A web site named Women on the Web just published an article related to Shariah Finance. It was not particularly well done unfortunately. Since I was quoted in the article (see link below) I felt the need to preface the link with some comments:

As one of the people interviewed in this article, I feel compelled to comment on it. First of all, I am quoted extensively in this article, yet I honestly do not remember talking to this reporter. I talk to a lot of reporters, so I could be mistaken, but…

1. I do not work for the “Center for Security Studies.” I have never even heard of the Center for Security Studies. I work for the Center for Security Policy.

2. This quote attributed to me makes no sense at all and is not something I would have said: “There’s a possibility a portion of the proceeds from Sharia-compliant-financed companies go to these industries.” What “industries?” The concern is that a portion of zakat and purification payments from shariah-compliant finance institutions could end up going to charities that support terrorist groups. The article unfortunately does not go into any details on these vital aspects of this issue.

3. The reporter claims that I have a “less-than-politically correct take on Sharia law.” I am not sure what she is referring to. What would a politically correct take on Sharia law be? How does PC and non-PC philosophy differ on things like Jihad, female genital mutilation, women’s rights, honor killings, and child marriage, all aspects of Shariah?

4. There are indeed documented instances in which Shariah-Compliant financial institutions have been involved in financing terrorism and other dangerous activities:

Two sharia-compliant banks registered in the Bahamas, Bank Al-Taqwa and Akida Bank, were, according to the US Treasury Department, shell companies actually run out of Italy and Switzerland, whose only real business was laundering money to terrorists. From 1988 until November 2001 when it was designated a terrorist entity by the US government and the UN, Bank Al-Taqwa transferred tens of millions of dollars to HAMAS, Al Qaeda, the PLO, Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), the Taliban, Egyptian Gama’a al Islamiya and the Tunisian An-Nahda.

The Chairman of the Sharia Advisory Board of Bank al-Taqwa was Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Sheikh Qaradawi is still on the Shariah advisory boards of several international financial firms and is also the President of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, the President of the Union of Good, an umbrella group of 56 charities run out of Saudi Arabia, the founder and President of IslamOnline, the founder and president of the International Association of Muslim Scholars, and the Chairman (in absentia) of Islamic American University.

Oh…and Qaradawi is also banned from entering both the US and the UKdue to his ties to terrorist organizations.

In another example, the largest Shariah-Compliant Financial institution in the world (according to The Banker magazine), Bank Melli of Iran, has been sanctioned by the US government and the European Union for facilitating funding of Iran’s ballistic missile program and funneling as much as $100 million to terrorist organizations, including HAMAS and Hezbollah.

It is unfortunate that these FACTS did not make it into this article.



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