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





Over 30 Taliban men sneak into J&K: NDTV exclusive

7 04 2009

Has the worst nightmare for security forces come true? Is the Taliban now in Kashmir? There are reports that about 30 Taliban fighters have sneaked into Kashmir.

Intercepted conversations now available with NDTV between two Lashkar operatives says a large group of Taliban fighters may have sneaked into the Valley last fortnight.

Taliban in Kashmir?

  • 30 Taliban fighters in Kashmir?
  • Radio talk between Lashkar operatives intercepted

    Transcripts of the taped conversations available with NDTV show that the Lashkar is in fact worried about Taliban presence in Kashmir.

    Transcript of the intercepted conversation:
    LeT man 1: What were you saying?
    LeT man 2: I was saying that new people who have come are all Taliban. They are only talking about killing and getting killed. We are very disturbed because of them.
    LeT man 1: Throw them out from there.
    LeT man 2: For that I will have to speak to ‘Big Brother’.
    LeT man 1: Ok

    It’s worrying factor that Taliban is so close from India? Approximately 220 km is the distance between the Taliban dominated areas of NWFP in Pakistan and the Line of Control.

    Home Minister P Chidambaram has commented on the infiltration threat and said that different terrorist organisations are working in tandem.

    “There is a determined effort to infiltrate across the international border, the distinction between the different organisations has disappeared. But our security forces are alert and they’ve been able to neutralise these infiltrators in the last 3-4 weeks. And I am confident that with the heightened sense of vigilance and alertness they will be able to neutralise infiltrators across the border,” said P Chidambaram, Union Home Minister.





  • Swat girl denies she was flogged

    7 04 2009

    Two attacks a week to avenge U.S. drone strikes: Taliban

    — Photo: AFP

    Image taken from Pakistan’s Dawn News channel on Saturday shows the flogging of a woman by Taliban members in Swat valley.

    Islamabad: The girl who was reportedly whipped by the Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat Valley has denied the incident, even as a rally was taken out in Karachi to condemn the public lashing. The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a probe into the matter.

    The girl was reportedly flogged by a Taliban cleric for “coming out of her house with another man who was not her husband”.

    The girl’s statement before a magistrate was presented in the Supreme Court through Attorney-General Latif Khosa. “The girl has denied the alleged flogging incident,” Geo TV reported. The lashing footage was telecast on many news channels worldwide.

    The victim was not present during the hearing.

    Senior officials, including the Interior Secretary and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Inspector-General of Police, appeared before the eight-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary which is hearing the case.

    Chief Justice Chaudhary said “investigations be conducted” into the incident.

    A two-minute video showed the 17-year-old, burqa-clad girl screaming while being whipped by the Taliban men.

    The grainy video, shot on a mobile phone, showed the girl face down on the ground. Two men held her arms and feet while a third, a black-turbaned man with a flowing beard, whipped her repeatedly, London’s Guardian newspaper reported.

    The newspaper said it received the video through Samar Minallah, a Pashtun documentary maker.

    After 34 lashes the punishment stopped and the wailing girl was led into a stone building.

    The Minhajul Quran Women League (MQWL) on Saturday staged a demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club to condemn the flogging and demanded strict action against those involved in the incident, the News International reported.

    Addressing the protesters, MQWL chief Fatima Mashadi said those who flogged the girl were not following Islam and they had brought a bad name to the religion and the country. — IANS

    PTI reports:

    The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a paramilitary camp in the federal capital that killed eight security personnel and warned it would carry out two attacks a week to avenge U.S. drone strikes in the tribal areas.

    Hakimullah Mehsud, one of the deputies of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud, said Sunday’s suicide attack on a Frontier Corps camp in the heart of Islamabad was carried out by his group.





