The Jihadist in Your Portfolio

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Caroline Glick has penned a must-read about "Shari'a-Friendly Investments" over at Jewish World Review.

A combination of hypocrisy, the life-blood of religions the world over, ...

Given the religious rather than financial aim of Shari'a-compliant investing, it isn't surprising that Shari'a-compliant investments are little more than a word game. Paying lip service to the Koranic prohibition on interest-based transactions and risky investments, Mawdudi and Qutb invented various means to cover the fact that Shari'a-compliant investments involve both interest payments and risk. [bold added]
... widespread Pragmatism (i.e., in the form of the rejection of broad abstractions and philosophic principles as irrelevant) in the West, ...
[T]he new trend in the West is for Western financial institutions to offer Shari'a-compliant investment opportunities. So excited is Britain, for instance about the financial benefit to be gained by attracting oil-rich Islamic investors that in January Britain's Treasury Minister Ed Balls announced his government's intention to turn London into the center of global Islamic finance.


Many New York investment houses, banks and hedge funds have indicated their interest in expanding their services to include Shari'a-compliant investments. These organizations should carefully consider the likely moral and criminal implications of enabling Shari'a advisors associated with radical Islamic theologians and a foreign body on record for supporting terror, anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism to determine both the composition of their investments and the utilization of 2.5 percent of the revenues stemming from those investments. [bold added; Glick notes earlier that, "[R]adicals, supported by jihad-supporting Islamic institutions constitute an effective cartel in Shari'a-finance.]
... and the general confusion our Commander-in-Chief has sown in a time of war ...
Perhaps the greatest problem with the term "war on terror" is that it confuses both the public and those charged with prosecuting the war on all levels about the nature of the enemy we face. The jihadists who seek to dominate the world in the name of Islam are not merely involved in violent activities. Organizations like Hamas, Hizbullah and al-Qaida devote the majority of their efforts to spreading the message of jihad by proselytizing fellow Muslims through propaganda, educational and welfare activities. These actions are vital for building popular support both for their terror activities and for their larger political goals.

Essential to the aims of the jihadists is the Muslim sacrament of zakat. Zakat, one of the pillars of Islam, requires Muslims to donate 2.5 percent of their incomes to charity. As the indictment in the Holyland Foundation case showed, most of the money that the five defendants transferred to Hamas was transferred through zakat committees in Palestinian cities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. These committees then transferred the monies to Hamas terrorists, their family members, political leaders and terror cells. [bold added]
... have just come together to enable Islamic totalitarians to finance terrorism with our help.

Read it all.

-- CAV


: Corrected a typo, HT Adrian Hester.


Anonymous said...

Pragmatically avoiding anti-interest religious laws is not confined to Islam. From reading Yaron Brook's latest essay on the history of money-lending (in the latest Objective Standard) I learned that the same thing went on for centuries in Christian Europe. In fact usury laws are based on the same anti-money, anti-interest principles. Even today there are credit lenders who work out all kinds of elaborate loan packages to avoid today's usury laws.

My point is not to minimize the point Glick is making. She's 100% right. But hostility to money is endemic to religion as evidenced by Christianity's past. I'm led to the conclusion that if the secular, Hellenized veneer were striped from today's Christianity, it would be just as bad as Islam.

John Kim

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks for bringing that up, and for reminding me of what I can look forward to (i.e., the Brook article) either the next time I fire up the grill or when I take off for Thanksgiving. I just got my Fall issue in the mail a week or so ago!

BlackmarketPies said...

A great book that's related to this topic was Cambridge University Press' "Alms For Jihad," by J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins. Unfortunately, the book is almost impossible to get since Cambridge acquiesced to the saudi businessman, Sheikh Khalid Bin Mahfouz, and pulled the book without protest after allegations of libel.

Nevermind that they authors had supporting evidence for their claims: the British court system is structured in a way as to be weighted in favor of the person making the libel allegation, and not the defendant. In fact, if the book was published in the U.S, Mahfouz would have found himself with egg on his face indeed, since any suit would have needed a lot more evidence to come to a decision. If it had been brought up in the U.S, the case would have likely gone to court, and a pre-trial discovery would have been necessary. This would have exposed all of Mahfouz's financial activities, and proved whether the authors were lying or not. I guess that's why the suit wasn't brought against the authors (who are American), but against Cambridge University press, subject to the aforementioned ineffectual British courts.

We could have had a definitive answer to whether or not Mahfouz was involved with radical islamic organizations, and, if the information was false, he may very well have won any suit brought against the American authors of the book - but that would have required that the evidence be in his favor.

Sorry for cluttering up your comments, there. Thought of "Alms for Jihad" and off I went.

Gus Van Horn said...

No apology necessary. In fact, your comment was fascinating and topical.

I have learned many valuable things from comments like yours and I want you to feel free to "go off", as you put it, like that any time.