FTSE and the Stock Exchange of Thailand have added a Shariah index to the exchange’s benchmarks.
This is most unfortunate and is illustrative of the spread of Shariah worldwide. This is especially disconcerting in the case of Thailand, which has been racked by a bloody Islamist insurgency over the past several years. One cannot help but to wonder if zakat payments from Shariah-Compliant investors won’t work their way into organizations backing the Jihadists, who have reportedly received support from Indonesia.
More on Thailand’s Jihadist insurgency here:
But back to the spread of Shariah-Compliant Finance to Thailand. We found this passage in the article announcing the Thai Shariah Index very curious:
In the FTSE SET Shariah Index, companies involved in any of the following activities will be filtered out as non sharia-compliant:
- Conventional finance (non-Islamic banking, finance and insurance)
- Pork related products and non-halal food production, packaging and processing or any other activity related to pork and non-halal food
- Entertainment (casinos, gambling, cinema, music, pornography and hotels)
- Weapons, arms and defence manufacturing
Note that the last bullet declares a prohibition on weapons, arms and defence manufacturing.
This is quite misleading. There is no such prohibition as it pertains to companies that contribute to the defense of Islam. In fact, Shariah-Compliant Finance entails zakat donations to those “fighting for allah.”
What’s more, the world’s largest Shariah-Compliant financial institution, Bank Melli of Iran, has been sanctioned for its financial involvement in terrorism and Iran’s ballistic missile program. We have detailed that on SFW in the past:
The reality is that Shariah-Compliant Finance includes a prohibition on investing in companies involved in defense of Western civilization, but not companies contributing to the defense on Islam…