Posts Tagged ‘Islamic taxation’

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Muslim Brotherhood fills coffers with jizya from 80 Coptic families

November 17, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood gangsters have demanded from 3,000 to 15,000 USD apiece from 80 Coptic Christian households in Malawi, Egypt, according to a recent broadcast on CTV.  The report doesn’t specify how the Muslim Brotherhood is using the money it has collected, but typically such funds are used to pay Muslim Brotherhood operatives and to buy weapons.

Raymond Ibrahim has the details on the Brotherhood’s latest enterprise:

The Kidnapping and Plundering of Christian Copts

By Raymond Ibrahim on November 2, 2013

The kidnapping and plundering of Egypt’s Christian Copts continues unabated.

As recently revealed on CTV, in a village called Maghlaga, in the district of Malawi—where Muslim Brotherhood supporters earlier ransacked and plundered a museum housing Egyptian antiquities—a Muslim gang leader known as “Saddam” has been going to every one of the approximately 80 Coptic households in the village demanding jizya/extortion money from them.

One inhabitant of the village confirmed that Muslim Brotherhood members are behind Saddam, specifically informing him how much money each household can be squeezed of, so that most households are paying anywhere from 20,000-100,000 Egyptian pounds (from 3-15 thousand U.S. dollars).

Yasser, the village resident reporting, said that Saddam told the Copts that “Everyone is going to pay and whoever doesn’t pay we’ll take his son, his wife—we’ll violate the people to the utmost extreme.”

During the live news show it was further revealed that in the region of Shubrat al-Khaima, another young Coptic child was kidnapped, with demands that his parents pay 250,000 EP (nearly 40,000 USD).  After the father complied and met them alone with the money in a secret place, the kidnappers took the money, beat the father severely, and still kept his child.

Such hate for Egypt’s Christians is hardly unprecedented.  Earlier another Muslim man kidnapped a 6-year-old Christian boy and, after the family paid the ransom, still killed the child and threw his body in his sewer.

See prior Money Jihad coverage of how the Muslim Brotherhood finances itself through the traditional Islamic jizya tax here, here, and here.

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Taliban force businessmen to support jihad

October 18, 2013

Even after formally being out of power for a dozen years, the Taliban has been able to sustain diversified and balanced revenue streams from a wider span of sources than nearly any other terrorist group on earth.  They collect royalties on opium and ordinary crops, taxes on shipments within and beyond Afghanistan, state sponsorship through Pakistan’s ISI spy service, zakat from wealthy Gulf donors siphoned through third party Islamic charities, jizya from Sikhs and other religious minorities in South and Central Asia, and ransoms from ordinary and wealthy Pakistanis—all of which they justify on the basis of Islamic law.

Dawn calls the ransoms “extortion,” which is vibrant and growing enterprise for Mullah Omar’s men:

Terror group sees Islamabad as a lucrative city for extortions

For the last couple of years, the capital city has seen an alarming increase in extortion cases. Unable to trace the culprits, the police say an outlawed terror group is behind the crime.

The banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has a hand in all the small and big extortion incidents. The terror outfit is involved in extorting money from rich people directly and indirectly, a police officer told Dawn on the condition of anonymity. He added that the TTP was found directly involved in targeting big businessmen, traders and professionals, especially doctors. But these cases were not so rampant.

The disturbing factor is that the TTP was also indirectly encouraging small groups to collect extortions and share the money with it. This racket of splinter groups has widened its activities across the city but most of the cases are not reported to the police on time, he said.

The TTP started getting extortions after its traditional source of foreign funding was either plugged or reduced. In the early days, militant groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan used to receive funds from abroad.

Though the militant groups still receive funds from other countries, they are not sufficient to carry out terror activities. This has forced them to look for other sources of income inside the country, with extortion, kidnapping for ransom and bank robberies being the most lucrative of them.

It was in September 2012 when the police arrested three people in the capital city and unearthed the TTP’s direct involvement in receiving extortions. The network had demanded Rs 6 million as extortion from a trader in the Blue Area.

During investigation, the accused disclosed that they collected extortions from traders and transferred the money to Manchester, UK, through Hundi for onward delivery to the terror network.

