created to serve as .the best bridge to help the world of Islam, and the best way to fight the evil influence of the Zionists.”73 BCCI, which was shut down in July 1991 by New York City district attorney Robert Morgenthau, 74 funded and otherwise facilitated terrorist organizations and states, including the Sandinistas, Hezbollah, abu Nidal, the PLO, al Qaeda, Syria, Libya, Iran’s Islamic revolution—as well as Pakistan’s nuclear program, to create the “Islamic Bomb.”75

Immediately before the 1991 Gulf War, Sheikh Zayed branded the United States the Muslims” “number two enemy” after Israel. As of this writing, the UAE votes against the United States 70 percent of the time in the UN.76

Human Appeal International (HAI), a UAE government-run “charitable” organization, whose board includes the UAE president,77 continues to fund Hamas and other Palestinian organizations, .martyrs,. and Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons and their families. The HAI modus operandi includes transferring funds to the Palestinian Red Crescent, whose West Bank and Gaza branches Hamas runs. Hamas, in turn, distributes the money to Hamas “charities.” The Toronto, Canada, Orient Research Center reports that the UAE compensation. plan for the Palestinian intifada in 2001 included $3,000 for every Palestinian shahid, $2,000 for his family, $1,500 for those detained by Israel, and $1,200 for each orphan. In addition, the families of terrorists whose homes Israel demolished each received $10,000. Also in 2001, the UAE held two telethons to support the “martyrs’” families. One entitled “We Are All Palestinians” raised 135 million dirham, or $36.8 million, and another called “For Your Sake Palestine” raised 350 million dirham, or $95.3 million.

On 15 February 2005, the Hamas Web site reported on funds transferred from HAI to two West Bank Hamas front organizations, IQRA and Rifdah, outlawed in Israel.78 On 22 March 2005, the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam reported that in 2004 the UAE Red Crescent donated $2 million to Hamas “charities” for 3,158 terrorists. orphans.79

A detailed 25 March 2005 report, in the Palestinian daily Al Hayat al-Jadeeda, noted that the UAE Friends Society transferred $475,000, through the UAE Red Crescent, to West Bank “charitable” organizations in Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarem to distribute to families of “martyrs,” orphans, imprisoned Palestinians, and others.

And in July 2005, Osama Zaki Muhammad Bashiti of Gaza’s Khan Younis was arrested while returning from the UAE80 for often transferring as much as $200,000 at a time to the Gaza branch of Hamas.

Continuing UAE support for Hamas follows the agenda of the late Sheikh Zayed. His Zayed Center for International Coordination and Followup, founded in 1999 as the official Arab League think tank,81 was shuttered under international pressure in 2003. It championed Holocaust deniers like Thierry Meyssan82 and Roger Garaudy83 and provided a platform for anti-Western, anti-Christian, and anti-Jewish extremists like Saudi economist Dr. Yussuf Abdallah Al Zamel, who blamed the Iraq war on “radical Zionist and right-wing Christian” influence.

In October 2000, shortly after the beginning of the last Palestinian intifada against Israel, Qatar-based Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi established the “Union of Good,”84 operated through the London-based Muslim organization Interpal. The Union of Good is an umbrella organization composed of 50 Islamic “charities,” including Hamas- and Hezbollah-affiliated organizations. It was supposed to raise funds for only 101 days, but its initial success led the founders, mostly Hamas members, to maintain its operations to date. Millions of dollars generated in Europe and elsewhere through the Union of Good-participating Muslim “charities” fuel all Palestinian terror organizations. Interpal was designated as a terrorist organization by the United States in August 2003, but remains free to operate in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.

Al-Qaradawi, who established and leads the Department of Islamic Law (shari’a) at the University of Qatar and the Institute for Sunnah Research there, is also on the board of directors of the Al-Taqwa Bank, designated by the United States as a terrorist-funding organization in November 2001. In August 2004, al-Qaradawi issued a fatwa saying, “All the Americans in Iraq are soldiers, there is no difference between enlisted soldiers and civilians, and they must be fought because American citizens came to Iraq to serve the occupation. The kidnapping and killing of Americans in Iraq is a [Muslim religious] obligation to force them to leave the country immediately.”85

UAE foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan stated that the emirates were and remain a. strong ally of the U.S. in combating terrorism.; continuing UAE support of Hamas and other Islamic terrorist organizations proves otherwise. This raises legitimate concerns for the West about trusting UAE banks, shari’a finance institutions, or government tax or zakat collection agencies. Furthermore, it raises alarms about giving the UAE legal control or influence over Western investment houses, banks, or markets.86 The same applies to every other Islamic financial institution or state.

