Archive for December, 2010


Jizya is lifeblood of imperial Islam

December 23, 2010

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch recently took part in a debate about Islam at Thomas More College.  Spencer suggested that Islam is at its wealthiest and most expansive when it has the largest number of Christians and Jews living under it from whom to extract funds through jizya.  Islam is at its feeblest once the religious minority communities have been sucked dry.

This shouldn’t be too controversial an argument given that classical Islamic tax law requires that Islamic armies be funded entirely by taxes paid by infidels through the jizya and kharaj.  Spencer makes a compelling case and sums up the historical and modern reality of jizya in Islamic law nicely.  From Jihad Watch on Dec. 21:

In chapter nine of the Qur’an are numerous teachings–which of course are portrayed as divine revelation which cannot be questioned and have to be obeyed by any pious and observant Muslim. These are instructions to wage offensive warfare against Jews and Christians–particularly in chapter nine verse twenty-nine which tells Muslims to fight against those who do not obey Allah and his messenger and do not forbid that which he has forbidden (in other words, don’t follow the strictures of Islamic law) even if they are the People of the Book, which is the Qur’anic designation for primarily Jews and Christians, until they pay the jizya (which is a tax) with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.

That verse became the foundation of an elaborate superstructure of laws that are still part of Islamic jurisprudence and of Islamic political law that Islamists, that jihad terrorists, that any Islamic supremacist wants to impose over the world today. These laws mandate that non-Muslims, the People of the Book, must pay a special tax from which Muslims are exempt. As a matter of fact, you can pretty much correlate in Islamic history the strength and aggression and rise of the great Islamic empires of the past with the size of the Jewish and Christian communities that were subjugated within those empires and were paying for that imperial expansion. When those communities were exhausted economically, then the Islamic empires went into decline. This is an absolute correlation that recurs again and again and again. The Christians and Jews in Muslim lands were subjugated in accord with that section of the verse, that last part where they must ‘pay the jizya with willing submission and they feel themselves subdued.’ They never enjoyed equality of rights with Muslims: they were denied the right to build new houses of worship or to repair old ones; they were denied the right to hold authority over Muslims so that Jews and Christians were relegated to the most menial and degrading jobs in the society. They were subject to various other humiliating and discriminatory regulations.

Now this is, as I cannot emphasize enough, still part of Islamic law. This is not one sect or one school or one group that’s heretical that has made this part of their teaching. This is universal among all sects and schools of jurisprudence that are recognized as mainstream and orthodox by fellow Muslims. They all teach–you cannot find one that does not teach–the necessity to wage wars against unbelievers and to subjugate them under the rule of Islamic law. In fact, Hamas, in Gaza, has announced its intention, once it’s fully consolidated its power, to impose this system of dhimmitude and subjugate the Christians that remain there under institutionalized forms of discrimination. Gangs in Baghdad, without government authority to be sure, terrorized the Christian community–which I’m sure you know is terrorized on a more or less daily basis: there was just another massacre in a church in Baghdad the other day–they were knocking on doors in Baghdad last year and demanding payment of the jizya, this tax which amounts to protection money. You pay it and you don’t get killed. But you don’t pay it, or you transgress some of the other laws that are set out for these subjugated peoples, and then your life is forfeit.

Read the full transcript of the debate here.


Weekly word: sukuk

December 22, 2010

Sukuk are commonly understood as Islamic bonds.  They have the same effect in theory—a steady stream of income for after an upfront investment—but they are craftily structured to give the appearance of compliance with Islamic law.  Here’s a definition from A Muslim’s Guide to Investing & Personal Finance:

Sukuk are asset-backed securities designed to provide a relatively fixed stream of investment income without violating the Islamic prohibition on interest. Instead of interest payments, sukuk investors receive a pass-through of income generated by the underlying assets. Sukuk are a Shariah-compliant tool for raising capital and may be structured around a variety of Islamic contracts.*

OK.  Sounds ethical right?  No—it sounds absurd.  There is nothing wrong with lending your money to another person or entity and receiving a dividend or interest payment for having lent it to them.  The basic reality is that money has value and time has value.  You should be allowed to get some compensation beyond the principal if you part with your money for a period of time for somebody else to use.  If I lend Sears $1,000 by buying a corporate bond from them, what on earth is wrong with Sears paying me a dividend until the bond matures?

But Islamic law doesn’t allow Muslims to accept basic realities about the value of money.  It pretends money and time have no value and that interest is as unwelcome as pond scum or asthma, which are riba’s Arabic synonyms.

