Shariah Finance Must-Reads Joomla! - the dynamic portal engine and content management system Thu, 26 Jan 2012 05:41:30 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Lowe's pulls ads from 'All-American Muslim'; threatened with boycott and 'legislative action' altThe Detroit Free Press reports: 
"A decision by the home-improvement chain Lowe's to pull its ads from a TV show based on Dearborn's Muslim community has sparked an outcry from Muslim Americans and their supporters. During the past few days, Muslims have launched an online campaign against Lowe's, urging it to apologize and start running ads again on TLC's "All-American Muslim," a reality series that showcases the lives of five Lebanese-American Shia Muslim families.One petition against Lowe's has garnered thousands of signatures.

"Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons wrote several tweets against Lowe's during the weekend that often were retweeted. Actress Mia Farrow showed her support in tweets. And a Democratic state senator from California, Ted Lieu, called the move by Lowe's "naked religious bigotry." He suggested legislative action against the company if it doesn't respond.

"Lowe's said in a statement: "Lowe's has received a significant amount of communication on this program, from every perspective possible. Individuals and groups have strong political and societal views on this topic, and this program became a lightning rod for many of those views. As a result we did pull our advertising on this program. We believe it is best to respectfully defer to communities, individuals and groups to discuss and consider such issues of importance."

Was Lowe's displaying "naked religious bigotry" when it decided to advertise during the show? Obviously not; it was making a free-commerce business decision. Perhaps they were foolish to hope pulling theirs ads would avoid their being dragged into a controversy. The Learning Channel also made a business decision when it portrayed the lives of five Muslim families as 'All-American.' Neither Lowe's or TLC should be threatened with "legislative action" or boycotts because of those choices.

Perhaps many to most Muslims in Dearborn hold with traditional American values of liberty.  Yet more than a few of its Muslim residents have, on occasion, displayed some decidedly bigoted and un-America behavior. The city also has its share of pandering politicians.

This year, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals found the city had unlawfully restricted the free speech of Christians seeking to pass out fliers on sidewalks open to pedestrian traffic both inside and on the boundaries of a Muslim-American festival that is held each year in Dearborn.

In November, "A male nurse filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against the city of Dearborn ... claiming he was fired for treating conservative Muslim women wearing head scarves."

On July 22, 2006, during the Lebanon-Israel conflict, Steven Emerson wrote:

In order to finance the training of these “volunteers,” as well as the seemingly endless barrage of rockets that have rained down on Israeli cities, Hezbollah has established an extensive fundraising infrastructure in the United States, as well as in Canada, South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Supplementing the nearly $100 million Hezbollah reportedly receives from Iran, Hezbollah operatives in the U.S. have engaged in a litany of criminal activities, including credit card fraud, cigarette smuggling, counterfeiting, drug running, and organized retail theft, that provide millions to the Shiite terrorist organization ...

Further, although Hezbollah has not utilized charitable front organizations in the U.S. to the extent that its comrade-in-arms Hamas has, there is convincing evidence that a Hezbollah-linked charity, with direct ties to the group’s spiritual leader in Lebanon, is currently operating in Dearborn, Michigan.

Founded in 1991, the Al-Mabarrat Charitable Organization-USA Inc. has changed its name repeatedly over the last fifteen years, discarding the names “Cedar Organization, Inc.”, “Cedar Charitable Organization, Inc.” and “Cedar Social Services of America, Inc.” On its website,, which is no longer active, Al-Mabarrat claimed that its purpose “is to promote the cause of…orphans by providing sponsorship that will go toward schooling, health, and general.” While acknowledging that it proffers that support by working in conjunction with the Al-Mabarrat Association in Lebanon (whose logo it shares), the website conveniently omits the fact that Al-Mabarrat-Lebanon is run by Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah.

Fadlallah, labeled Hezbollah’s “chief ‘spiritual leader’” by the Department of Justice, has been designated a Specially Designated Terrorist by the U.S. Treasury Department, thus criminalizing financial transactions with him. The U.S. government has further alleged that “Fadlallah issued the fatwa authorizing” the 1983 Hezbollah bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks that killed 241 Americans. Demonstrating its awareness of Al-Mabarrat-Lebanon’s terrorist agenda, the U.S. government banned Lebanese Finance Minister Fuad Siniora (currently the Lebanese Prime Minister) from entering the United States in 2003 because of a donation he had made to the organization in 2000

Despite Al-Mabarrat-USA’s direct link to a Fadlallah-controlled organization, to date, the U.S. branch continues to operate unfettered. In fact, the organization appears to have gained a level of credibility in the U.S. as the Detroit Free Press reported earlier this month that “many Muslims in the region have donated to Al-Mabarrat.”