In June this year, traders of Sabzi Mandi informed the police that a group of Afghan nationals was forcing extortions from them, but when the police registered a case, the group escaped from the area. During investigation of the case, it was revealed in August that some people in Khana Pul, Sihala and Mandi Mor areas also collected millions of rupees every month and diverted them to militant outfits, the officer added.

The second direct involvement of the TTP in extortion came to light when a business centre in Sihala was attacked a week back. This was the second attack on the centre since July 26.

On June 17, Mohammad Raja Asif, the owner of the centre, received a telephone call in which the caller threatened him to pay Rs100 million. Later, he continued receiving similar calls from different local and Afghan numbers.

On July 26, his business centre was attacked with hand grenades in which his office was damaged. The next day – July 27 – he received another call from an Afghanistan-based number and the caller told him that the attack was the result of his failure to pay the extortion sum.

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Syrian rebel fatwa: seize non-Sunni property

October 11, 2013

Unless they convert to Sunni Islam, the property of Syrian Christians and Shia Muslims should be confiscated.  So say the muftis in Syria who issued a fatwa on the subject.  They also instructed Sunnis to use the money that they confiscate to buy weapons for jihad.

The ruling is in keeping with the teachings of deceased Al Qaeda imam Anwar al-Awlaki, who urged dispossession of infidel wealth.  The fatwa may also be partly inspired by the kharaj, an Islamic tax against defeated non-Muslims and their land.

From PI-News.org on Oct. 1:

Syria: Dispossession of All Non-Muslims

In Syria, islamist legal scholars have signed a fatwa calling for the seizure of the possessions of all Christians, Druze, Alawites and other minorities that “do not confess to the Sunni religion of the prophet.” The proceeds of this property is to be used for the purchase of weapons for “martyrs” and for their families. The Muftis also call for the breaking off of all ties with Syrians “who have betrayed or deserted from the Revolution.” Furthermore, it says: “We call our people to adhere to our islamic traditions and to visit the house of God regularly so that we may protect our souls and our society.” That means very well then that the “infidels” before they are slain are to be humiliated by this robbery of their property. (lsg)

Posted by PI / Translation: Anders Denken

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Egypt: Islamists levy jizya against Copts

September 15, 2013

And what do they do with the proceeds?  Buy weapons to wage further assaults against non-Muslims, the military, and moderate Muslims.  Excerpts from a recent article in The Times of London follow:

  • “Some Coptic Christian communities are being made to pay bribes as local Islamists exploit the turmoil by seeking to revive a seventh-century tax, called jizya, levied on non-Muslims.”
  • “In Minya, home to one of the largest communities of Coptic Christians, families said that they had had to pay protection money to their Muslim attackers.”
  • “‘…A local thug [in Deir Mawas], together with representatives of the two most important Muslim families in the city, came around to the Christian families demanding money or they will burn their buildings,’ he said. ‘The starting price was 2,000LE (£190), but because I own quite a large shop, I had to pay 5,000LE.’ For many this is several months’ earnings.”

Additionally, Raymond Ibrahim reports:

  • “…the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters are forcing the roughly 15,000 Christian Copts of Dalga village in south Minya province to pay jizya…”
  • “‘…Some are being expected to pay 200 Egyptian pounds per day, others 500 Egyptian pounds per day’.”
  • “…some 40 Christian families have now fled Dalga…”

And just yesterday, two Coptic Christians in Sahel Selim in Assuit Province were killed for refusing to pay 10,000 Egyptian pounds in jizya to a “Muslim gang.”  CBN has video:

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Banker supports taxes for jihad

June 30, 2013

The former chairman of Islami Bank Bangladesh, Limited (IBBL), Shah Abdul Hannan, explained his support for collecting taxes beyond zakat for the purposes of waging jihad in an article posted online around 2003 (available here and here).  Hannan based this argument on the writings of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the notorious Muslim Brotherhood leader, Hamas charity front financier, and sharia finance proponent.