Bourse Dubai began operating as the world’s first fully shari’a-compliant stock exchange in December 2006.87 shari’a compliance requires companies traded to also be shari’a-compliant and establishes a special tax on all the others to. Purify them. The Islamic “purity” (tazkiya) of Bourse Dubai was approved by the shari’a Board of the AAOIFI.88 The AAOIFI laid the groundwork for the global Islamic financial network and regulates all Islamic financial organizations and products, including Bourse Dubai.

How the West Can Win
The adversary’s skill at manipulating media and public opinion cannot be underestimated. The propaganda offensive is so successful that even Colonel Thomas X. Hammes’ description of what led to the Second Intifada is a rehash of the Saudi-sponsored Palestinian fabrication and propaganda. Ham mes claims that the Palestinian Authority named the new intifada “the al Asa Intifada” to suggest that the Palestinian violent reaction was a direct result of then Liked party leader Ariel Sharon’s visit to the al-Asa Mosque. Moreover, Hammes’ speculation that Sharon knowingly sparked Palestinian violence using his own fourth-generation warfare strategy suggests a deliberate disregard for thousands of dead Israelis and Palestinians in the resulting mayhem.

The fact of the matter is, Sharon never entered the al-Asa Mosque but rather visited the Jewish holy site of the Temple Mount. Moreover, careful study of the Palestinian modus operandi makes it clear that naming violent outbreaks is done in an opportunistic fashion and this one was preplanned. Mad Al-Hifalutin, then Palestinian Authority communications minister, stated on several occasions: “The PA had begun to prepare for the outbreak of the current Intifada since the return from the Camp David negotiations, by request of President Yasser Arafat.”89

The United States is now drawing new military and defense doctrines to win the fourth-generation warfare. In addition to improving technologies, the focus seems to be on the development of lighter and more flexible armies, and a greater understanding of the individual characteristics of our enemies. Writing about strategies needed to win the next war, Colonel Thomas X. Hammes states that the “most powerful [U.S.] message” to the world is that “we treasure the individual.”90

But a measure of the enemy’s success is our reluctance to identify the shari’a for what it is. Its adherents value only the ummah, and they enslave the individual to achieve their goal—global domination. As long as the enemy—shari’a—has not been acknowledged and understood, we stand no chance. Exposing shari’a and all its adherents, be they states, organizations, or individuals, is crucial to our ability to defend ourselves. It will also enable us to undermine sharia’s global structure, turning its adherents against it, the way we did with communism.





Sharia Banking Conquers Europe

8 04 2009

Source: Brussels Journal

All over Europe Islamic banks are establishing branches, Western banks are offering Sharia-compliant financial services, and European governments are trying to outcompete each other in welcoming them. Proponents of banking along the lines of Sharia (Islamic law) claim that the Islamic banking system is “more ethical” than the West’s capitalist system. This is not true. Unfortunately, however, in our age of crashing financial markets, many Westerners – not just the traditional anti-capitalist European left – seem very eager to buy that argument.

Early this month, even the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano voiced its approval of Sharia banking. “The ethical principles on which Islamic finance is based may bring banks closer to their clients and to the true spirit which should mark every financial service,” the paper said in a downright stupid and “unethical” article published on March, 4.

The article, entitled “Islamic finance proposals and ideas for the West in crisis” [pdf] suggests that the basic rules of Islamic finance could relieve suffering markets and particularly international financial systems. It says that in the current atmosphere of crisis banks should take Muslims as an example and that the Islamic finance system may pave the way for the establishment of new rules in the Western world.

Islamic or Sharia banks differ from regular banks in two major ways. As commanded in the Koran, the charging of interest is prohibited in all monetary transactions. The other defining feature of Islamic banks is that they are supervised by a board of Islamic scholars and clerics whose job it is to ensure that the banks’ activities comply with Sharia law.

Its proponents argue that Islamic banking is “ethically superior” to the capitalist principles of the “materialistic” West because, as Giovanni Maria Vian, the editor of Osservatore Romano says, Sharia banks take “the human dimension of the economy” into account.

The two dirty secrets of Islamic banking, however, are that, like all banks, Sharia banks do charge interest – they just give it another name – and that the clerics supervising the banks have ties to extremist, even terrorist, groups which work towards the Islamization of Europe and world dominance.

Helena Christofi, an expert on Sharia banking, explains that Islamic banks extend a type of Islamic “credit,” called murabaha, that shifts risk to the borrower in a manner similar to interest.

