Reuters has published a three-part report (hat tip to Sal) on how the Iranian agency Setad, purportedly an office administering unclaimed property, is actually a vessel for confiscating the assets of regime opponents, religious minorities, and emigrants. Setad then auctions off those assets to make more money for the Ayatollah Khamenei.
Kai Ryssdal of the radio program Marketplace interviewed one of the Reuters reporters about the investigation. Take a listen:
The BBC has interviewed yet another Eritrean with a tragic story to tell about Islamist (or as the BBC calls them, “tribal”) kidnap-for-ransom schemes being conducted against hapless refugees trying to make across Sinai to a better world in Israel.
His cousin was burned, raped, and was only released after extended relatives were able to meet a ransom demand of $30,000—a big amount anywhere, but especially exorbitant for that part of the world.
The interview doesn’t get into it, but the ransom money from these kidnappings is often used to purchase weapons for Hamas.
In April, Pierre Piccinin da Prata, a teacher from Belgium, was visiting Syria under the promise of protection by the Free Syrian Army. Suddenly, he and his colleague, an Italian journalist, were sold as hostages to a group of Islamist fighters.
Pierre says the Islamists “wanted money.” Pierre says they were called dogs, and “we were considered as not really human beings.” The only real men, the captives were told, are Sunni, Arab Muslims. His colleague was subjected to mock executions.
After months of being held hostage, Pierre wanted to commit suicide rather than endure further humiliation and captivity, but was eventually released.
Listen to a few minutes of Pierre’s story in his own words during a Sept. 20 interview with the BBC:
Weapons used during the rebellion against Qaddafi have been spirited out of Libya by agents of Qatar. The arms are smuggled through Turkey across the Syrian border. The guns transferred by Qatar are said to be going to fighters who are more extreme and Islamist than the rebels being supported by the Obama administration.
Take a listen to NPR’s four-minute interview with one of the New York Times journalists who reported on the story:
The Koran dictates that 20 percent of the booty or spoils of war, known as khums, belongs to Allah and Muhammad. As Iraqi expatriate I.Q. al-Rassooli points out in this talk entitled “Allah’s Share of the Plunder,” does it really make sense that Allah needs a cut of the spoils? What’s the exact breakdown between Muhammad and Allah—10 percent for each? The only logical explanation is that Muhammad got it all. What kind of religion would devise such a system? As al-Rassooli points out, the kind of religion that attracted other men who believed that they too could become very wealthy from plundering and looting non-believers. This is about 5 minutes long:
Revisit another great analysis from Mr. Rassooli here.
Abu Bakr sponsored the military campaigns in the early days of conquest by Muhammad. Khadija gave Muhammad enough money to help him attract followers, but it was the even wealthier Abu Bakr who helped buy the weapons and horses of Islam’s holy war against unbelievers.
A new recording from the British Islamic studios of Al Baseera highlight’s Muhammad’s praise for Abu Bakr’s role in funding the “deen” (or “dīn,” which can be translated from Arabic to English as “religion”).
It’s just 80 seconds long—take a listen:
Abu Bakr famously contributed all of his money to fund the Battle of Tabuk, an opening salvo in the Byzantine-Arab wars. The implicit theme of messages like this is for rich Muslims to follow suit and fund jihad today.
Rafic Labboun, a.k.a. Wilhelm Dick, has been arrested with fellow Hezbollah operatives in the Yucutan peninsula, Mexico. Labboun had previously been convicted in federal court for a $100,000 credit card scheme. Take a listen to the report from CBS radio’s San Francisco affiliate:
An imam no less! Who would know better Islam’s call to defraud the West of its wealth for the cause of jihad?
By the way, isn’t this further evidence of Hezbollah’s presence in Mexico?
The would-be heirs of Muhammad’s wealth: Ali (left) and Fatima (right), with their children on Muhammad’s lap
Why would Fatima and Abu Bakr engage in a protracted dispute over the inheritance of the estate of Muhammad (see the Sahih Muslim, Book 19, No. 4354) if, as Muhammad’s wife Aisha (“Mother of the Believers”) described, Muhammad died a poor man with his armor mortgaged to a Jew in Medina? What happened to the enormous wealth of Khadija, Muhammad’s first wife, after she died? Would he not have inherited it?
These provocative questions are raised and answered in an excellent 10 minute lecture by Iraqi exile I.Q. al Rassooli, author of Lifting the Veil and blogger at the-koran.blogspot.com and inthenameofallah.org.
This talk also covers many issues which we have highlighted over the past few years about Muhammad’s personal accumulation of wealth through taxes (particularly khums and fai) that he claimed were mandated by Allah.
We don’t normally post audio that’s longer than five minutes, but it is worth the time:
Chris Holton, vice president at the Center for Security Policy and editor of Shariah Finance Watch, recently briefed staff members from ten Congressional offices on sharia-compliant finance. During a question and answer period, staffers showed particular interest in the lack of disclosure and transparency requirements on Islamic finance.
One questioner asked Mr. Holton whether, even after all the new financial regulations of Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank, there are still truly no reporting requirements for banks to disclose whether they have sharia portfolios and where their zakat expenditures are directed. You’ve got to listen to the answer during three minutes of powerful audio from the the briefing:
In an era where nearly every single aspect of the U.S. financial sector is taxed, regulated, and scrutinized, it is remarkable that banks are not required to tell investors whether the products marketed to them as “ethical” are actually sharia products, that the banks do not have to disclose what charities receive zakat from the Islamic bank divisions and sharia boards, and or even such basic information as whether the bank has a sharia division.
London’s C. Hurst & Co. Publishers Ltd. and co-editors Felix Kuehn, Faisal Devji, and Alex Strick van Linschoten are profiting from the publication of a new anthology of poetry by the Taliban. Kuehn says the poems provide “a different window” to “understand the Taliban better,” van Linschoten says “the poetry shows that the Taliban are people just like we are,” and the co-editors say that the poems “provide a fascinating insight into the minds and hearts of these deeply emotional people.”
True, it’s worth examining all the statements of Taliban members, but their poems should not be embraced for showing the supposed humanity of the Taliban. The Taliban are not people just like we are—they are people very far different from what we are.
Here’s one of the great “human” poems from a Taliban soldier, as read aloud during a BBC 4 broadcast:
The editors and publishers should do nothing less than donate 100 percent of the profits to British war veterans.
A sermon delivered at Preston Mosque in suburban Melbourne, Australia, during Friday prayers on Apr. 27 instructed worshippers that waging jihad with your life and wealth is the most profitable form of trade. Take a listen to this one-minute introduction given by “Brother Baha”—presumably the Preston Masjid’s executive committee member Baha Yehia:
The sermon was originally written in Arabic by Sheikh Mohamad Abou Eid, the mosque’s imam, and Brother Baha presented an English translation to the congregation.
The central message was that you should “sell” or give your life and wealth fighting for Islam, and your payment in return from Allah is paradise. This “trade with Allah” is the best trade—-better than selling vegetables or other mundane commodities—and it is the type of trade that will spare you from hellfire.
The sermon (of which 10 minutes of audio is available here) included the story of a boy in the early days of Islam who supposedly shot three arrows at opposing “Roman” forces before himself being “martyred.” Brother Baha told his listeners that both the boy and his mother (who applauded her son’s martyrdom) had both engaged in the best kind of trade with Allah.
The sermon represents mainstream thought and tradition in Islamic law which offers great rewards for jihadists and those who fund them, such as Koran 8:60 and 9:41.