Referring to Qaradawi’s Fiqh al Zakah, Hannan wrote:

…Allah has made it obligatory to carry out Jihad (defence of Islam and Islamic territory and to put an end to oppression anywhere in this world) through employing one’s life and wealth. This is a duty beyond Zakat. To carry out a major Jihad in this age, if needed, there is no other way but to raise resources through taxes…

Hannan has also condemned peaceful Shahbag dissidents who are calling for justice against war criminals in Bangladesh.  Hannan calls the student demonstrators fascists.  Well, Mr. Hannan—it takes one to know one.

Money Jihad has been documenting the terrorist financing activities of IBBL, one of the biggest banks in Bangladesh and its largest sharia financial institution, ever since Bangladeshi authorities revealed in 2011 that Islami Bank has been diverting eight percent of its corporate zakat to jihadi militants.  A member of IBBL’s sharia advisory board was also detained and questioned for possible involvement in an attack against police.

IBBL fell under international scrutiny in 2012 after the U.S. Senate reported that HSBC continued to maintain a business relationship with IBBL despite evidence of its role in funding terrorism.

More recently, U.S. garment importers including Wal-mart and J.C. Penny have severed ties with IBBL due to the Islamic bank’s role in supporting militants.  Nonetheless, Western Union continues to do business with IBBL.

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The Taliban’s jihad tax

April 8, 2013

Traditional terror finance analysis has regarded “revolutionary taxation” imposed on businesses and capitalists as a tactic of urban guerrillas such as Basque separatists, and demands for protection payments are commonly associated with the mafia.

But another group is increasingly adopting these techniques in Karachi, Pakistan—the Taliban.

It’s not really new for the Taliban.  (They’ve been extorting money for businessmen and peasants alike for years as zakat for jihad.)  But collecting such money in Karachi represents increased power and autonomy of the Pakistani Taliban, and it’s a trend that must be monitored closely.

This story from the Global Post in February slipped by us somehow:

Pakistan’s ‘Terror Tax’

The Taliban is embracing mafia-style tactics in Pakistan’s wayward port city of Karachi.

KARACHI, Pakistan — In November, armed men from the Pakistani Taliban showed up in front of Ali Hussain’s factory, asking for money in exchange for protection.

But Hussain didn’t have the $100,000 these men wanted.

“Just tell them to go to another factory,” he said to his chief security guard, whom called him on his office phone, as he watched the scene unfold on a security monitor.

Two of them raised their AK-47s toward the tiny camera outside the gate. “You pay us, we protect you. You decide not to give us the money, we’ll kill your only son.”

It’s a scene playing out with ever-greater frequency in some parts of Karachi, Pakistan’s wayward northern port city, as the Taliban embraces mafia-style tactics to help line its pockets.

When four days later, more armed men showed up, Hussain had no other choice but to pay. Before he could hand over the check, he heard the sound of indiscriminate gunfire.

Hussain’s 33-year-old son, the factory’s production manager, was shot. A bullet pierced through his side, ripping apart his spleen and part of his pancreas.

In 2012 alone, police said at least 115 different establishments in Karachi have been victims of what locals now dub the “terror tax.” Many more such incidents may not have been reported to authorities. While other mafia groups are also guilty of such shakedowns in Karachi, the police said the Taliban is one of the worst offenders.

The Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehrik-i-Taliban, or TTP, is an umbrella group of Islamic militants originating from Pakistan’s northern tribal region. The Pakistani Taliban is not related to the Taliban in Afghanistan, which has a vastly different history and identity.

Just three years ago, it was the Awami National Party (ANP) — a left-wing, secular group affiliated with Pakistan’s large Pashtun population — that controlled the area of Karachi where Hussain’s factory operates. Though ANP-linked men frequently asked small business owners for “protection money,” many businesses were left alone because they already supported the party financially or politically.

These days the Taliban has mostly driven out the ANP. The party’s graffiti and flags, which once plastered neighborhoods here, are gone. Inside mosques, flyers now let worshippers know who is in charge. The flyers instruct businesses in need of protection that the Taliban is available and a satellite phone number is listed.

The Taliban has taken hold of parts of Karachi with disturbing ease, taking advantage of endemic poverty, a corrupt municipal government and a growing immigrant population. Some supporters of the Taliban said the group’s presence has rid the area of immoral activities like drugs and prostitution, making them more popular.

