Muslim leaders call on Islamic banks to perform “missionary work” to spread Shariah-Compliant Finance
If ever there was definitive proof that the true purpose of Shariah-Compliant Finance is to promote Shariah, it shows up in bold form in an article in the March 2nd Financial Times which we’ve linked at the end of this column.
The practicioners of Islam, known to some as “Islamists,” met in Jakarta, Indonesia recently at the World Islamic Economic Forum and called on the world to adopt Islamic financial practices to overcome the global financial crisis. They then urged Islamic banks to undertake “missionary work” in the West to promote Shariah banking.
We have three comments about this:
1. Islamic finance has NOT escaped the wrath of the global financial crisis at all. That is a myth and an example of the basic dishonesty surrounding the whole Islamic finance industry. And dishonesty in finance is criminal. You’re not supposed to lie to investors. There are laws against it.
2. Note carefully the use of the term “missionary work” associated with promoting Shariah-Compliant Finance. They didn’t choose the terms “advertising” or “direct marketing” or “public relations campaign” normally associated with business. There is a reason for that. Shariah-Compliant Finance is not about business. It is about dawah, which is basically prostylization–spreading Allah’s religion. The targets of dawah might be more comfortable calling it “Islamization” or “Creeping Shariah.” So, when banks go out and promote Shariah-Compliant Finance, they are really prostylizing for Islam and more particularly for Shariah.
3. We need to make clear to our free market friends that Shariah-Compliant Finance is in fact NOT compatible with our free enterprise system and capitalism. In fact, back in October of last year, one of the most prominent Shariah scholars in the world, who sits on many international financial Shariah advisory boards, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, called on Islamic nations to promote Islamic finance as a replacement for capitalism as practiced in the West.
To put it bluntly, Shariah is an adversary of free enterprise just as communism was and, like communism, Shariah has economic and political components. One of the chief differences of the threat of Shariah from the threat of communism, however, is the fact that Shariah commands every aspect of Islamic life, with nothing excluded.