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Shariah Finance Must-Reads

Rep. Meeks Helped 'Jihad' Flier

US Rep. Gregory Meeks scolded immigration officials for questioning a Shariah scholar who headed both the World Assembly of Muslim Youth International and the Taibah International Aid Association; terror charities both co-founded with Osama bin Laden’s nephew and accused of funding Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. Meeks has also hired Jihad F. Saleh and Jameel Aalim-Johnson (former Chief of Staff), both linked with CAIR, ISNA and other Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups.



The New York Post
September 19, 2010

US Rep. Gregory Meeks scolded immigration officials for questioning a Muslim scholar whose nonprofits have been linked to financing terrorism.

The Queens Democrat contacted federal agencies -- finally appealing to then-Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff -- asking why Anwar Hajjaj faced "unwarranted scrutiny" when he returned to the United States from trips abroad through JFK Airport.

Meeks described Hajjaj as a "highly regarded" professor of Islamic studies who leads Friday Muslim prayers at the Capitol.

Meeks said Hajjaj was "a pioneer in distance-based learning of Islam" through the American Open University in Virginia, according to a copy of the Sept. 30, 2006, letter to Chertoff, which was obtained by The Post under a Freedom of Information Act request.

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Between $250M and $600M of PA Budget Seems to go to Hamas Terrorists

From Money Jihad: “Elder of Ziyon came up with an interesting analysis last week of salaries for “security forces” (who overlap with the terrorist population) in Gaza. Using World Bank figures as a starting point, Elder of Ziyon observed that “between $250M and $600M of PA budget seems to go to Hamas terrorists.”

alt

The Elder of Ziyon
September 19, 2010

In Time magazine, a telling paragraph:

And there is a third security force that Gazans fear: Hamas' highly secretive Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the movement's armed resistance wing, which carries out violent attacks on Israel and whose members have a reputation for being some of Hamas' most steadfast adherents. Referring to both the uniformed police and the plainclothes Internal Security, one civilian says, "They're all Qassam." The government does little to deny it. "Many of the Qassam operate within both the Qassam brigades and the Internal Security," Interior Ministry spokesman Ehab al-Ghossain tells TIME. "In our laws, we do not prevent any resistance fighter from joining the police or a security service, provided that he is committed to the rules and regulations of the department he belongs to ... We make sure that their activities, outside of their official jobs, remain separate."

The research team that I put together last year (with Suzanne, t34zakat and PTwatch) had already determined that some 75% of the policemen killed in Gaza during Cast Lead were also members of terror groups, so this is hardly surprising to readers of this blog.

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JMB Still Getting Plenty of Funds

The banned Shariah Organization Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (Party of the Mujahideen) still receives thousands from Zakat and other sources.



The Daily Star
September 15, 2010
Dhaka, Bangladesh

Financial strength of militant organisation Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh has been a grave concern for law enforcement agencies as the banned outfit is reportedly getting more than Tk 50 lakh a month from local and foreign sources.

JMB's activities have lately appeared on the wane following the arrest of its top brass, including its chief Moulana Saidur Rahman, and explosives experts.

But law enforcers involved with anti-militancy drives believe its network of financial support survives intact. The flow of fund in the form of supporters' monthly contributions, Zakat and donation apparently remains uninterrupted.

The officers, however, could not say who handles the funds after the arrest of Saidur in May. The JMB chief himself was in charge of its finance division.

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Ramadan Best Time to Pitch Islamic Banking

Indonesia is falling behind in Shariah assets... below the 5 percent the central bank set as a target for the industry two years ago. That underperformance was one reason for the Ramadan advertising push where “Jakarta-based Bank Syariah Mandiri joined Islamic lenders worldwide to use Ramadan to remind Muslims to obey the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad that ban interest.” Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, pitched limited edition Shariah Finance products in order to generate Ramadan-linked revenue and publicity.



