Archive for May, 2010

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Pakistanization of Indonesian zakat?

May 31, 2010

Pakistan has a fully Islamized tax system including government mandated zakat collections against Sunni Muslims.  This nationalized zakat has led to widespread corruption, uneven collection rates, and funds channeled to terrorism (intentionally in accordance with the Koran or unintentionally in other cases).

Even more ominously, the Pakistani tax system also revived the Islamic interest in traditional revenue collection methods laid out the Koran and Hadith.  The Taliban learned these lessons well from their Pakistani teachers and reintroduced them in Afghanistan where they’ve collected zakat, sadaqa, ushr, jizya, and fida’ (ransom) both when they were ruling Afghanistan up to the present.

The diverse revenue base inspired by Islam and the Pakistani tax system has enabled massive wealth accumulation by the Taliban.  The Taliban continues to be a difficult foe for NATO because of its financial resources.

Now Indonesia is considering the adoption of Pakistan’s awful model.  Although I disagree with their reasoning entirely, I find myself in rare alignment with the local Indonesian zakat activists who are opposed to the national plan…  From the Jakarta Post on May 25:

Activists rejected a government’s plan to centralize the collection and management of alms or zakat, arguing the move would end privately run alms institutions and disadvantage low-income people as recipients.

Juperta Panji Utama, secretary-general of the Zakat Movement for Indonesia, an alliance of alms institutions from across the country, said privately run alms institutions have so far been working effectively in collecting and managing alms from the community.

“The government cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that more people trust privately run zakat institutions, not state-run ones, to distribute and manage their alms,” Juperta said.

In terms of collection, he said privately run zakat management institutions or LAZ could collect higher fund amounts, while in terms of distribution creativity, many could provide facilities for the poor, from free hospital care and schooling to economic empowerment programs.

“We have been helping the government in dealing with poverty. Please don’t end private zakat institutions just because there’s an opportunity to collect huge amounts of money from the community.”

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God’s wheat

May 30, 2010
Charsadda farmers enjoy bumber crop

Smile while you can, farmers. The jihadi taxman cometh.

You didn’t just think that Islam’s 10 percent ushr tax on harvests was being collected from opium yields, did you?  Bring the dues thereof on the day of harvest.  That’s what the Koran says (6:142).  And jihadists say it, too.  Remarkable similarity, wouldn’t you say?

This news from the Daily Times on May 16 about ushr collections on wheat harvests by jihadists (separate from Pakistan’s government imposed ushr) against Charsadda farmers is par for the course.

PESHAWAR: The Amn Tehreek (Peace Movement) on Saturday demanded Rs 3 million in compensation for the martyrs of Swat Qaumi Amn Jirga and the Amn Lashkar.

The Amn Tehreek made the demand in a Steering Committee meeting held in Peshawar, which was presided over by Steering Committee member Shamim Shahid. The Peshawar Press Club president, Amn Tehreek Convener Idrees Kamal, Dr Said Alam Mahsud, Mukhtar Bacha, Shahab Khattak advocate, Hameedullah Zahid, Ijaz Durrani and others participated in the meeting.

In a press statement, the Amn Tehreek said, the security situation of Malakand division, Swat, Buner and Dir was discussed in detail. Participants at the meeting expressed concern for the life and property of the locals in the aforementioned areas. In Buner, the participants observed, the security situation was anything but satisfactory, as the entire population of the district continued to live in tense circumstances.

The situation in Charsadda was also discussed in detail. The participants said that militants belonging to different jihadi organisations were forcibly collecting ‘wheat’ from the locals in the name of “zakat and ushr’. The wheat could be used by militants to buy arms and ammunition, they added. The meeting also condemned certain parts of the media for favouring extremism.

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Jihad, sharia, and Islamic charity

May 28, 2010

There’s been a spate of great blog posts over the last week at some of our favorite blogs, all illustrating how the jihadists continue tapping into zakat and other Koranic tax revenues streams to wage their money jihad against the West.

  • Global MB Daily Report:  Kuwait’s the International Islamic Charitable Organization, IICO, observes its 25th anniversary.  IICO appears to have the full support of Kuwait’s royal family and government.  IICO also has ties to Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Virginia…
  • Shariah Finance Watch:  The ruler of Dubai has mandated that waqf projects be fully sharia compliant.  Waqf religious endowment projects are common.  But explicitly mandating their sharia compliance is an extra layer of detail they don’t normally publicize.  Remember that sharia=subjugation (of women, non-Muslims, etc.).
  • JihadWatch:  Five members of a Muslim “humanitarian” group have been arrested in Kosovo.  With all the arrests, criminal investigations, and convictions of Muslim charities, is anybody else catching on that there is something inherently criminal about Islamic charity?
  • Shariah Finance Watch:  Anwar al-Awlaki has come out championing the money jihad.  Yes, the Yemen-based cleric who inspired some of the 9/11 hijackers, the Ft. Hood’s Maj. Hasan, and other lowlife murderers has joined Osama Bin Laden and Yusuf al-Qaradawi in his public support for the Al Jihad bi al-Mal.
  • RantburgBig bounties are being paid to Taliban for each NATO casualty they cause.  Money for the bounties comes from protection payments (zakat), opium harvests (ushr), and the Gulf (sadaqa & hawala).  NATO deaths are the fruits of the money jihad.
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Congressional probe of hawala upcoming?

May 27, 2010

It’s encouraging that politicians (even a Democrat in this case!) are sounding the alarm about Islamic hawala.  But if Congress just issues another boilerplate government study about how “the majority” of hawala transfers are for “good purposes” and are more “efficient” than our Western banking system, the report won’t be worth the paper it’s printed on.