The most prominent Detroit area Muslim to be publicly linked to Al-Mabarrat is Talil Chahine, the owner of the [Dearborn-based] La Shish restaurant chain, who was indicted in May on federal tax evasion charges for allegedly concealing more than $20 million in restaurant profits and funneling some of those funds to Lebanon. In 2002, Chahine, who federal prosecutors assert has “connections at the highest levels of ... Hezbollah,” attended an Al-Mabarrat fundraiser in Lebanon at which he and Fadlallah served as the keynote speakers. (For his part, according to the Detroit Free Press, Chahine admits he attended the al-Mabarrat fundraiser in Lebanon.) At that event, “Chahine was the representative…of a worldwide group of fundraisers,” according to DOJ. DOJ has also noted that agents searching Chahine’s Michigan house discovered a letter thanking Chahine for sponsoring Lebanese orphans, which DOJ stated “is a euphemism used by Hezbollah to refer to the orphans of martyrs.”

Just four days earlier, 10,000 marched in Dearborn "to protest Israeli attacks" upon civilians in Lebanon:

What was the goal behind holding the rally? "We want to see an effect that resonates with our government officials and fellow citizens," said Bilal Dabaja, a member of the Arab American Political Action Committee and a University of Michigan at Dearborn student, between leading chants on his bull-horn.

"We all want to stop the Israeli oppression," added Lenora Prater, an African American from Detroit, as she sat under a tree on Warren Avenue. "I'm pleased with the turnout."

As the crowd continued down the road, thundering cries of "Israel out of Lebanon!" "Down, down Israel!" and "Death to Israel!" rang out. As the rally continued its move down Schaefer, more and more people came running. They were joining in from back alley-ways, jumping out of cars and sprinting down sidewalks to take part in the rally.

"Other than our own leaders, Israel pulls us together like no one else can," said Abed Hammoud as he helped lead the rally down the road. Hammoud is chairman of the Congress of Arab American Organizations (CAAO).  [Abed was then also a lead attorney in the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office. On May 4, 2011, he became Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. The Congress of Arab American Organizations held a private, invitation-only reception in his honor. He immigrated to the U.S. from southern Lebanon in 1985.]

Dearborn has been a lightning rod for political views. Boycotting Lowe's may hurt its business yet the further attention the city receives as a result will not all be flattering to its image.


]]> (Shariah Team) Shariah Finance Must-Reads Tue, 13 Dec 2011 18:16:49 +0000
Taqi Usmani's Shariah-Compliant Arcapita Sponsors PBS-Produced Propaganda Movie

Shariah Finance Watch
April 25, 2011 has an important article posted that details how Shariah-compliant Arcapita bank has sponsored a PBS-produced movie called Cities of Light. The movie glamorizes the Muslim Jihad that occupied the Iberian peninsula (modern-day Spain and Portugal).

This movie will be premiered at, of all places, the Virginia Military Institute.

Arcapita employs Mufti Taqi Usmani as chair of its Shariah advisory board. The fact that they would employ such a monster says all we need to know about Arcapita. Here is more on Usmani:

Mufti Taqi Usmani, who is probably the most influential Shariah scholar in the financial world. Until his hateful, Jihadist militant credo was exposed to the public, Usmani headed HSBC’s Shariah council as well as that of Dow Jones. (This shows how clueless and reckless the financial world actually is when it comes to true due diligence on Shariah-Compliant Finance.) Usmani is still the chair of the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions, one of the major industry bodies. This makes Usmani one of the most powerful men in the world of Shariah Finance.

]]> (Nick Holton) Shariah Finance Must-Reads Mon, 25 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000
Germany Rebuffs U.S. Calls to Shut Iran Bank

The Wall Street Journal
April 12, 2011
Berlin, Germany

Germany is resisting international pressure to freeze the activities of an Iranian-owned bank based in Hamburg that U.S. officials say provides the financial lifeblood for some of Iran's blacklisted companies.

U.S. and European Union officials in recent months have stepped up pressure on Germany to close down the European-Iranian Trade Bank AG—including a Feb. 2 letter from 11 U.S. senators to German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle that urged immediate action. The U.S. says the German-licensed bank, known as EIH Bank for its German initials, has become a major financial conduit for Iranian companies involved in weapons proliferation. Last September, it added EIH to its own blacklist of entities banned from the U.S. financial system.

Germany has rebuffed such appeals, arguing that it has no proof of illegal activity. In February, it also blocked a French proposal presented in Brussels to designate EIH for EU sanctions, two diplomats familiar with the meetings say.

In a statement, EIH says its activities are legal and that it continues to operate under a German license.