Security analysts worry that — with the Taliban’s growing presence in Karachi — Pakistan’s stores of nuclear weapons and other arms could fall into the wrong hands. Militants attacked a key Karachi naval base in August 2012 that some suspect houses part of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

Bashir Jan, an ANP official in Karachi, said when the Taliban first began operating in the area, the group had little choice but to withdraw.

“At first, we didn’t do anything,” he said. “But then, when our activists were found dead, we began listening.”

With free run of the streets, the Taliban is now cleaning up on its protection rackets.

Akram Mahmoud, a shop owner in northwestern Karachi, said he pays the Taliban about $30 every month. The sum is an entire year’s worth of tuition for his son, who is in elementary school.

Although many businesses report extortion to the Karachi police, rarely do they respond. One Karachi police officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said police are hesitant to even enter large parts of northern Karachi.

“If someone is stupid enough to report a crime, the Karachi police simply file a report. Too many security personnel have already died just for walking into these streets,” he said.

City officials and political activists say that to effectively fight the Taliban in Karachi, a strong police force is vital.

“Instead the police sit and cower inside their stations. We need a better solution, a better police force,” said an ANP official.

But police officers insist they are no match for the Taliban…

Read the rest of the article here.  Declaring martial law has been rumored as a possible solution to this problem.

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Wednesday word: revolutionary tax

February 27, 2013

The “revolutionary tax” is a fundraising method normally associated with Marxist movements and ideology-based terrorism.  One dictionary defines a revolutionary tax, or impuesto revolucionario, as an “amount of money demanded by a terrorist group demands from a business or wealthy person under threat of death.”*

W. A. Tupman has noted that revolutionary taxes are most often imposed by urban guerrillas to finance terrorist operations.

The inspiration for the revolutionary tax seems to trace back to Karl Marx and Friederich Engels, who once wrote that “In a revolution, taxation, swollen to colossal proportions, can be used as a form of attack against private property,” in a review of the Emile de Girardin’s book Le socialisme et l’impôt (“Socialism and Taxes”).

Money Jihad doesn’t normally link to Wikipedia, but this particular entry describes the phenomenon of revolutionary taxation so succinctly and clearly that it’s a must read:

Revolutionary tax

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Revolutionary tax is a major form of funding for violent non-state actors such as guerrilla and terrorist organizations. Those outside the organization may consider it to be a euphemism for “protection money.”[1] Proponents of such groups maintain however that there is no difference between the revolutionary taxes “extorted” by given groups and corporate taxes raised by governments.

Revolutionary taxes are typically extorted from businesses, and they also “play a secondary role as one other means of intimidating the target population.”[1]

Examples

The Irish Provisional IRA and Corsican FLNC have extorted revolutionary taxes[2] as well as the following organizations.

ETA

The Basque nationalist organization ETA depended on revolutionary taxes.[3][4][5] Small to medium-sized businesses were extorted between the amounts of 35,000 to 400,000 euros each, which comprised most of ETA’s 10 million euro budget in 2001.[6]

The Philippines

In the Philippines most local and foreign companies pay revolutionary taxes to the Maoist New People’s Army. According to the army, the tax is a major obstacle for the country’s development while the New People’s Army justified it as a tax to be paid upon entering territories controlled by the rebels being a belligerent force.[7][8]

Colombia

The revolutionary taxes of Colombian guerrilla movements have become more common in the 1980s and 1990s.[9]

Nepal

The maoist guerillas of Nepal have also widely extorted revolutionary taxes.[10]

Argentina

The national socialist Argentine Movimiento Nacionalista Tacuara (MNT) demanded a “revolutionary tax” from many Jewish shops in Buenos Aires.[citation needed]

Soviet Russia

In the Soviet Russia, the Bolshevik government decreed a revolutionary tax on November 2, 1918.[11] Although the Bolshevik government already controlled the country, its opponents were still internationally recognized as the lawful rulers.

