Critics Protest Promotion of ‘Seditious’ Islamic Finance
Thursday, November 06, 2008

By Patrick Goodenough, International Editor

( – Charging that principles of Islamic law are being introduced in
the United States by stealth, critics on Thursday will protest outside a U.S.
Treasury Department seminar on shari’a-complaint finance.

Although this is not the department’s first “Islamic Finance 101” seminar, it
comes amid a new push by Muslim figures in recent weeks to promote Islamic
finance as a response to the debt-fueled global financial crisis.

Controversial Sunni scholar Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a leading advocate of
shari’a-complaint finance (SCF), told a conference in Qatar last month that
Muslims should take the opportunity provided by the crisis to replace capitalism
with an Islamic financial system.

“The collapse of the capitalist system, which is based on usury and securities
rather than commodities in markets, shows us that it is undergoing a crisis and
that our integrated Islamic philosophy – if properly understood and applied –
can replace the Western capitalism,” he said.

At a subsequent economic forum in Saudi Arabia, the head of the Islamic
Development Bank – an affiliate of the Organization of the Islamic Conference
(OIC) – reiterated that the crisis offered an opportunity Islamic finance should

“Global investment banks should be set up that realize the Islamic economy and
offer the world a new vision and different way to manage assets, invest wealth
and create products,” Islamic Development Bank President Ahmad Ali told the

Saleh Kamel, head of the General Council of Islamic Banks, said Islam could be a
“third way,” given what he called the failures of communism and capitalism.
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