]]> (Nick Holton) Shariah Finance Must-Reads Tue, 12 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000
Islamic Finance Industry Needs More Experts

The National
April 11, 2011
By Asa Fitch

Islamic finance might be on a dizzying growth trajectory but Sharia scholars qualified to make rulings on complex banking and investment products remain a scarce commodity.

Often referred to as the industry's gatekeepers, scholars must give their approval before Islamic banks can launch savings schemes, offer financing and make many other business decisions.

They evaluate the compliance of all sorts of investment products including Islamic bonds and mortgages, and hold vast sway over an industry now estimated to be worth more than US$1 trillion (Dh3.67tn).

Yet observers say a shortage of qualified scholars is squeezing further growth in the industry.

According to a study in January by Funds@Work, an investment industry consultancy based in Germany, only 20 scholars occupy 54 per cent of all Sharia board seats at Islamic financial institutions globally. The top 100 scholars occupy almost all of them.

]]> (Nick Holton) Shariah Finance Must-Reads Mon, 11 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000
The Islamization of Great Britain's Financial Sector Continues Apace

Shariah Finance Watch
April 11, 2011

Unfortunately, the British continue to invite the financial jihadists into their investment houses and banks, determined that this will attract shiploads of petrodollars without impacting British culture, society and security.

Before dismissing the notion that Shariah finance could introduce nefarious elements into a Western host nation, readers should remind themselves that the whole purpose of Shariah finance is to promote Shariah and Islam and, in 2009, at the World Islamic Economic Forum in Kuala Lumpur, the keynote speaker called on Islamic financial institutions to continue their “dawa” operations. Dawa is known by a few different descriptions:

• “missionary work”

• “civilizational jihad”

• “pre-violent jihad”

At any rate, the British people are perhaps the West’s leading unwitting victims of these dawa operations and have been for years. Two years ago, the Archbishop of Canterbury actually declared that Britain’s common law legal system must incorporate shariah. He basically considered the insinuation of shariah into British common law to be harmless. Why?

Because Britain had already embraced shariah-compliant finance with no ill-effects.

And therein lies the danger.

The latest evidence of the bridgehead that the financial jihadists have established in the UK comes in the form of two developments:

First of all, the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) (which was actually conceived in Qatar) has created a new product and service tailored to financial advisers. Note that IBB’s Shariah Supervisory Board is dominated by members of the Jihadist Taqi Usmani-led AAOIFI (Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions).

The second example involves Britain’s national penson scheme, NEST, or National Employment Savings Trust.

Note that the financial services conglomerate HSBC is instrumental in facilitating the Shariah finance aspect of NEST and that our very own Dow Jones is also playing an indirect support role in the scheme. This is certainly no accident since, until relatively recently, both HSBC and Dow Jones retained Mufti Taqi Usmani (an outright Jihadist) as chair of both their Shariah advisory boards. When Usmani’s Jihadist ties and sympathies came to light, both HSBC and Dow Jones removed him from their boards…and shamelessly replaced him with his son…

]]> (Nick Holton) Shariah Finance Must-Reads Mon, 11 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000
Egypt Delays Sukuk, Africa Lures Muslim Funds

April 11, 2011

Egypt may lose out to Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya in attracting Muslim wealth after political unrest forced the North African country to postpone plans to introduce Islamic bond regulation.

Egypt delayed the release of a timeline for the guidelines of corporate Islamic bonds sales to May from the first quarter, following protests that led to the removal of former President Hosni Mubarak, said Ashraf El Sharkawy, chairman of the Cairo- based Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority. Nigeria plans to license at least two Shariah-compliant institutions by year-end and Mauritius set minimum disclosure standards for financial statements from banks offering Islamic services.

“Egypt is one of the biggest markets in the region, but the problem so far has been the lack of regulation,” Abdel Hamid Abou Mousa, the chief executive officer of Cairo-based Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt, one of three Shariah-complaint lenders in the country, said by phone April 6. “When we have sukuk no doubt they will have a market among Gulf investors who are looking for places for their money.” Faisal Islamic may issue sukuk once regulations are in place, he said.

African nations, where Muslims make up about 40 percent of the population according to a study published by the International Journal of Environmental Science and Development in June 2010, are seeking to benefit from growing interest in Islamic finance. Global assets held by Islamic financial institutions may climb to $1.6 trillion in 2012 from about $1 trillion, the Islamic Financial Services Board said last year.

]]> (Nick Holton) Shariah Finance Must-Reads Mon, 11 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000
Iranian President Ahmadinejad Calls for Economic Jihad

Shariah Finance Watch
April 10, 2011
Tehran, Iran

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has highlighted the importance of naming the current Iranian calendar year as “The Year of Economic Jihad.”