References

  1. ^ a b Detection of Terrorist Financing, U.S. National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), 2002
  2. ^ MONEY LAUNDERING AND TERRORISM FINANCING: AN OVERVIEW, Jean-François Thony, IMF.org, Seminar on Current Developments in Monetary and Financial Law Washington, D.C., May 7–17, 2002. “Money laundering and the financing of terrorism may be seen as distinct activities. … sometimes discreetly called a “revolutionary tax” (ETA, FLNC, IRA)”
  3. ^ Terrorism versus democracy: the liberal state response, Paul Wilkinson, Frank Cass Publishers, 2001, p. 70
  4. ^ Suspected ETA supporters arrested in cross-border swoop Euronews 20/06/06
  5. ^ Terror, Fires, Hail: Holiday Time in Europe, ABC News
  6. ^ Counterterrorism: An Example of Co-operation, Juan Miguel Lian Macias, Ministry of Defence of Spain, 2002-2-22: “ETA is funded mainly from one source: the money it collects through extortion of small and medium businessmen, charging them the so-called “revolutionary tax”. At present the amounts required are between 35,000 and 400,000 euros. The annual budget the terrorist organisation needs for the maintenance of its structures is estimated at around 10 million euros. Beyond the Spanish borders, ETA seeks links with similar groups and causes. Hence, it intends to gain the support of ideologically akin groups. It has or has had contacts with the Breton Revolutionary Army, with Corsican and Irish terrorist groups, with revolutionary groups from Latin America, etc.”
  7. ^ Rebels’ ‘revolutionary tax’ adds to cost of business in Philippines, N.Y.Times, October 20, 2004
  8. ^ Chapter 6 — Terrorist Organizations, Country Reports on Terrorism 2007, U.S. Department of State
  9. ^ Negotiating with Terrorists – A Reassessment of Colombia’s Peace Policy, NICOLAS URRUTIA, Stanford Journal of International Relations, vol. 3, issue 2, 2002
  10. ^ Trekking in the time of terrorism – The east is red with rhododendron and revolution, DAMBAR KRISHNA SHRESTHA, GUPHA POKHARI #243, 15.4.2005
  11. ^ Socialism: Still Impossible After All These Years, Peter J. Boettke & Peter T. Leeson, George Mason University, s. 13; Critical Review, Vol. 17, Autumn 2005

The un-cited imposition of the revolutionary tax against Jews in Buenos Aires mentioned above is documented in The War of All the People by Jon B. Perdue.

Having explained the term, the academic concept of a revolutionary tax really needs to be broadened to include religious-based revolutionary movements, especially Islamist movements.  The Islamic fundamentalist imposition of the twin sharia taxes—zakat on Muslims and jizya on non-Muslims—is an attempt to revive aspects of Caliphate-era tax law and combine them with contemporary terrorist financing tactics.  This has been most clearly illustrated in the 1990s and 2000s in Afghanistan by the Taliban, but also by jihadist groups in Pakistan and Somalia.  And such extortion has not been limited to urban centers; it has been carried out in the countryside too.

Finally, it is important to note that ETA’s longstanding and profitable revolutionary tax mentioned above has reportedly been abandoned.  If the tax on Basque and Navarran businessmen that ETA benefited from for so many years has come to an end, perhaps there is hope that one day, the Islamic terrorists can be forced to abandon their jihad tax.

VOX Media, Diccionario Escolar, 2nd Edition (London:  McGraw Hill Professional, 2011).

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Funding of terrorist groups compared

January 21, 2013

In a paper describing misconceptions about terrorist financing, W. A. Tupman of the University of Exeter includes a helpful typology of a variety of terrorist groups and how they are generally funded.

How different types of terrorist groups rely on different sources of revenue for their financing

Tupman says that Islamic terrorists are often funded by charities and individuals, which is true.  But naturally, this typology is very broad with overlap and exceptions that can’t be squeezed into a single chart.  For example, Money Jihad and other sources have pointed out that Iranian-backed terrorists obviously depend on state sponsorship.  South Asian and Indonesian jihadists have increasingly used bank robberies to finance their activities.  Islamic militants also use sharia bank donations to fund operations.