Islamic Finance
September 14, 2010
Jakarta, Indonesia

Jakarta-based Bank Syariah Mandiri joined Islamic lenders worldwide to use Ramadan to remind Muslims to obey the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad that ban interest. Emirates NBD of Dubai waived payments on personal loans during Ramadan, while Maybank Islamic in Kuala Lumpur started automating charitable donations. Banks in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, offered limited-edition products to generate Ramadan-linked revenue and publicity. Bank Syariah Mandiri, the Islamic unit of Indonesia’s largest bank by assets, Bank Mandiri, collaborated with a local TV operator on a program aimed at promoting Shariah-compliant banking during the holy month. Shariah finance prohibits the charging of interest as well as investments tied to gambling and alcohol. Returns are generated as a share of profits from assets.


 

Letter to Treasury




Money Jihad
September 14, 2010

Dear Under Secretary Levey,

You have an important job. It’s challenging work. And most people agree that you do it well, or you probably wouldn’t have retained your position during both the Bush administration and the Obama administration. Treasury has, by its own account at least, succeeded in restricting the financial activities of al Qaeda and has cracked down on entities that help Iran evade sanctions.

But we can all use an outsider perspective from time to time. If you won’t invite anti-terror finance bloggers in for a rap session with you, sir, please at least consider the following constructive criticism and recommendations:

1. Stop letting the Saudis get away with lying to us about the continued transfer of funds overseas without SAMA approval. The Hialeah, Florida, office of the International Islamic Relief Organization was incorporated under Saudi auspices without disclosing that information to the GAO. As such, the feds should raid the office and seize its records for review by TFI. All TFI assistant secretaries should be instructed to refrain immediately from painting a rosy picture of Saudi cooperation in the war against terror financing.

2. Stop behaving like a charitable facilitator. Every state in the U.S. has an authority to regulate charities. A common thread among charity regulators is to urge transparency among charities and to empower citizens to do proper research to give wisely. Treasury too followed this approach during the Bush administration, but has abandoned it under Pres. Obama. Now they just say they’re “working with” charities to help prevent them from being abused. Personal responsibility over one’s own giving had gone out the window. Understand that your responsibility is to enforce the law including the BSA and sanctions against terrorists, not to enforce the applause lines of a presidential speech in Cairo. When questionable Islamic charities request to meet with your top officials, turn them down.

3. What’s the hold up with terrorist designations and asset freezes? Of course it’s government, and you have to coordinate with the sluggish State Department, so the most routine tasks can take months to accomplish. But why do we wait years before the Pakistani Taliban is designated, drag our feet with the Haqqani Network, and we’re still waiting for a designation of Hizbul Islam in Africa?

4. Why is your website so hard to use? Depending on what you’re researching, it can be challenging to find what organization and which of its members have been designated under which authority and which agency. Why not have a single-stop shop that allows users to search by country, by organization name, by terrorist name, etc., which shows whether the entity has been designated by Treasury or State, what sanctions they currently face, and whether there is a Department of Justice reward available for information about that entity? It takes a lot of agencies to make these decisions happen, but American businesses, banks, customers, and donors would be able to conduct business, charitable, and academic research with better information if it were available through one online database. Timmy, Hillary, & Holder—there are more searching & indexing website services available now than ever before, so it’s time to step it up a notch.

5. Where’s Szubin? We hear plenty from Stuart Levey about international sanctions. David Cohen mouths off a lot. But as central as OFAC is to the Obama administration’s policy on Iran, one would think that we’d hear more often from Adam Szubin, a Bush-era appointee and current director of OFAC. He rarely seems to testify before Congress or make speeches on CSPAN or get interviewed by the print media very often. Maybe he’s media shy. Or is he muzzled?

Congress and the President will set overall policy, and journalists will ask tough questions sometimes, but it would probably help Treasury out to hear from ordinary citizens who are concerned about terrorist financing.

Sincerely,

Money Jihad


 
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Special Thanks to:

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