Newsweek has reported that the assets of Amana Mutual Funds, an Islamic investment company tied to the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia, have doubled since 2003 to $1.3 billion. According to the article about Islamic investing:
Islamic mutual funds, like those in the Amana group, don’t invest in financial-services companies: they escaped the subprime mortgage debacle altogether. Most energy companies, however, are fine. “We don’t consider ourselves an environmental or socially responsible fund,” says Monem Salam, Amana’s director of Islamic investing. “Energy was a big part of our growth.” Over the past year, the Amana funds outperformed the market; their assets have more than doubled from $400 million in 2003 to $1.3 billion this year. Five years ago, most of Amana’s investors were American Muslims, Salam adds. Now, he guesses, 80 percent of new investors are non-Muslims.
A 2005 Washington Post article discussed Amana’s origins in the U.S. Brotherhood in an interview with Nicholas Kaiser, the fund’s chairman:
Kaiser said he was approached in 1984 by the North American Islamic Trust, a Burr Ridge, Ill.-based group that oversees assets of the society, the Muslim Students Association of the U.S. and Canada, and other organizations. ‘I had no idea about Islamic funds then,’ he said. Two years later, after working with the trust’s directors and the council’s scholars to form an investment strategy based on Islamic law, he helped start the Amana Mutual Trust Fund. He screened 3,700 companies at the direction of Fiqh Council of North America in Leesburg, an advisory board of the Islamic Society.
Both the North American Islamic Trust and the Fiqh Council are part of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) which, in turn, is part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood . A 1985 economics journal reported that Amana was actually established by Jamal Barzinji, a long-time Amana trustee who was one of the founders of the Fiqh Council and who is also tied to Saudi Arabian financial sources through the now defunct SAAR Corporation. It should also be noted that the members of the Fiqh Council themselves are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and/or Saudi Arabia and the Council maintains a relationship with other similar bodies including the Islamic Fiqh Academy in Saudi Arabia
The current Amana website lists the following as its Trustees, two of which have strong ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood:
-Iqbal Unus (past Secretary General of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) , HQ Director of International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT)
A 2006 SEC filing for Saturna Capital, the investment advisor for Amana, lists three Shariah advisors, all of which are or have been tied to the global Brotherhood:
-Salah Soltan (Fiqh Council of North America, European Council for Fatwa and Research, Islamic American University)
-Muzzamil Siddiq (past ISNA President, Fiqh Council of America)
-Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo (former IIIT and former Fiqh Council)
A previous post has discussed Salah Soltan’s recent departure for Bahrain following the suspension of his application for Anmerican citizenship. Knowledgeable sources report that he has since been asked to leave the Shariah board.