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Shariah in Government

Shariah-Compliant Advisor Picked by Obama as White House Fellow

Shariah Finance expert Samar Ali, an associate with the firm Hogan Lovells US LLP (a firm that specializes in Shariah Finance), was hand picked to be one of the new White House Fellows. The writer asks, “Why, in the midst of the worst financial crisis our country has faced in 70 years, does the president choose an expert in Islamic finance to get training in the White House?”

Pajamas Media
June 25, 2010
Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday, President Obama announced the appointment of this year’s “White House Fellows,” a prestigious program in which outstanding Americans are chosen to work in the White House and receive “first hand, high-level experience with the workings of the Federal government.” According to a White House Press release, one of this year’s Fellows is a young lawyer named Samar Ali:

Samar Ali is an Associate with the firm Hogan Lovells US LLP. She is responsible for counseling clients on mergers & acquisitions, cross-border transactions, Shari’a compliant transactions, project finance, and international business matters.

Left out of the press release is that she also previously worked as an intern and received training at the Islamic International Arab Bank; according to her staff bio at the Hogan Lovells law firm,

Samar’s experience includes advising a Middle Eastern university in the potential establishment of a Foreign Aid Conventional and Shari’ah Compliant Student Loan Program. … Before joining Hogan & Hartson, Samar worked as a summer associate for the firm and as a legal intern for the Islamic International Arab Bank.

For those who have never heard of it, the Islamic International Arab Bank “commenced its banking operations in accordance with Islamic Sharia rules on the twelfth day of Shawal 1418 AH, corresponding to 9 February 1998, to meet the growing demand for Islamic banking services and products.”


Ballot Question Seeks to Forbid Sharia Law in Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s State Question 755, which likely will be on the ballot in November, would make in-state courts rely on federal and state laws when deciding cases and forbid courts from using international law or Shariah law when making rulings. State Rep. Rex Duncan, primary author of HJR 1056/SQ 755, hopes that other states will follow. “The legislation behind SQ 755 was inspired by the realization, through media observation, that Islam is spreading into America at an alarming rate, and that activist judges are beginning to give credence to ‘international law,’” Duncan said.

Creeping Sharia
June 5, 2010
Edmond, OK

State lawmakers say it’s a pre-emptive strike against Sharia law, needed to prevent here what has happened in the United Kingdom.

State Question 755, which likely will be on the ballot in November, would make in-state courts rely on federal and state laws when deciding cases and forbid courts from using international law or Sharia law when making rulings.

The proposal, which has an Edmond connection, would amend Article 7, Section 1 of the Oklahoma Constitution, and stems from House Joint Resolution 1056, dubbed the “Save Our State” amendment, passed during the just-finished legislative session.

State Rep. Lewis Moore, R-Edmond, a co-author of HJR 1056, said he wanted to express his support very early for the legislation, which is needed because of the “onslaught” coming Oklahoma’s way.


Iran Boosts Qods Shock Troops in Venezuela

Reports indicate that Iran’s paramilitary Qods force operatives are increasing globally in strength and number. A link has also been established between Iran and Hugo Chavez’s anti-American government in Venezuela.

The Washington Times
April 21, 2010
Caracas, Venezuela

Iran is increasing its paramilitary Qods force operatives in Venezuela while covertly continuing supplies of weapons and explosives to Taliban and other insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the Pentagon's first report to Congress on Tehran's military.

The report on Iranian military power provides new details on the group known formally as the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF), the Islamist shock troops deployed around the world to advance Iranian interests. The unit is aligned with terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, North Africa and Latin America, and the report warns that U.S. forces are likely to battle the Iranian paramilitaries in the future.

The Qods force "maintains operational capabilities around the world," the report says, adding that "it is well established in the Middle East and North Africa and recent years have witnessed an increased presence in Latin America, particularly Venezuela."


Obama Bans Islam, Jihad from National Security Document

Obama is mandating that terms like “Islamic extremism” and “jihad” are not used in national security documents. The administration is calling this diplomacy. Says Peter Feaver, a Duke University political scientist "’[Obama’s engagement effort] doesn't appear to have created much in the way of strategic benefit’ in the Middle East peace process or in negotiations over Iran's nuclear ambitions... Obama runs the political risk of seeming to adopt politically correct rhetoric abroad while appearing tone deaf on national security issues at home, Feaver said.”
April 7, 2010
Washington, D.C.

President Barack Obama's advisers will remove religious terms such as "Islamic extremism" from the central document outlining the U.S. national security strategy and will use the rewritten document to emphasize that the United States does not view Muslim nations through the lens of terror, counterterrorism officials said.

The change is a significant shift in the National Security Strategy, a document that previously outlined the Bush Doctrine of preventative war and currently states: "The struggle against militant Islamic radicalism is the great ideological conflict of the early years of the 21st century."

The officials described the changes on condition of anonymity because the document still was being written, and the White House would not discuss it. But rewriting the strategy document will be the latest example of Obama putting his stamp on U.S. foreign policy, like his promises to dismantle nuclear weapons and limit the situations in which they can be used.


NJ Gets its First Muslim Superior Court Judge

Hany Mawla, 36, is the youngest judge to ever be appointed to the Superior Court in New Jersey. He devised and taught “Islamic Law and Jurisprudence” at Rutgers and said that law is a good way to give his community a voice, “For me, it was an opportunity to make sure Arabs and Muslims are more a part of the political and civic discourse that occurs in the state.”

Creeping Sharia
February 18, 2010
Trenton, New Jersey

A University political science professor became the first Muslim ever to be appointed to the Superior Court in New Jersey on Jan. 27 when he was sworn in to the Family Division of the Court in Somerset County.

Hany Mawla, 36, is also the youngest to be appointed to the Superior Court in the state, said Hesham Mahmoud, media chair of the New Jersey chapter of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Mawla was a partner at Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith and Davis in Woodbridge, where he specialized in family law.

Mawla said he and Davis devised the “Islamic Law and Jurisprudence” course at the University after Sept. 11, 2001, with the help of Abed Awad, an attorney who teaches at Rutgers School of Law-Newark.

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