Archive for April, 2011

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Muslim Brotherhood: fight inflation with Islam

April 29, 2011

Talaat al-Shennawy, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Dakahlia Governate, has announced that rising prices can be combated by following the laws of Allah.

Perhaps nobody has informed the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood that perhaps most dutifully orthodox Islamic country–Iran–has the most Islamized sharia economy in the Middle East, and is currently suffering from rampant inflation.  It has become so bad that Iran will simply decapitate three zeroes from their currency in order to “reduce” inflation (see here and here).

Or the Muslim Brotherhood is perfectly aware of Iran’s experience, but attributes their economic failures to their heretical Shia existence.

It’s not unusual for Islamists to blame inflation on Western, infidel financial systems.  They believe that fiat paper currencies do not retain their value like the precious gold dinars used by the profiteer Muhammad.  If you don’t want to use our currency, Talaat, please, by all means, don’t, even though I’m willing to wager you have some Ben Franklins stuffed in your sock drawer.  And tell your agents operating in the U.K., U.S., and Canada to renounce any of the welfare benefits they are receiving from their host governments if denominated in their pesky, heathen currencies.

From Al-Masry Al-Youm (h/t Jihad Watch) on Apr. 27:

A Muslim Brotherhood member presented Islam as an economic solution during a conference in Daqahlia Governorate Tuesday. 

Talaat al-Shennawy, head of the Brotherhood’s Daqahlia office, said Egypt could curb price increases by following God’s rules.

Shennawy said the greatness of Islam lies in it being a comprehensive religion that embraces all fields of life. He said people should apply all Islamic orders rather than just the ones they like.

In apparent conflicting messages, the Brotherhood said during another conference in Minya that it does not want religion to govern the state.

“The Brotherhood will opt for a civilian state and is seeking a strong parliament, as well as municipal councils free of bribery and nepotism, that can address citizens’ needs,” said Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie.

Brotherhood member al-Sayyed Talaat also called on all Egyptians to participate in rebuilding the country and said the group is always ready for cooperation.

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Clinton to spend $25 million on halal food for Libyan rebels

April 28, 2011

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has promised $25 million American tax dollars for services and goods for Libyan rebels including halal food, radios, and body armor.  Meanwhile, the Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and the leader of the Libyan rebels have both said that Al Qaeda serve among the ranks of the Libyan resistance.  The U.S. has pledged the largest amount of any country to a United Nations emergency fund for Libya.

Do you think the bigtime Saudi and Kuwaiti charities ponied up to provide wine and bread for Holy Communion for earthquake victims in Haiti?  No.  So why the heck are we bending over backwards to feed Al Qaeda fighters’ fundamentalist appetites?

From the Politico on Apr. 20 (h/t RoP):

U.S. pledges $25M to Libyan rebels

The Obama administration plans to send $25 million in assistance to Libyan rebels fighting the regime of longtime leader Muammar Qadhafi, the State Department confirmed Wednesday, though the support will not include arms or other military backing.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has asked President Barack Obama to approve the funding. “This is not a blank check. This is not $25 million in actual cash or money. It’s actually in goods and services that would be drawn down from items already in government stocks that correspond with the needs” of the rebel movement.

If approved, the U.S. government will provide halal food and equipment such as radios and body armor to the disorganized and ill-equipped rebel forces that have come together under the umbrella of the Transitional National Council.

The State Department sent a letter last Friday informing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee of the plans to send the aid, which would come from the existing inventory and resources of U.S. government agencies.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Darryn James said items to be delivered include medical supplies, protective vests, binoculars and halal rations. “We expect that most or all of these will be from [Defense Department] stocks, though contributions may come from other agencies,” he said.

Through April 4, the Defense Department had spent $608 million on operations in Libya, a Pentagon spokeswoman told POLITICO. If operations continue at planned levels, they will cost about $40 million per month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during a House hearing last month.

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Treasury Police and soldiers nab ISI financier

April 27, 2011

How long before self-congratulatory Treasury Department flunky David S. Cohen claims credit for the detention of an Article 4 jihadist financer in Iraq by a combined assault force of Kirkuk police, Iraqi soldiers, and U.S. forces?

