Regular readers of SFW know that one of the chief concerns about Shariah-Compliant Finance is the system of tithing known as “zakat.”
Shariah-Compliant banks provide a means by which Muslims can tithe their investment earnings and, in the case of one bank in the UAE, Sharjah Islamic Bank, they are using technology to enable customers to move funds from their accounts with the bank to a charity, ‘The Dirham of Good.’
This should serve as definitive proof that zakat is in fact a key component of Shariah-Compliant Finance. Many Western promoters of Shariah-Compliant Finance have downplayed the significance of zakat, even to the point of claiming total ignorance of the whole zakat system.
There are many problems illustrated by the article linked below about Sharjah Islamic Bank and ‘The Dirham of Good.’
First of all, there is the overall problem of the UAE, which puts on a very Westernized face, but which has been implicated in funding for Al Qaeda and other Jihadist terrorist organizations. In fact, then-CIA director George Tenet testified before the 9-11 Commission that an air strike on an Al Qaeda compound in Afghanistan thought to contain Osama Bin Laden was called off due to the presence of members of the UAE royal family in the compound with the terrorists.
It is also worth mentioning that the so-called modern and Westernized UAE was one of just 3 nations on earth that had granted diplomatic recognition to the Taliban government in Afghanistan when the Taliban were imposing Shariah and providing safe haven to Al Qaeda.
This article also illustrates the utter lack of disclosure that is characteristic of Shariah-Compliant Finance. All decisions made to comply with Shariah are made by a Shariah board. Sharjah Islamic Bank has an entire page dedicated to their board, but fails to identify any members of that board:
This calls into question why the identities of the Shariah advisors is concealed. Could it be that some or all of them can be described as Islamists, if not outright Jihadists? Like Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi or Mufti Mohammed Taqi Usmani,about whom we have written extensively?
Actually, Usmani’s fingerprints do appear to be on Sharjah Islamic Bank’s Shariah board. In the extensive description on the page devoted to the board we find this notable passage:
To ensure that Zakat account is calculated in accordance with the Islamic Sharia’a principle and Zakat standards of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, and notify the shareholders about the imposed Zakat per share, and to make sure that Zakat fund resources are distributed in accordance with the provisions of Islamic Sharia’a.
The Chairman of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions is none other than the prominent Jihadist, Mufti Usmani himself.
The danger here is that, if you have large amounts of money going to zakat to charities selected by a Shariah board at least partially made up of Jihadists, at least part of the money could end up in the hands of terrorists.
There is no doubt that Jihadist terrorists have benefited from money funneled to them from Muslim charities numerous times. It is also a fact that the US Treasury has shut down or banned from the US 27 Muslim charities, including the three largest Muslim charities based in the United States, for funding terrorist organizations.
In the UAE, such monies can now be delivered just by walking up to the ATM on the corner…