The Center for Security Policy (CSP), a U.S. think-tank, has announced the launch of a national campaign warning of the dangers of so-called Shariah financing, investment products that are certified as compliant with Islamic law by Shariah scholar. According to a CSP press release:
On Thursday, April 17, 2008,The Center for Security Policy will announce the launch of a national campaign to warn the public that “U.S. financial institutions and businesses engaged in Shariah-Compliant finance may have criminal and civil exposure on the grounds of: securities fraud, consumer fraud, racketeering, antitrust violations, material support for terrorism and aiding and abetting sedition,” according to Center President Frank Gaffney.
The press release adds that a presentation on the dangers of Shariah finance was to be held at Harvard, chosen as a location because an Islamic Finance project of Harvard Law school was hold its eighth annual forum on the subject around this time that would fail to address these dangers. The press release also states that two Islamic investment products associated with the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood had already taken defensive actions as a result of the campaign:
“It appears that the Center’s briefings to U.S. government officials and the legal memorandum are already leading to defensive action by the Dow Jones Islamic Index, and the Dow Jones Islamic Fund of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). NAIT was founded by the Muslim Student Association and is affiliated with the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). NAIT and ISNA were both named as unindicted co-conspirators in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance case. On March 21, 2008, NAIT’s Dow Jones Islamic Fund renamed itself the Iman Fund, and the Fund’s website has been removed. The Dow Jones Islamic Fund also attempted to cleanse the Fund’s public filing in a variety of ways including removing key information on Shariah and the Shariah advisors: “The section entitled ‘More Information about the Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes SM’ on pages 6-7 and the section entitled ‘Shari’ah Supervisory Board’ on pages 7-8 are each removed in their entirety.” (Source: Supplement dated March 21, 2008 to the Dow Jones SM Islamic Fund Prospectus dated September 28, 2007).
“In a similar effort, the Dow Jones Islamic Index has recently removed all mention at their website of the extremist Shariah advisor Sheikh Usmani, who had previously headed their advisory board,” Gaffney added. Gaffney also states, “Sheikh Usmani’s legal rulings promoting Jihad include the last chapter of his bookIslam and Modernism, published in English in 2006. It contains the following passage: ‘Here, killing is to continue until the unbelievers pay Jizyah after they are humbled or overpowered. If the purpose of killing was only to acquire permission and freedom of preaching Islam, it would have been said ‘until they allow for preaching Islam.’ But the obligation of Jizyah and along with it the mention of their subordination is a clear proof that the purpose is to smash their grandeur, so that the veils of their domination should be raised and people get a free chance to think over the blessings of Islam.'”
It should be noted that U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leader Muzzamil Siddiqi was a Trustee of the Dow Jones Islamic Fund from 2000-2004. Dr. Siddiqi is a past President of ISNA. Previous posts have discussed the importance of global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi in relation to Sharia Finance. Interestingly, Qaradawi was reported to be on of the financiers of the original complex housing the ISNA facilities in Indiana.