But the one critical adjustment that should be made to this table since Mr. Tupman originally developed it years ago is the addition of the “revolutionary tax” concept, which he associates primarily with urban guerrillas, as a key funding source of Islamic fundamentalists as well.

Islamic terrorist groups with actual mujahideen fighters on the ground (as opposed to sleeker Muhammad Atta-style sleeper cells), sustain themselves by taxing the populations under their control.  Consider the Taliban’s ushr tax on Afghan agricultural (not just poppy) harvests, and al-Shabaab’s 2½ percent zakat tax on the Somali charcoal trade.  These are major revenue sources upon which these wealthy jihadist groups rely for two reasons:  1) such fundraising methods are consistent with Islamic tax law and the practices of Muhammad or the historical Caliphate, and 2) taxation ensures a steady, local, and accessible revenue stream independent of donations from wealthy Gulf Arabs and independent from the international banking system.

This nuance is important to understand because different terror funding methods require different counter-terror responses.  Penetrating a sleeper cell structure of Al Qaeda or the Red Brigades is different from crippling a rebel movement.  Contemporary anti-money laundering regulations designed to detect specific illicit financial transfers may be helpful in limiting expatriate donations to nefarious causes, but such methods are nearly useless in fighting the imposition of zakat, ushr, and jizya on populations overseas.  That’s part of the reason that we’ve seen virtually zero Taliban assets frozen in the 11 years since the initial push of coalition forces into Afghanistan.

How can we bankrupt and defeat the financing methods of groups we fail to understand?

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Sharia tax law: conversion through payola

December 24, 2012

Supporters of zakat, the Islamic tax on wealth, mislead people into believing that that zakat helps the poor.  The truth is that poor Muslims are one category of eligible recipients of zakat, but believers of other religions are not entitled to such alms.  And the broader truth is that the general purpose of zakat isn’t to help the poor, but to help spread Islam.  One factor of this propagation is the one exception in sharia tax law that allows a non-Muslim to receive zakat:  as an inducement to convert.

Johnmc looks into the zakat-for-conversion phenomenon over at FaithFreedom.org.  Here’s an excerpt from his op-ed entitled “Bribery in Islam”:

…The majority view is clearly that one of the uses of Zakat money is to “reconcile” or “win over” people’s hearts to Islam or to Mohammed. This obviously refers to giving non-Muslims money in order to entice them to become Muslims or to favour Muslims – i.e. bribing them.

Let me also note that this is the only reason for which a non-Muslim can receive anything from Zakat. Put another way, the other categories apply solely to Muslims.

In the view of Ahamed, Rodwell, Sale and Yousaf Ali the Zakat money is given to those who are new converts to Islam to cement their allegiance – i.e. to bribe them to remain “good” Muslims.

I should add that in his footnotes Rodwell writes that this money was given to “petty Arab chiefs with whom Mohammed made terms …in order to secure their followers”. Thus although Mohammed gave the money to bribe new converts according to Rodwell’s translation, part of it at least was used to bribe the rest of the tribe(s) into following Mohammed and Islam according to Rodwell’s footnote. Thus Rodwell confirms that both forms of bribe were used…

See previous Money Jihad analysis on the prohibition of zakat for non-Muslims including video from a prominent Muslim scholar here and on Twitter here.

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Afghan mining deal could fund terror

December 16, 2012

Taliban may tax supply routes

A business deal for copper mining rights at Aynak in Afghanistan by a Chinese consortium poses the risk of inadvertently funding local conflict and increasing the likelihood of extortion by armed groups, according to a November report from the human rights organization, Global Witness.

Excerpts from Witness’s report on the secret Aynak contract follow (with internal citations omitted):

The development of the mine and associated infrastructure brings with it a host of valuable supply and sub-contracts.  The international aid experience over the past ten years has shown that, without appropriate safeguards, the management of such supply and sub-contract can end up inadvertently funding conflict.  Aynak is a high-profile target for attacks which could be aimed at gaining attention or extorting money…

The risk of off-budget gains by, for example, security forces or powerbrokers controlling supply routes also needs to be guarded against.  [In the Democratic Republic of Congo] they do this by imposing illegal taxes at mine sites and along transportation routes, or by confiscating and trading minerals directly.  Companies sourcing minerals from the DRC are now required to carry out due diligence to ensure that their mineral purchases do not contribute to conflict or human rights abuses.