“An Islamic bank granting murabaha credit to a customer for an automobile, for example, would purchase the automobile for the customer for $15,000 and the customer would owe the bank $20,000 in a year’s time. Similarly, under the ‘diminishing musharaka’ credit, the Islamic version of a mortgage, the bank and the customer purchase the property together. The customer must make monthly payments to the bank and pay a monthly rental fee, both based on the portion of the purchase price the bank still owns. Ironically, the interest this amounts to ranges between one and two percent higher than the interest on a conventional mortgage. Although the resale price of the vehicle and the rent paid on the house are akin to simple interest charges, the banks’ sharia boards legitimate the charges by renaming them ‘commissions’ or ‘profits.’”

The Sharia boards supervising the Islamic banks and Sharia-compliant financial services offered by regular European banks are composed of members of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. This Council is headed by Sheik Yousef Al-Qaradawi, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and instigator and financier of terrorism in Europe and the Middle East. Both Al-Qaradawi and the Council have expressed their hope that “Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror.”

With ever larger Muslim populations there is a growing internal demand for an “ethical alternative” to conventional banking for Muslims. A 2006 poll by Lloyds Trustee Savings Bank in Britain found that over 75% of British Muslims want Sharia-compliant banking products, while in 2005 Mufti Abdul Barkatullah, Sharia adviser to Lloyds TSB and an imam at a North London mosque reported that 20% of inquiries into Islamic products at Lloyds TSB came from non-Muslims who have bought the argument that conventional capitalist banking is somehow unethical.

Alun Williams, marketing director of the Islamic Bank of Britain, established in 2004 and one of the first Sharia banks in Europe, told The Guardian (April 2, 2005):

“Our biggest appeal outside the Muslim community will be to those who feel disenfranchised by, and bitter about, mainstream banks. […] Non-Muslims are fascinated by us, the more so because we intend offering […] an ethical dimension.”

That was four years ago. Meanwhile, Islamic banking has boomed all over Europe and interest from non-Muslims has grown in the wake of the financial crisis, which some, such as the Vatican paper, claim is due to the free-market model having “grown too much and badly in the past two decades.”

Sharia principles, however, not only prohibit the collection and payment of interest and investing in companies involved in gambling, alcohol, tobacco, pornography and the production of pork, but also forbid women from opening bank accounts without their husband’s approval. How “ethical” the latter is for the non-Muslims “fascinated” by Sharia banking is unclear. However, Western banks offering Sharia-compliant services to non-Muslims do not seem to insist on barring women. According to Christofi,

“The justification for replacing capitalism with the Islamic model is based on an intentional corruption of Sharia law, but the banks’ clerics don’t seem to mind undermining their theological philosophy, since the ethical image their misrepresentation has created for Islamic banking has managed to spread Islamic ideology to non-Muslims in Britain. According to Al-Qaradawi, Islam’s ideological infiltration into the West will be the vehicle through which it will establish an Islamic government over the entire globe.”

Although Al-Qaradawi and other members of the European Council for Fatwa and Research are connected to Islamist circles, the British government continues to promote the UK as a hub for Islamic banking. Western governments welcome Sharia-compliant banking because of the huge sums this attracts from Muslim immigrants, “ethically”-driven non-Muslims, and investors from Muslim countries.

In December 2008, the French Senate looked at ways to eliminate legal hurdles for Islamic financial services and products in France. French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announced France’s intention to make Paris “the capital of Islamic finance” and said several Islamic banks would open branches in the French capital in 2009. French sources estimate this area of the financial market is worth from 500 to 600 billion dollars and could grow by an average 11 percent a year.

In July 2007, Wouter Bos, the Dutch Finance Minister (and leader of the Dutch Labour Party), said the Dutch government actively encourages Islamic banking, despite the risk that this acts as a Trojan horse in the Western banking system for groups linked to terrorists.

“In the first place because Islamic banking meets a demand from the Muslims living in the Netherlands. In the second place because we see an opportunity here for the Dutch financial sector. A third reason is that banning Islamic banking from the perspective of fighting terrorism will have a counter-productive effect. Denial of an actual need can lead to money-flows running via alternative channels out of the sight of the government.”

Switzerland, too, wants its share of Sharia banking. Years ago, Swiss banks already opened branches in the Middle East, offering worldwide Sharia-compliant financial products to wealthy Arabs.

In October 2006, the Swiss authorities granted a banking license to the first Switzerland-based bank that operates according to Sharia principles. Others have followed. “There are simply not enough financial products being created in the West for Muslim clients,” says John Sandwick, managing director of Swiss asset management firm Encore Management. “If no effort is made whatsoever, I am afraid the world will pass Switzerland by in the race to control the rich prize: which today is worth hundreds of billions, but in the future will be trillions of dollars of Islamic wealth.” Michael Fouad Chahine of Credit Suisse says “The development of Islamic banking has so far been limited to countries with a higher percentage of Muslims. But this is changing as more international regulators accept the importance of Sharia. It is now also accepted as socially responsible banking.”