    A new dimension of suicide terrorism

    6 04 2009

    A new dimension of suicide terrorism

    M Abdul Vasiq Eqbal

    After the successful escape of the Liberty Square attackers it was being assumed that Lahore has to face another attack in the same way, but right in the nursery of protectors was unexpected. Around 900 trainees and staff personnel were there when the “Suicide Attack” was launched. This brazen attack has given totally new dimension to the phenomenon of suicide terrorism. High value targets are no more accessible through the single perpetrator as they cannot penetrate within the security establishments blocked by barriers and security checks. Ramming vehicles is also not a worthy solution to this as it can damage the building infrastructure and that’s it. Police Training School was a “gold mine” of security personnel which were not even completely trained. Assailants were clearly ordered to kill themselves before getting caught; and out of one dozen four blew themselves up. However, two of them have been apprehended and rest of them managed to runaway in the police uniforms. They were aware that their target is place of no-return, reinforcements would be called up and even if they would use hostages to get an escape way, they would be chased till their den, still they came and did what they were indoctrinated to do. But why Police Academy was targeted? Question to this answer is that academy was located at the outskirts of the city neighbouring Manawan viallage, an urban locality just few miles away from the border line of India. Police training school is located in a city which is strategically very important and historical as well, this was the mightiest reason for the perpetrators to encircle the police training school on the map. Other reasons could be “pre-gauged” inadequate security measures and densely populated area which could provide them hindrance or easy escape way. Despite the current security situation and given warnings of Corps Commander Lahore, nothing was done to preempt the attacks. We are well aware of the ill-equipdness, inadequate training and limited resources of the police. With this kind of infrastructure they cannot maintain the law and order in the country but can just exist. Condition of the attacked police school, especially the rear side of the building clearly demonstrated the capability of police to face such kind of incidents, through the media. There were some reports in the media that according to post-event accounts of some eye-witnesses, assailants had also taken control of the arms store inside and due to that, security guards at the main gate ran out of bullets and could not resist for long. Albeit the precious lives of the policemen had been lost and number of them wounded and traumatized, Eight hours long battle is too short which has resulted in the capturing of two perpetrators which is enough to tail the storming brain. But on the contrary it is too long if the time was consumed to take the help of other security agencies through the systematic rules of engagement. Coordination of all the four agencies was praised in the media, but unfortunately one thing was neglected. If calling up army was the ultimate solution then why rangers and elite groups were mobilized to the location?

    Displacement of entire security structure could have provided another and open battlefield to the “unseen” hand. If rangers were their just to cordon off the area, then I think our police can do this at least. Elite members were waving their weapons on the rooftop of the building after capturing the lost castle, the way they were moving in and out around the area, their body language was depicting the level of their training and the way they were raised up from within the existing police structure. Regular police personnel were also there, on the same scene but their inability to retaliate quickly and wisely, on such kind of assaults were in their demeanor. Do we have any contingency plan to face such kind of situation? Pakistani security forces are being attacked since Pakistan started the operation against al-Qaeda and Taliban in FATA, Swat and Waziristan. Police, the first defence line of civilian and government infrastructure has suffered the most in the country and particularly in Lahore, suicide attack at Lahore high court, another attack in front of Allama Iqbal town police station and recently on the Sri Lankan cricket team were the examples to hit the civilian security agency. A unified contingency plan for all the security agencies should be defined regardless of their type and style of working, whether they are from civilian or military setup. A well-established line of communication and chain of command that who will assist who, when, where, how and through what? A worst case scenario should be constituted to manage such kind ofhappenings. We are still onboard and the ship of war against terrorism is facing storm of Taliban but we cannot rule out our other rivals. Enemy of my enemy is my friend, quote goes with the time we are living in. Pre-defined set of rules, applicable anywhere in the country will provide basic platform to minimize the response and rescue time. It would decrease the damage and increase the chances of success simultaneously. The sooner the formation, the greater the fruitfulness, “a stitch in time saves nine”.

    The author can be reached at: vasiq.eqbal@gmail.com





    Editorial: Counter-terrorism in a divided land

    6 04 2009

    Sorce DAWN NEWS

    The suicide-bomber who killed eight Frontier Constabulary men on Margalla Road in Islamabad two days ago was successful because the man appointed as guard in the camp thought he could leave his post during meals. In 2008, the truck that blew up the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad had taken the heavily guarded “high-security” Margalla Road because the security force stationed there thought it could leave its positions to break the Ramadan fast. In both cases the force knew that an attack was imminent.

    The state can multiply the police force manifold but unless the quality of its recruits is raised, counter-terrorism strategy will be a failure. Pakistan can get any amount of money if it wants to raise the quality of its security forces through better salaries and higher educational qualification. In Lahore at Manawan the police recruits said that they were not even properly fed during training. Only an educated and “rational” security person will know that he can’t leave his post during meals and that his religion allows him relaxation of namaz and fasting during a life-and-death emergency.