The arrest of another piece of excrement from the Al Qaeda front group Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) is a testament to the sacrifice and hard work of the American soldiers and marines who have waged a successful counter-insurgency operation over the last several years, and to the Iraqi military and law enforcement that the U.S. has trained to follow in their steps.

Previously, Mr. Cohen has bragged that the financial weakening of Al Qaeda and its affiliates are “a direct result of the pressures the U.S. government has placed on terrorist money men.”  Some grit and guts in Kirkuk help prove him wrong.

From Aswat al-Iraq (hat tip Rantburg) on Apr. 25:

A combined force arrested seven wanted persons, including a financier for the so-called Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) group, in two operations in Kirkuk on Monday, a senior security official said.

“A force from the Kirkuk Districts Police Department and Iraqi army, backed by U.S. troops, arrested in accordance with Article 4 of the law on terrorism six wanted men members of the ISI, including a financier of the armed group, in the district of al-Huweija,” KDPD Director Brig…

“The first raid covered the villages of al-Hanaf and al-Gheraib, in the district of al-Abbasi, (80 km) southwest of Kirkuk, while the second covered Debij village, in the district of al-Touz, Salah al-Din province,” he said.

Meanwhile, a source from the Kirkuk-based Joint Coordination Center said an improvised explosive device went off near a military vehicle boarded by a JCC officer in Huweija, leaving a guard wounded and the vehicle damaged.

The oil-rich Kirkuk, a city of mixed Arab, Kurdish and Turkmen population, lies 250 km southwest of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

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Gulf-funded Kerala becomes terror hotspot

April 26, 2011

Kerala state in India is an importer and exporter of terrorism, and we have Gulf petro-dollars to thank for it, according to Balbir Punj, a senior member of India’s parliament.  Hawala is technically illegal in India, but hawala by nature is hard to detect, and zakat and cash smuggling are methods of transferring the money, too.  Is any region of the world safe from the sharia bucks influx?
 
From Express Buzz on Apr. 25:

THIRUVANATHAPURAM: Rajya Sabha MP and noted columnist Balbir Punj on Sunday blamed the opportunistic politics indulged in by the ”so-called” secular political parties for the growth of terrorism in Kerala.

He was delivering the 14th monthly lecture of the Vichara Vedi, Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram, on ‘Why Kerala a Hot-Spot of Terrorism’ at the Press Club here.
 
The senior BJP leader said Kerala has emerged an “exporter and importer” of Islamic terrorism.
 
Referring to the Keralite links to terrorism in Kashmir and elsewhere, Punj called it significant that the culprits were apprehended not by the Kerala police, but by the police and security agencies outside the state. Competitive communalism practised by the ‘so-called’ secular parties and their interference in terror-related cases have helped foment terrorism in the state. He cited as an example the unanimous decision taken by the LDF and the UDF urging the Tamil Nadu Government to release Abdul Nasser Madhani from the Coimbatore jail. The influx of large amounts of money from the Gulf region into Kerala was another factor in the growth of terrorism, he said.
 
But the nature of terrorism in Kerala was such that it cannot be seen in isolation, he said. “Islamic terror is global terror. You cannot look at Kerala in isolation. This has to be seen in totality of the situation,” Punj said.
 
He traced the roots of Islamic fundamentalism in India to Shah Waliullah, an 18th century theologist who proclaimed that Islam was in danger in India.
 
“For centuries, Hindus and Muslims had lived in peace. Shah Waliullah suggested that Islam was in danger and the remedy was, Islam can survive only if Muslims maintain physical, ideological and emotional distance from the Hindus,” he said.

The British also made clever use of this frustration on the part of the Muslim clerics to keep the Hindus and Muslims divided to achieve their ends.

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Al-Shabaab enlists kids in money jihad

April 25, 2011

The Somali jihadist group al-Shabaab has ordered school teachers to count their students, have each student pay one dollar per month toward the cause of Allah, or the student will be conscripted into al-Shabaab’s child army.  The profiteer Muhammad would weep with joy.