In the Afghan context, where conflict is ongoing and mines have traditionally played a role in providing financing to armed groups, supply chain due diligence by companies is an important step.

Indeed, given the Taliban’s history of profiting from flawed subcontracting measures and by levying taxes dictated by sharia law, including Taliban taxes on the mining sector (see here and here), the importance of forestalling Taliban infiltration in the Afghan-Chinese supply chain cannot be overstated.

Islamic law imposes a zakat tax of 20 percent (also known as khums) on rikaz, which Islamists regard as any source of wealth discovered underground, including oil, minerals, and buried treasure (Sahih Bukhari 2.24.575).

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Muslim Brotherhood offshoot pushes zakat at UN

December 14, 2012

The International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), a creation of the Muslim Brotherhood that was once under federal investigation in connection with terrorist financing, has sponsored a recent forum at the United Nations to accelerate the use of zakat globally.

Zakat, an Islamic tax on wealth, has funded terrorist attacks including 9/11 and the Iraq insurgency.  The Koran mandates that a portion of zakat be allocated to the mujahideen—the holy warriors of Islam.

Modern advocates of zakat rationalize their support for the tax as a means of poverty amelioration and social justice.  However, countries that impose mandatory zakat, such as Pakistan and Sudan, suffer from the worst economic inequalities in the world.  Zakat creates dependence, and after decades of Pakistani zakat, officials acknowledge that nobody who has received zakat benefits has ever stopped receiving those benefits.  Even when given solely to the poor and not to terrorists, zakat is not a social ladder—it is a dungeon.  As the auditor general of Malaysia has noted, more zakat equals more poverty.

For a creature of the Muslim Brotherhood to endorse such a system to United Nations is of little comfort to the world’s poor.  At best, expanded reliance on zakat will create a new generation of impoverished leaches.  At worst, it will fund the current and next generation of jihadists in carrying out terrorist attacks against the West and continued assaults on non-Muslims in the Middle East.

Here’s the background on IIIT from TGMBDR:

IIIT was founded in the U.S. in 1980 by important members of the Global Muslim Brotherhood who wished to promote the “Islamization of Knowledge.” IIIT was associated with the now defunct SAAR Foundation, a network of Islamic organizations located in Northern Virginia that was raided by the Federal government in 2003 in connection with the financing of terrorism. The organization appeared to withdrawn from public view following the 2003 raids, but seems to be enjoying a renaissance of late. IIIT has a network of affiliates located in Europe, Africa, the MIddle East, and Asia. Although little is known about the activities of these IIIT affiliates, recent posts have discussed plans by IIIT to construct colleges in Bosnia and Lebanon.

A report in the Washington Post from June 2007 indicated that IIIT and the SAAR Foundation were still under investigation by the Justice Department.

And here’s what they’re up to now (h/t to EWI Blog for unearthing the story from IIIT’s website):

IIIT Sponsored Forum at the United Nations on Zakat’s Potential Role in Accelerating Global Development

On November 16th, The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) sponsored a forum at the United Nations brining [sic] together international development leaders and experts to look at  the importance of Zakat in advancing the global UN development agenda at a forum titled “Linking Muslim Giving to the MDGs”. The forum was co-hosted at the United Nations by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), The World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, and the UN Millennium Campaign.

“While some countries have made impressive gains in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), others are falling behind. The Muslim world is no exception. Faith emphasizes building communities, sharing wealth and upholding the rights of the poor and marginalized. Faith-based giving such as Zakat which amounts to billions of dollars needs to be spent in more strategic and effective ways to accelerate development in OIC member countries” stated Ambassador Ufuk Gokcen, the permanent observer of OIC at the United Nations, in his address.

Speakers from UNDP, International Institute of Islamic Thought, Islamic Relief USA, and Kimse Yok Mu shed light on the role of faith based giving in improving lives and shared real examples from around the world of successful partnerships between faith based organizations and development agencies…

Oh, Islamic Relief is involved too?  Not surprised.

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