Alyssa Lappen has addressed several other dangers endemic to sukuk in this article (h/t SFW).  Lappen notes that because of the high yields promised by sukuk salesmen, sukuk  would normally be classified in the U.S. financial system as junk bonds.  Moreover, asset-backed securities, not just paper securities, are highly prone to risk.  The underlying assets can be easily devalued.  Look at the housing meltdown which was also backed by assets—peoples’ homes. 

Islamic taxes like zakat and Islamic financial products like sukuk are part of an economic model that has resulted in glittering opulence for some Muslims and abject misery for most.  We import their economic philosophies at our own peril.

Outstanding coverage of sukuk is regularly available at Shariah Finance Watch.

Morris, Virginia, A Muslim’s Guide to Investing & Personal Finance (New York: Lightbulb Press, 2001).


Charity Commission blows it

December 21, 2010

For years, the “experts” told us that all Saudi Arabia needs is a charity regulation commission which would put a stop the Saudis from funding of terrorism through proxy “charities” around the world.  But recent developments in Britain show that charity commissions may be better at giving charities a stamp of approval than they are at real, penetrating regulation.

The U.K. Charity Commission has declared that Muslim Aid—an admitted donor to the al-Ihsan Charitable Society in 2002 and 2003 after al-Ihsan had been shuttered by the Palestinian Authority in 2001 for having formal links with the terrorist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad—is innocent of the “unsubstantiated” allegations against it.

From the Telegraph on Dec. 17 (h/t Jihad Watch):

The Charity Commission, Britain’s most ineffective regulator, has once again whitewashed an organisation linked to fundamentalist Islam.

In March this newspaper reported on allegations that the charity Muslim Aid, a close associate of the fundamentalist Islamic Forum of Europe, had channelled funds to eight organisations linked to the terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Muslim Aid has admitted funding two of the organisations and has repeatedly refused to deny funding the other six.

Now, however, the Commission has published what it is pleased to call a “regulatory case review” into the charity saying that allegations of terrorist links are “unsubstantiated.”

It has only been able to reach this verdict by completely ignoring the vast majority of the allegations made against Muslim Aid, and by redefining the single allegation it did choose to “investigate” in a way which allowed it to exonerate the charity. By its own admission, it did not even investigate seven out of the eight allegations which it now claims are “unsubstantiated.”

The allegations made against Muslim Aid were as follows:

  1. that it had since July 2009 channelled money to six organisations linked to Hamas:
    • the Islamic Society of Nuseirat;
    • the Islamic Society of Khan Younis;
    • the Islamic Centre of Gaza;
    • the Islamic al-Salah, Gaza;
    • the National Association of Moderation and Development;
    • the Khan Younis Zakat Committee
    • The allegations were made by security sources, who provided us with documentary evidence of the dates and amounts.
  2. that it in the year 2005 paid money to another Hamas-linked organisation, the Islamic University of Gaza.
  3. that it had paid money to the al-Ihsan Charitable Society, linked to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
  4. that it had extensively funded the Muslim Council of Britain, a UK-based political lobbying group. This is contrary to Muslim Aid’s declared charitable objects, which are “to relieve the poor, the elderly, children and all those who are in need in any part of the world as a result of natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, droughts, famines, epidemics, poverty and plagues, to relieve those who are refugees fleeing from war zones and war victims.”

Read the rest of this entry ?


Lebanese Shia Muslims ♥ Hezbollah

December 20, 2010

Let’s take one more look at the Pew Research Center’s recent findings about public opinion in the Islamic world (see also here and here).  Pew found that 94 percent of Shia Muslims approve of Hezbollah.  That’s not just a majority—that’s a complete and utter lock on that demographic.

Bar graph of Lebanon's love-hate relationship with Hezbollah

94 percent of Shia Lebanese adore Hezbollah

Here are a few of my own random reactions to this poll from a terrorist financing standpoint:

  • Financially, it may be a larger problem when Shias support an organization than when Sunnis support an organization.  The Shia khums tax, which demands 20 percent of all profits that Shiites made during the year, adds up fantastically.  All that dough goes into the hands of imams who are at their own discretion on what to do with it.  Many Iranian imams, for example, chose to give it to Hezbollah as we have covered here.  Combating cash flows of 20 percent of earnings could be a tougher job than combating the 2½ percent zakat tax.
  • That reminds me, there were probably some serious khums payments made during the Shia pilgrimage to Karbala for Ashura.  And some of it will go to Hezbollah—guaranteed.
  • The poll may also help explain Lebanon’s indifference to terrorist financing.  From the U.S. State Department’s Country Report on Terrorism from Aug. 5, 2010:
    • Lebanon’s financial intelligence unit is the Special Investigation Commission (SIC), an independent legal entity empowered to investigate suspicious financial transactions, lift banking secrecy, and freeze assets. In 2009, it investigated 116 cases involving allegations of money laundering, terrorism, and terrorist financing activities. The SIC referred requests for designation or asset freezes regarding Hizballah and affiliated groups to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but the Lebanese government does not require banks to freeze these assets because it does not consider Hizballah a terrorist organization.

