The publication of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), a part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood, has announced that it’s affiliated investment fund was renamed the Imam Fund. It was previously known as the Dow Jones Islamic Fund. According to the ISNA announcement:
The Dow Jones Islamic Fund has been renamed as lman Fund, effective 5 April 2008. The Islamic principles applicable to this no-load mutual fund remain unchanged. Its ticker symbol will also remain IMANX (www.lnvestAAA.com). The Iman Fund comprises only those investments that meet Islamic principles. Under the normal circumstances, the Fund invests at least 80% of its net assets in domestic and foreign securities. Islamic principles generally preclude investments in certain industries (e.g. alcohol, pornography and gambling) and investments in interest bearing debt obligations or businesses that derive a substantial amount of interest income. Allied Asset Advisors (AAA), a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) is the Investment Advisor for the Iman Fund. All securities included in the Iman Fund are chosen by its Investment Advisor, ensuring that all chosen stocks meet Islamic principles.
No reason was given for the change of names. The Board of Trustees is identified on the fund website as:
Shaykh Abdalla Idris Ali
Mohammed Kaiseruddin, PhD
Mr. Imran Hussain, CPA
Bassam Osman, MD.
Sheikh Ali is a former ISNA President and member of the board of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) while Bassam Osman has been NAIT chairman since 1980. Dr. Osman was also identified in 1992 U.S. Muslim Brotherhood documents as part of the leadership of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.
The North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) was established on May 23, 1973 and later became known as an affiliate of ISNA. According to the incorporation documents, the purpose of NAIT was to “serve the best interests of Islam and the Muslim Student’s Association of the United States and Canada” by establishing a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation to hold “investment property.” Since that time, NAIT has acquired title to a large number of U.S. Islamic facilities with some estimates as high as 25-30% of all such facilities. A online fund document indicates that as of September 2004, the North American Islamic Trust Owned almost 77% of the Class K shares indicating that NAIT was in control of the Fund. An online fund document indicates that as of September 2004, the North American Islamic Trust owned almost 77% of the Class K shares indicating that NAIT was in control of the Fund. As of December 2005, the DJIF had an equity value of almost $25 million.
Interestingly, the Shariah Supervisory Board for the fund appears to have been removed. Earlier, the Sharah Board had been identified on the fund webpages as:
Dr. Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah Syria
Muhammad Taqi Usmani Pakistan
Nizam Yaquby Bahrain
Mohamed A. Elgari
Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo
Dr. Mohd Daud Baker Malaysia
It is possible the removal of the Shiariah Board from the fund website is related to the views of Taqi Usmani, a former Pakistani Supreme Court Justice characterized in a British newspaper as follows:
One of the world’s most respected Deobandi scholars believes that aggressive military jihad should be waged by Muslims “to establish the supremacy of Islam” worldwide. Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani argues that Muslims should live peacefully in countries such as Britain, where they have the freedom to practise Islam, only until they gain enough power to engage in battle. His views explode the myth that the creed of offensive, expansionist jihad represents a distortion of traditional Islamic thinking. Mr Usmani, 64, sat for 20 years as a Sharia judge in Pakistan’s Supreme Court. He is an adviser to several global financial institutions and a regular visitor to Britain. Polite and softly spoken, he revealed to The Times a detailed knowledge of world events and his words, for the most part, were balanced and considered. He agreed that it was wrong to suggest that the entire nonMuslim world was intent on destroying Islam. Yet this is a man who, in his published work, argues the case for Muslims to wage an expansionist war against nonMuslim lands. Mr Usmani’s justification for aggressive military jihad as a means of establishing global Islamic supremacy is revealed at the climax of his book, Islam and Modernism. The work is a polemic against Islamic modernists who seek to convert the entire Koran into “a poetic and metaphorical book” because, he says, they have been bewitched by Western culture and ideology. The final chapter delivers a rebuke to those who believe that only defensive jihad (fighting to defend a Muslim land that is under attack or occupation) is permissible in Islam. He refutes the suggestion that jihad is unlawful against a nonMuslim state that freely permits the preaching of Islam. For Mr Usmani, “the question is whether aggressive battle is by itself commendable or not”. “If it is, why should the Muslims stop simply because territorial expansion in these days is regarded as bad? And if it is not commendable, but deplorable, why did Islam not stop it in the past? ” He answers his own question thus: “Even in those days . .. aggressive jihads were waged . .. because it was truly commendable for establishing the grandeur of the religion of Allah. ” These words are not the product of a radical extremist. They come from the pen of one of the most acclaimed scholars in the Deobandi tradition. Mr Usmani told The Times that Islam and Modernism was an English translation of his original Urdu book, “which at times gives a connotation different from the original”.
(Source: Islamic Horizons May 2008 – June 2008 Dow Jones Islamic Fund is renamed as the Iman Fund SECTION: NATIONAL NEWS; Pg. 20 Vol. 37 No. 3 ISSN: 8756-2367)