Kagan: Shill for Shariah?

Newt Gingrich is among those who have noted a serious chink in the protective armor the Obama administration and Elena Kagan’s other defenders have tried to throw up around her Supreme Court nomination.  The vulnerability has taken on increased importance insofar as it involves one of the few concrete positions or actions taken by the nominee in a long career almost completely bereft of written or spoken positions that shed light on her judgment and potential judicial philosophy.

It turns out that, at the very moment Ms. Kagan was pushing aggressively to remove military recruiters from the Harvard Law School campus during her tenure as its dean, she was very supportive of having what amounted to Saudi recruiters ensconced there for the purpose of enlisting some of the nation’s finest young lawyers to work for the industry known as Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF).

The first insight this record suggests is that Ms. Kagan’s true motivation in barring the armed forces was, indeed, an animus towards the military, rather than concern about its supposed mistreatment of homosexuals.  After all, the theo-political-military-legal code that authoritative Islam calls "Shariah" and that is the law of the land in Saudi Arabia is infinitely more homophobic than the Pentagon’s efforts to enforce the U.S. statute that prohibits avowed gays and lesbians from serving in uniform.  The former requires the murder of homosexuals; the latter simply kept them out of the ranks.

Ms. Kagan’s troubling tolerance of Shariah would, of course, have vastly more far-reaching implications should she reach the Supreme Court.  Consider several examples of her direct and indirect role in its insinuation into key U.S. institutions – several of which could be matters upon which the Court may have to rule:

Thanks to millions of dollars gifted by an aggressive promoter of the so-called "civilizational jihad" espoused by the Shariah-adherent Muslim Brotherhood, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and other Saudi sources, Harvard University is now a major beachhead of Shariah in America.  In particular, under Dean Kagan, the law school opened an Islamic Finance Project (a less-transparent euphemism for Shariah-Compliant Finance).  The Project’s personnel have been aggressive promoters of SCF, particularly in the aftermath of the economic meltdown in the Fall of 2008, which was portrayed by the industry as proof of the inherent corruption of capitalism and the need for a more virtuous, "ethical" form of finance, namely that "required" by Shariah.

The first clue that something is wrong with Shariah-Compliant Finance is the first word:  SCF is a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood dating to the 1940’s as a means of legitimating and advancing Shariah’s stated objective: this barbaric, totalitarian doctrine’s domination of the Muslim community world-wide and, ultimately, all non-Muslim populations, as well.

What makes a given investment or transaction Shariah-compliant is not, in the final analysis, whether it involves interest, pork, gambling, tobacco, alcohol, pornography or Western defense.  To be sure, those are all considered haram (or "impure") and are to be eschewed by adherents to Shariah.  No, ultimately, the compliance of a given financial activity with Shariah is a function of whether one or more recognized Shariah authorities say it is halal ("pure").

This reality accords enormous influence in the SCF industry to such authorities.  Aspiring practitioners of the trade at Harvard Law and elsewhere are, therefore, impressed that they must recruit and rely upon prominent Islamic scholars revered for the latters’ knowledge and practice of Shariah.

Unfortunately, every one of such individuals embraces not only the supremacy of authoritative Islam’s Shariah.  Without exception, they aspire to its ultimate objective: a global theocracy in which a ruler (the "Caliph") governs in accordance with Shariah.

Thus, the coterie of Shariah authorities now employed by most of the Western world’s financial institutions – including many in the United States – unfailingly champion a seditious program that has at its core the overthrow of the alternative legal systems like the U.S. Constitution and the government it empowers.

One of the most prominent of these authorities is Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi who sits on numerous SCF advisory boards and those of Persian Gulf sovereign wealth funds.  He also has his own television program on Al Jazeera, which he uses week after week to inveigh about and call for violence against infidels, the United States, Israel, apostates and, yes, homosexuals. Interestingly, Qaradawi has called zakat, the Muslim charitable donation required by SCF, a form of "financial jihad."

It is alarming Ms. Kagan has appeared so indifferent to the ominous, if lucrative, use of her campus to legitimate and facilitate the penetration of the academy and, as we shall see, other institutions by Shariah’s insidious, anti-constitutional agenda and its adherents.  In fact, under a neglected part of the U.S. code, such conduct could constitute a felony offense known as "misprision of treason" – inaction (not to say complicity) in the face of seditious activity.

While the prospect that such conduct might be a matter for judicial review, including by the Supreme Court, may seem unlikely at the moment, don’t be so sure.  It is not unreasonable to expect that – in the event of the sort of devastating attack on this country that the intelligence community says is certainly being prepared by Shariah-adherent jihadists (oops, by "violent extremists") – there will be investigations and perhaps criminal prosecutions of those who were, however tangentially, involved in promoting Shariah in this country.

As it happens, Ms. Kagan’s Islamic Finance Project has also played an important role in the infiltration of Shariah’s promoters within the U.S. government.  On November 6 2008, Harvard Business School professor Samuel L. Hays III conducted a day-long "seminar for the policy community" entitled "Islamic Finance 101. Hayes was a founding member of Harvard’s Islamic Finance Project Advisory Board. Roughly sixty officials were encouraged to embrace the merits of Shariah-Compliant Finance from the standpoint of its ethical and strategic virtues – the latter primarily being an opportunity to recycle petrodollars from OPEC back to Western capital markets.

The host of this Kagan program-enabled "seminar" was Assistant Treasury Secretary Neal Kashkari, who used the occasion to express his own enthusiasm for  Shariah-Compliant Finance.  At the time, Mr. Kashkari had his hand on the spigot of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).  The message was not lost on either his colleagues in government or on the financial sector:  At a time when the viability of major banks and investing institutions depended on Secretary Kashkari’s favor, getting with the SCF program could only be a plus.

Another momentous development during that tempestuous Fall was the federal government’s acquisition of nearly 80% of AIG.  It turns out that the giant insurance conglomerate is also the world’s largest purveyor of Shariah-Compliant financial products.  That’s right:  The U.S. taxpayer now owns the biggest commerial promoter of Shariah on the planet.

The Supreme Court may soon have an opportunity to consider whether such government involvement in promoting a religion violates the Constitution’s establishment clause separating church (or mosque) and state.  A federal lawsuit now pending in the Eastern District of Michigan that asserts the unconstitutionality of this arrangement seems like an open-and-shut case.  Do we really want Elena Kagan casting a vote on the question?

President Obama clearly thought that it would be advantageous to nominate someone to the Supreme Court with a record nearly as thin as was his own prior to winning the presidency.  Fortunately, the foregoing record makes plain that the U.S. Senate has more to go on in evaluating Elena Kagan – at least with respect to her  judgment and fitness to serve on a court that may be the last best hope to preserve the Constitution in the face of Shariah’s civilizational jihad.  The nominee’s hearings afford an opportunity not only to make such an evaluation, but to have a "teachable moment" about the extent to which that insidious, stealthy jihad has, with her help, penetrated America.

About Frank Gaffney, Jr.

Frank Gaffney is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. Under Mr. Gaffney's leadership, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters. Mr. Gaffney formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Reagan Administration, following four years of service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy. Previously, he was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator John Tower, and a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson.

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