What a stinking mess.  How would sanctions and the occassional terrorist designation of a Hezbollah leader by the U.S. Treasury Department ever change the fundamental religious root of the problem?


Wage jihad with your life, wealth, and words

December 19, 2010

Islamic law is full of verses urging Muslims to strive with their wealth against the infidel in order to achieve salvation.  Take for instance the Koran 9:20*:

It’s no wonder then that fundraising appeals by Muslim terrorists are chock-full of references to Islamic texts.  The latest example comes from the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), which serves as Al Qaeda’s press office.

According to Jihadology, Views from the Occident, and The MEMRI Blog on Dec. 7, GIMF released a lengthy appeal for donations to support jihad.  (MEMRI may have supplied the original source material, but that wasn’t clear from these blog posts.)

This is a longer text than we would normally post on Money Jihad, but it goes right to the core of the money jihad, Al Jihad bi-al-mal, and must be retained here for the record.  Here’s GIMF’s message as posted by Views from the Occident:

A Message to Those Who Spend in Allah’s Cause

All praise be to Allah, the Lord of all that exists, who has said in His Wise Book:

يُرِيدُونَ أَن يُطْفِؤُواْ نُورَ اللّهِ بِأَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَيَأْبَى اللّهُ إِلاَّ أَن يُتِمَّ نُورَهُ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْكَافِرُونَ

“They wish to extinguish Allah’s Light with their mouths, but Allah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected, even though the infidels hate it.” (At-Tawbah: 32)

He also said:

ادْعُ إِلِى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

“Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.” (An-Nahl: 125)

And may peace and blessing be upon the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, who said:

“Wage Jihad against the idolators with your wealth, your lives, and your words.” (Ahmed, Abu Dawud)

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Second verse, same as the first, a little bit quieter, a little bit worse

December 17, 2010

Here’s a music-free version of our Jesus-Muhammad tax video:

The earlier version was disabled by YouTube because it included music from Sony.  But like life under Islam, it’s no fun without music.


Habib Bank’s role in Daniel Pearl murder

December 16, 2010
Talib banks with Habib

Taliban fighter at Habib Bank branch

Last month it was reported that legal proceedings in Pakistan in the Daniel Pearl murder case are fizzling out.  The news that prosecutors are too afraid to even show up at court any more comes three years after Daniel Pearl’s widow dropped her own lawsuit against Al Qaeda.

Mrs. Pearl had also dropped her lawsuit at that time against Habib Bank, the biggest bank in Pakistan and one of the financial institutions Al Qaeda banked with.  As the Pearl case fades from the public’s memory and from Pakistani court dockets, now more than ever is a good time to look back at Habib Bank’s involvement with Al Qaeda’s cash flow.

In 2003, the U.S. Treasury Department listed Al Akhtar Trust, yet another delightful Islamic charity, as a terrorist entity.

Al Akhtar did its banking with Habib Bank (also known as HBL).  Habib Bank claims that it froze Al Akhtar’s accounts even prior to the U.S. designation of Al Akhtar, but Mrs. Pearl’s legal team found evidence to the contrary.

In addition to their terror links, Habib Bank is also a major player in sharia finance markets.  From Habib’s website:

Our Islamic Banking products are in strict compliance with the tenets of Shariah and bear Shariah Compliance Certification from an independent Shariah Advisor. Our Shariah Advisor has in depth experience in Shariah rulings (Fatawa) and teachings at different forums with qualifications of Dars-e-Nizami, M.A and L.L.B. We also have a Shariah Scholar, as member of our Shariah Supervisory Committee to ensure a sound Shariah Compliance mechanism, giving prompt responses to customer’s needs and access to Shariah knowledge.

I’m sure Habib’s sharia advisors are moderate, wise, greybeards.  They would never redirect bank funds to Islamic charities in Pakistan that have ties to jihadists.  They would never encourage Islamist militants in Swat Valley to bank with Habib.  And their advice would never contradict or trump the recommendations of the folks in Habib’s top-notch anti-money laundering compliance division, I’m sure.  (Sarcasm ends here.)