    Today the fact is that Baitullah Mehsud can attack a Friday congregation in a mosque and still be trusted as a “good Muslim” by sections of the population and media but the security forces cannot be relied upon to prevent their faith from becoming an impediment in the fight against terrorism. When Baitullah Mehsud says he has not done a certain act of terrorism, he is believed, adding to the deception and savagery of the violence done in the name of Islam. The latest proof of his strategy of false propaganda came when he claimed the killing of 13 innocent people at a New York immigration centre this week. The killer was in fact a Vietnamese.

    It has been observed in the wake of 9/11 that Muslim terrorists find it easier and strategically useful to attack and kill Muslims. Mounting a terrorist attack in the US after 2001 and in the UK after 2005 has been difficult. Attempts made by Al Qaeda since then have been unsuccessful although the terrorists succeeded in coming to Pakistan and taking their training and indoctrination here. Killing Muslims in Muslim lands produces sympathy rather than fear and loathing. Fundamentally it is public fear and loathing which leads to better counter-terrorism efforts. This has been proved by unsuccessful Al Qaeda attempts in the US, Europe and Russia.

    As terror becomes widespread in Pakistan — another incident happened Saturday when some JUI activists closed down a dancing event in Larkana, and on Sunday morning at an Imam Bargah in Chakwal — sympathy for the terrorists has arisen in Lahore instead of declining. Sympathetic terrorist incidents aimed at closing down theatres and music shops have increased. The video showing the lashing of a 17-year-old girl has united civil society but divided the media and the intelligentsia. At least two leading journalists of a major newspaper group have illustrated the dilemma of a nation trapped in terrorism it can’t clearly define in moral terms.

    Reacting to the Pakistan-wide condemnation of the Swat Taliban, the chief reporter of the said group warned that the nation was “thinking like America” and referred to Sura Nisa to prove that the whipping punishment meted out in Swat was right. By ignoring the question of “authority” — a fundamental condition under Islam — he asked the nation to accept the legal status of whoever it was who ordered the whipping. Another TV anchor who does a popular “monologue” programme pointed out that the Swat whipping had brought the “humanist-Islamic” divide in Pakistan. A pro-Taliban leader in Swat also said on TV that the “roshan khayal” (enlightened) elements of the country were aligned with America and their NGOs were leading the assault against Islamic values.

    Despite the nation-wide condemnation, the whipping incident is gradually becoming victim of the national division over terrorism. Are we being killed because we are fighting America’s war; or are we dying because the terrorists want to take over the country? The media is heavily tilted along with the opposition politicians in favour of the first cause. Civil society is being heavily influenced by the TV channels and is becoming vulnerable to the rhetoric of retired army officers who say terrorism can’t be fought and the correct policy is to fight the Americans out of Afghanistan instead of fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban out of Pakistan.

    Terrorism has to be fought, if not as terrorism than as a law and order problem. If the state wants to survive it must raise a strong security force that will face the terrorists and lay down the law. *

    Second Editorial: Uniting to kill Baitullah Mehsud

    According to a reported intelligence source, “Pakistan and the US have agreed to stage a joint operation to kill local Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud”. The effort will include intelligence from Pakistan about Mehsud’s movements, with the aim of guiding a missile attack from an American drone. It is said that it took Pakistan time to persuade Washington to target Mehsud and abandon its earlier drone policy of not attacking elements who are not directly involved in raids across the Durand Line.

    The Americans have likely agreed to cooperate on Mehsud after twice ignoring precise triangulation of Mehsud’s movement by Pakistan. The earlier American policy of letting Mehsud wreak havoc in Pakistan was flawed. His men literally drove NATO supply logistics out of Pakistan by attacking the truck convoys outside Peshawar. His men also spread from Khyber to Orakzai to Kurram and were able to increase Mehsud’s capacity to challenge America in Afghanistan and, finally, inside the United States. He is in his early 30s and dangerous precisely because he has acquired power without the maturity to use it judiciously. Before he goes down, he is bound to do a lot of damage to both Pakistan and America.

    What Baitullah Mehsud is doing together with his master organisation Al Qaeda is global terrorism. If he is killing Pakistanis today, tomorrow he will be killing others all over the world. Pakistan can tackle him but lacks the technological capacity and funds to prepare itself for the job. It is joined with the advanced nations of the world in the fight against global terror, more or less like it is united with the world against such endemic diseases as polio and smallpox. Had Pakistan refused to join the world against the latter two diseases, a large percentage of its population would have died by now. *