From the Boston Herald on May 22:

U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, (D-South Boston) wants a congressional probe of informal Islamic banking networks as authorities investigate whether three New England detainees were inadvertantly involved in financing the botched Times Square bombing.

Lynch’s push comes as law enforcement officials told The Associated Press that terror suspect Faisal Shahzad confessed to interrogators he received financing from the Pakistani Taliban through the informal “halawa” system used by Muslim to transfer funds globally.

But, one official told The Associated Press, “there’s a belief that no one in the U.S. who got him the funds was aware of what they were for.” Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, was the only person in the United States who was “operational” in the clumsy May 1 Times Square plot, the official said.

Lynch said, “The recent attempted bombing in Times Square only underscores the need to redouble our efforts to combat international terrorist financing. Informal financing networks can be insidious and difficult to track.”

Lynch and U.S. Rep. Mike Castle (D-Delaware) wrote to Financial Services Committee Chair Rep. Barney Frank (D-Newton) this week urging hearings.

Meanwhile, Pakistan General Consul Barry Hoffman, who yesterday visited one of three Pakistani New England detainees, Mohammad Rahman of South Portland, at an immigration facility in Maine, described him as a mild-mannered techie who didn’t espouse radical Islamic views.

“He comes from a good family in Karachi . . . he does not seem like a radical,” Hoffman said. “He’s being treated well. I spoke to a reverend and he’s arranging to get him a Koran and prayer rug”…

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Wednesday word: FIU

May 26, 2010

FIU stands for financial intelligence unit.  The Egmont Group, an informal association of FIUs from around the world, defines an FIU as follows:

A central, national agency responsible for receiving (and as permitted, requesting), analyzing and disseminating to competent authorities, disclosures of financial information:

i.  concerning suspected proceeds of crime and potential financing of terrorism, or

ii.  required by national legislation or regulation, in order to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.*

The FIU for the United States is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an office within the Treasury Department which is also responsible for administering and enforcing the Bank Secrecy Act.

The director of FinCEN is James H. Freis, Jr., a Bush-era holdover.

Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network

FinCEN Director James H. Freis, Jr.

At least 115 other countries have financial intelligence units according to the membership rolls of the Egmont Group.

*  Schott, Paul Allan, Reference Guide to Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism, second edition (The World Bank:  2006).

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Petraeus joins amen chorus for Saudi Arabia

May 25, 2010
Warm relations between U.S. military and Saudi Arabia

Gen. Petraeus with Saudi officials in 2008

Positive reinforcement is an effective training technique for dolphins, dogs, and horses.  When an animal does something good, reward it; bad, punish it.  Maybe Gen. Petraeus is hoping that positive reinforcement can do the same thing for Saudi Arabia.

But are we really doing the reinforcement training, or are we the ones getting trained?  When we say nice things about Saudi cooperation on terrorist financing, they “reward” us by finally condemning terrorist financing 8½ years after 9/11.  Then we say more nice things about them because we love more “rewards.”

But at the end of all the nice talking and mutual backstroking, Saudi zakat is still flowing to the Taliban to fight our soldiers in Afghanistan.  Let’s call a spade a spade.

From American Forces Press Service:

Petraeus Lauds Saudi Fatwa Condemning Terrorism Financing

By Donna Miles

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2010 – Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. Central Command, praised Saudi Arabia’s religious leaders for taking a major step toward promoting broader counterterrorism cooperation  by their recent rejection of financing terrorism as un-Islamic.

Petraeus lauded the Council of Senior Scholars in Saudi Arabia’s recent issuance of a fatwa that, for the first time, specifically condemns and outlaws the financing of terrorism as a violation of Islamic law.

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Debt-financed terror

May 24, 2010

From the Fox affiliate in Kansas City on May 21:

How Did Khalid Ouazzani Raise Cash for Al-Qaida?

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Kansas City auto parts dealer who admitted funneling cash to the Al-Qaida terrorist organization used many of the same fraud techniques that others used to get cash that caused the nation’s housing crisis, an expert in white-collar crime says.

Khalid Ouazzani, 32, is accused of defaulting on home loans totaling $415,000. Prosecutors say that he bought about a dozen Kansas City properties at auction for as little as a couple of hundred dollars each, and then obtained home equity loans on the properties for much more.

It sounds very much like the typical mortgage fraud scheme that had made the news so often over the last few years, but the difference in Ouazzani’s case is that he has admitted funneling $24,000 of the cash to support the Al-Qaida terror network.

“Banks all too often are really awful at underwriting,” said William Black, an associate professor of Economics and Law at the UMKC School of Law. “When they are, they can be exploited for all kinds of evil purposes. This is one of the evil purposes.”

Black, a former financial regulator and a former director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention, calls Ouazzani one of the dumb ones. He says that the $24,000 could pay for two ” Times Square”-type attacks that terrorists tried in New York City recently.

“It’s extremely difficult to follow small amounts of money,” said Black. “Unfortunately what we’ve seen, for example in the recent attempted attack in New York, car bombing, estimates are that may have cost as little as $13,000.”

Black says that the federal government should hire more FBI agents to follow the terrorist money trail, especially as dollar amounts get smaller. He also says that cracking down on tax havens would also help, as he says that the really big bucks for terror groups like Al-Qaida come through the drug trade.

Black also says Ouazzani’s used auto parts business helped him fraudulently obtain a $175,000 loan because it’s hard to easily verify the market value of the business’ assets.

Notice that the report didn’t address why Ouazzani wanted raise money for Al Qaeda.  Could it be that he heard the words of Muhammad who said, “The warrior gets his reward, and the one who equips him gets his own reward and that of the warrior”?  Swelling the ranks of the federal workforce and cracking down on tax havens don’t address the central problem which is the Islamic-based money jihad against the West.

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