How “socially responsible” and “ethical” is it to try to grab a share of the billions of dollars amassed by rich Arabs, while turning a blind eye to the fact that a substantial part of the money is used to promote terrorism and the establishment of an Islamic government over the entire globe?

In one of his sermons, Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi, one of the supervisors of the Sharia-compliant financial services offered in Britain, speaks of “the conquest of Rome.” In view of the recent article of the Osservatore Romano, Al-Qaradhawi’s words sound rather ominous:

“The city of Hirqil [Constantinople] was conquered by the young 23-year-old Ottoman Muhammad bin Morad, known in history as Muhammad the Conqueror, in 1453. The other city, Romiyya [Rome], remains, and we hope and believe [that it too will be conquered]. This means that Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice […]. In one of my previous programs, I said that I think that this conquest [of Rome] would not be by the sword or armies, but by preaching and ideology. Europe will see that it suffers from materialistic culture, and will seek an alternative, it will seek a way out, it will seek a lifeboat. It will find no lifesaver but the message of Islam.”

Will the Vatican Bank be the next to go Sharia?





Vatican Paper Supports Islamic Finance.

8 04 2009
Published on The Brussels Journal (http://www.brusselsjournal.com)

France Wants Its Share of Sharia Banking

Created 2009-03-12 10:52

In yet another act of conciliation on the part of Western religions towards Islam, the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano has voiced its approval of Islamic finance. The Vatican paper wrote that banks should look at the rules of Islamic finance to restore confidence amongst their clients at a time of global economic crisis. “The ethical principles on which Islamic finance is based may bring banks closer to their clients and to the true spirit which should mark every financial service,” the Osservatore Romano said. “Western banks could use tools such as the Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, as collateral”. Sukuk may be used to fund the “‘car industry or the next Olympic Games in London,” the article says.

The Vatican article is only one of many articles that have recently appeared on the acceptance by Western governments and bankers of an Islamic financing system. More than accepting it, they seem to be welcoming it, though they are certainly being pressured into this by unnamed forces bowing to the dictates of Islam.
Last December, the French Senate looked at ways to eliminate legal hurdles, particularly levies, for Islamic financial services and products in France and the potential for listing companies on the Paris Stock Exchange. Senate sources said that this area of the financial market is worth from 500 to 600 billion dollars and could grow by an average 11 percent a year.

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde has announced France’s intention to make Paris “the capital of Islamic finance” and announced several Islamic banks would open branches in the French capital in 2009.

This hearkens back to a video from November 26, 2008 that was posted at many French websites showing Madame Lagarde announcing with (according to some bloggers) visible embarrassment the decision to allow Islamic financing in France. Whether or not this move is constitutional is apparently not even an issue, since European countries change their laws to accommodate Islam. If the “sacred” law separating Church and State can be violated, any law can. The video, with its very soft audio, shows the minister in a strange garb, and struggling to present a happy countenance. There is no way of knowing if this is merely the quality of the video, or an indication of her emotional state. An article from Le Parisien dated November 27, 2008 provides the following information, in addition to the facts presented above:

A revolution in the banking world. After London, where the first Islamic bank opened its doors in September 2004, France could authorize banks respecting sharia law to open in 2009 (…) Hervé de Charette, president of the Franco-Arab Chamber of Commerce emphasizes that “importing Islamic banking into France would help the integration process”. The main obstacle: “Islamic banking arouses fear because it is associated, wrongly, with religious fundamentalism, even with the financing of terrorism,” deplores Elyès Jouini, professor of economics at the University of Paris. (…)

The world economic crisis has changed the ball game. From New York to Hong Kong, all the financial centers on the planet are grabbing the billions of dollars amassed by the oil-rich monarchies of the Gulf. To tap into this manna (…) is the stated goal of Christine Lagarde. “We are determined to make of Paris a great center for Islamic finance,” declared the Finance Minister as she inaugurated the second French forum on Islamic banking.

For another longer English-language article, visit Islam On Line. This article goes back to July 2008, showing that even before the crisis, France had initiated a policy favoring Islamic banking.

See also:

Islamic Banking in Britain, 12 February 2007

First Sharia Bank in Switzerland, 8 October 2006

The Netherlands Want to Become Centre of Sharia Banking, 17 July 2007

Swiss Risk Losing Islamic Goldmine, 6 April 2008