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Yunus swoops down on Haiti

October 29, 2012

Multi-millionaire Muslim banker Muhammad Yunus is pledging to load Haiti with hundreds of thousands of dollars in new debt to finance a new “plantation” and some chicken farms.  This individual, who once won a Nobel prize, has come under increased scrutiny in recent years for his suspicious business and philanthropic activities:

  • Yunus was the subject of an investigation by the government of Norway in 2010 for misappropriating Norwegian donations made to his bank.  (The Times, Dec. 3, 2010)
  • Yunus was released on bail over slander charges from officials in Bangladesh, who have also investigated Yunus for tax evasion.  (Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Jan. 18, 2011)
  • “A separate review of [Yunus’s Grameen Bank] has been underway since May this year.” (Business Recorder, Aug. 3, 2012)
  • “Bangladesh’s cabinet Thursday ordered a new probe into Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.”  (Business Recorder, Aug. 3, 2012)

But the Associated Press doesn’t mention any of the recent controversies surrounding Yunus, and presents his promised loan as a groundbreaking effort to create jobs and reduce poverty in the hard-hit Caribbean nation.  The AP doesn’t include a single negative, critical, or alternate point-of-view, source, or quotation in its “news” article, which reads more like a Yunus/Grameen press release than an act of journalism:

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Nobel peace laureate Mohammad Yunus announced Saturday that his pro-business development group is financing several endeavors through a mix of loans and equity.

The projects that incorporate Yunus’ development philosophy of “social business” include two poultry farms, a bakery and a plantation of jatropha plants that can be used for biodiesel, offering an alternative energy source while creating jobs for 200 farmers.

The amount invested in each will range from $80,000 to $500,000, and feature loans with interest rates ranging from 6-10 percent.

Such “social businesses” must each have a social mission like a non-governmental organization, but also generate revenues to cover costs like a profit-making business.

Yunus, an international development expert, made the announcement on the first of a three-day trip to Haiti that includes field visits and a conference examining ways to use his development philosophy to ease poverty in Haiti.

It was the second time Yunus had come to Haiti since visiting a year ago to introduce his “social business” philosophy to the impoverished Caribbean nation…

Prior Money Jihad coverage on Islamic activity in Haiti has revealed that Muslim Hands, a British Islamic charity that belongs to the Hamas-funding Union of Good network, has worked there with the Zakat Foundation, an Illinois-based charity.  The Global Muslim Brotherhood Report has also reported on Islamic Relief USA, a Muslim Brotherhood-linked charity, for its aid distribution in Haiti.

Why is the island so appealing to Muslim investors or NGOs when there is almost zero indigenous Islamic population in Haiti?  Because Muslim groups see failed states as a perfect breeding ground for their purposes.  Think of Sudan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.  Once Islamist elements realize that a central government is weak, that poverty and social chaos are on the rise, they swoop in to fill the void, and transform society into something far bleaker than what preceded it.

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