Ahmadinejad said on Sunday that economic jihad should be realized in every aspect of all Iranian’s lives, the president’s official website reported.

SFW readers may recall that in November of 2009, Ahmadinejad addressed the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) economic summit and called for the replacement of free market capitalism with a system of Islamic economics:

]]> (Nick Holton) Shariah Finance Must-Reads Sun, 10 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000
Business Standstill Hits Bahrain Economy

The National
April 10, 2011
Manama, Bahrain

Billions of dollars have been wiped off the value of Bahrain's economy in the month of protests that brought business there to a virtual standstill, top banking executives in Manama say.

"Definitely there is an impact on growth … but the impact cannot be more than 10 to 15 per cent impact of Bahrain's GDP," said Yousif Taqi, the chief executive of the sharia-compliant Al Salam Bank in Manama.

"As a financial centre there will be challenges for the government. I'd be surprised if it was more than 15 per cent."

Mr Taqi estimated losses of at least US$3 billion (Dh11.01bn) from Bahrain's GDP of $22.9bn last year. The Bahraini economy accelerated in the final quarter of last year from the previous three months, and grew 4.5 per cent for the whole year, data from the government showed.

]]> (Nick Holton) Shariah Finance Must-Reads Sun, 10 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000
Recap of CAIR's Terror Finance Role

Money Jihad
April 4, 2011

In a letter from writer Alyssa Lappen to Abe Foxman defending attorney David Yerushalmi, Alyssa Lappen summarizes the factual case against CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations. Here’s the relevant portion of her letter, which you can read in its entirety at Gates of Vienna on Mar. 30:

…Perhaps you are unaware that the national leadership of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), on the other hand, has repeatedly been identified by federal law-enforcement officials to have had links with terrorist organizations. This occurred in Nov. 2008 with the Holy Land Foundation Hamas and terror-financing case. The government obtained 108 unanimous verdicts on ALL 108 terror-financing, money laundering and tax fraud charges leveled against five HLF officers. Some of the funds they sent to Hamas had washed through CAIR accounts, proven by canceled check copies.

Federal evidence was again cited in the civil suit by the family of David Boim in the Chicago 7th Circuit Court of Appeals against the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) — CAIR’s predecessor and co-founder — in Dec. 2008. The federal judge in that case ruled that the CAIR predecessor — namely the IAP — was indeed inseparable from the Muslim Brotherhood and the Muslim American Society and he held their agents responsible, fully and finally, for the $156 million judgment in the Boim’s case against them. Thus $156 million less is now available to fund Hamas terrorism.

Then in October 2010, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that hundreds of individuals and organizations named as unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land Foundation case — including CAIR — would not be delisted as unindicted co-conspirators, due to the preponderance of evidence against them. CAIR knew and knows that the evidence against its leadership and several CAIR chapters is indeed so strong that it could never have won an appeal, and did not even try. An appeal was filed by another North American Muslim Brotherhood organization with which you may not be familiar, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), a subsidiary of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA).

It is a travesty that you brand as a hatemonger a man legitimately attempting — via the U.S. courts — to legally defeat efforts of the above groups, among others, to increasingly impose Islamic law through secular U.S. civil courts and institutions…

]]> (Nick Holton) Shariah Finance Must-Reads Mon, 04 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000
Bailout Revelation: Fed Lent Billions to Save Libyan Bank

The Curious Capitalist
April 4, 2011
By Stephen Gandel

Last week, when the Federal Reserve finally released the names of the banks that tapped the central bank's most secret lending program in the wake of the financial crisis many of the expect names were there. Citigroup got over $50 billion in loans. Bank of America was a big borrower, too. Goldman borrowed five times, though the amounts were relatively small. But among the names of banks that got tens of billions in loans from the Fed in order to stay afloat was at least one few expected: The Central Bank of Libya.

In the 18 months following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, a foreign subsidiary of the bank of the government of Muammar Gaddafi received a cumulative $35 billion in short-term loans from the Fed. Libya's Central bank received the loans through a foreign subsidiary called the Arab Banking Corp., which has a branch in New York. At the time of the financial crisis, the bank was 29% owned by the Libyan government. But since then the Libyan government has upped its stake in ABC, as it is known, to 59%. So the main beneficiary of the Fed's help is the Libyan government.

And like the rest of Wall Street, ABC's profits have snapped back sharply since getting assistance from the US federal government. In 2008, ABC lost $880 million, mostly due to the fact that it held over a billion in structured bonds known as collaterlized debt obligations, which were in general plummeted with the value of US homes. But ABC's profits have soared since. The bank has posted a combined $265 million in earnings in 2009 and 2010.

]]> (Nick Holton) Shariah Finance Must-Reads Mon, 04 Apr 2011 00:00:00 +0000