Islamic Finance or Financing Islamism?

The constant mantra of shariah-compliant  money-making opportunities emanating nowadays from Western banks pushing Islamic financial products without bothering to explain to their clients what shariah stands for, is just the kind of positive reinforcement that Islamists want and need. To put it simply, any Western institution that endorses shariah-compliant products, ipso facto endorses the hateful Islamist ideology behind it, whether they know it or not. Shariah is an integral doctrine and there is no such thing as selecting just a few convenient shariah tenets and rejecting the rest.  By endorsing shariah, Western banks end up becoming what Lenin called useful idiots or worse to the Islamists. And  it is a very thin line between that and outright complicity in the Islamist agenda.42

And there is little doubt that Islamic finance has already scored major successes toward this objective. It is not clear, for example, that it would be easy for British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has argued that shariah is a great thing for the London financial industry to, at the same time, insist that shariah would not be good for London Muslims, when the latter demand its implementation as a family law.

An additional and related byproduct of Islamic finance is the legitimization and financial support by Western institutions for the type of radical Islamic scholarship and indoctrination that has made Islamism the dominant idiom in much of the Muslim world, including the Muslim diaspora communities in the West. The need to certify shariah-compliance of their Islamic products by “qualified shariah scholars” has created demand for the services of experts that more often than not are the indoctrinated products of radical Wahhabi/Salafi shariah faculties in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, who generally hold views fundamentally inimical to the most basic values of Western civilization.

Even a cursory look at the names, affiliations  and views of popular shariah scholars, such as Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Sheikh Mohamed Ali Elgari, Faysal Mawlawi, Sheikh Nizam Yaquby, Suleyman al-Maniya and others , many of whom sit on the shariah advisory boards of dozens of Islamic banks and get paid princely sums from each, would make it clear that most are hard line Islamists and,  in at least some cases,  open supporters of terrorism. 43

Mr. Qaradawi, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood ideologue who has repeatedly endorsed suicide bombings against civilians, for instance, is chairman of the shariah boards of the two Qatari Islamic banks owned by the ruling families among many others.44

In another example, Muhammad Taqi Usmani, a radical Deobandi cleric and a former shariah court ember from Pakistan, who sits on dozens of shariah boards in the West, is  a key executive in the Karachi Deobandi madrassa Darul Uloom, which has trained and continues to train thousands of Taliban and jihadist cadres. He was also instrumental in the Pakistani government decision to declare the Ahmadi Muslims apostates and thus complicit in the murder and suffering of countless innocent Muslims. He is further on record preaching that Muslims living in the West “must live in peace until strong enough to wage Jihad’ against their fellowcitizens in order “to establish the supremacy of Islam.”45

The same is true about many of the trustees of various Islamic banking institutions. The Dow Jones Islamic Fund (IMANX), for example, is  owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) – a Saudi-controlled non-profit institution that holds  title to hundreds of American mosques – which was recently listed by the US Dept of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism financing trial in Dallas, Texas. The Fund’s president and chairman, Bassam Osman is also chairman of NAIT and former chairman of the Islamic Literacy Institute, an organization whose funds were seized by the US government in 1998 on account of its funding of Hamas, a designated terrorist entity.

That prominent Western banks and financial institutions do business and amply reward people like that is a sign of the extent to which Islamic finance has already become a Trojan horse of Islamism in the West, to say nothing of its  profoundly disingenuous and  unethical nature. It appears that it can only get worse as the shortage of such experts grows and institutions like Deutsche Bank now contemplate organizing and paying for the training of shariah scholars in the West.