According to a PR announcement, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) joined with two other organizations in an Islamic finance training program that featured an inaugural address by a former Pakistani Islamic judge who has called for “aggressive military jihad” to establish global Islamic supremacy. According to the announcement:
What does it take to bring 7 million American Muslims Islamic finance? Maybe training only 100 prominent religious leaders as a small first step. That is what the founding members of the American Islamic Finance (AIF) Project have now successfully accomplished. Jointly founded by Ethica Institute of Islamic Finance, Guidance Financial, and the Islamic Society of North America, the AIF Project seeks to promote standards-based Islamic finance among Muslim communities in North America. The training program began with an inaugural address by Mufti Taqi Usmani, chairman of AAOIFI (Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions), the world´s leading standard-setting body. Ethica´s spokesperson said, “Muslims in America rely on their imams for all kinds of information. By giving these community leaders direct training in the practical application of Islamic finance, Ethica now equips them with an understanding of global standards.” Ethica´s two-month imam training program looks to become an annual event. The program was successfully completed this month after Ethica delivered a rigorous blend of e-learning, including case studies, exercises, and exams, in addition to intensive classroom instruction. With fewer banks and universities opting for face-to-face training, and more institutions adopting the increasingly popular e-learning option, Islamic finance is set to become more accessible to countries outside of the Gulf.
In 2007, the U.K. Sunday Times published a comment piece detailing the views of Mufti Usmani on jihad which argue that aggressive military jihad should be waged by Muslims to establish worldwide Islamic supremacy. According to the piece:
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 non Muslim 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 non Muslim lands.
Read the rest here.
The book in question can be found here.
According to his biographical profile, Mufti Usmani has serves as an Islamic law scholar for a wide variety of financial institutions all over the world. A previous post discussed ISNA’s involvement with Islamic finance though its affiliated North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) where Usmani had served as member of the Board of Trustees for its Dow Jones Islamic Fund until the fund was renamed and Usmani removed from the Board. No reason was given for his removal.
A report by the Hudson Institute has identified ISNA as a major part of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood. The organization has a long history of fundamentalism, anti-semitism, and support for terrorism and during the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing trial, ISNA was named as an unindicted co-conspirator. Although recently ISNA has issued condemnations of terrorism which for the first time identify Hamas and Hezbollah by name, there is no indication that the organization has ever addressed or acknowledged its history.