Donors to al Jihad bi-al-mal, the money jihad, are doubly blessed under Islamic law.  The wise al-Shabaab leaders are simply help to ensure the eternal paradise for the next generation of Muslim youth.

From AHN today:

Al-Shabaab orders school children in Middle Shabelle to fight or pay

Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia have told school teachers in the Middle Shabelle region to register their students within 10 days in a bid that militants want to push their find raising program forward.clearpxl

Sheik Mohamed Abu Yahya,  a Al-Shabaab commander in charge of finance, told school teachers in the region’s provincial capital Jowhar that at his group demands to know the real number of school children within ten days.

The militia commander sad that after the registration has ended every student will be required to pay one dollar by the end of every moth as kind of what he described ‘centrifugation’ to Jihad.

“The students must select one of two options to pay the money or to contribute himself to the Jihad, he who doesn’t do either of these will bee seen as anti Islam” the militant militia leader said during the meeting, according to a teacher who demanded anonymity for security reasons during a telephone conversation with AHN.

Several weeks ago, the militants similarly ordered school children in the Elasha Biyaha neighborhood outside the capital to pay one dollar monthly, while every teacher was also told to pay 10% of their salary each month to Al-Shabaab .

Elasha BIyaha is home to about 1.5 million people who fled from their homes in the restive capital since insurgence began early in 2007.

This is a clear signal that the Al-Qadea linked Somali militants are under significant economic pressure which lead them to lose strategic cities south of the country and key trenches in the capital since February this year.

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Qatar warns of sharia finance risks

April 24, 2011

The Qatar Central Bank has banned sharia banking departments within conventional banks from operating in Qatar.  I overlooked this story when Shariah Finance Watch highlighted it in February (and apparently Creeping Sharia, to which my access is unfortunately blocked at the moment), and just came across it through an email message.  

There are several nuanced factors behind the QCB’s decision–an unfortunate one of which is the desire to protect purely sharia banks from the competition presented by conventional banks with Islamic services.  But in their announcement in February, the QBC also went out of its way to note the substantial risks posed by sharia investing, pointing especially to the sharia departments’ lack of capital adequacy.  QBC also called the Islamic financial concepts of mudarba, murabaha, mushareka, istisna and ijara “quite risky.”  Notably, the QBC observed that banks with mixed conventional and sharia operations are more difficult to audit because the two types are subject to different accounting standards.
 
Are we beginning to see the acknowledgment within Gulf circles that sharia finance isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, or are we seeing a budding argument for the wholesale replacement of convential banks by sharia banks in the Middle East to allow for a single accounting standard?  The political winds of the Arab Spring suggest that the likelier outcome is a deepening of Islamization of governments and economies.
 
From The Peninsula:

DOHA: Qatar Central Bank (QCB) yesterday justified its decision to close Islamic arms of conventional banks and said separate capital adequacy norms were on the anvil for Islamic banks.

The regulations being put in place will be based on the guidelines issued by Malaysia-based Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB), the QCB was quoted as saying by the Qatar News Agency (QNA).

These guidelines are different from the ones that are applicable to commercial banks under Basel 2 and 3.

The IFSB is amending its capital adequacy rules. “It would, thus, be very difficult for commercial banks with mixed operations to simultaneously follow the two sets of separate directives,” the QCB said.

It specified several other reasons for its controversial decision, saying it is too difficult to supervise and monitor Islamic and conventional operations of commercial banks since they get ‘mixed up.’ It implied that ‘mixed’ operations could lead to problems in auditing, consequently providing scope for manipulation.

Islamic financing carried more risks than conventional financing, said the QCB, describing the major Islamic financing tools—Mudarba, Murabaha, Mushareka, Istisna and Ijara—as ‘quite risky’, the regulator said.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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HuffPost commenter denies jizya existence

April 22, 2011

Not that I would normally spend even one minute reading the perfidious posts, much less the comments, of the Puffing and Huffington Post, but this little item popped up in an email to us, and it must be refuted for the record.

In response to a post about “Islamophobia” by Mathew J. Creighton and Amaney A. Jamal, somebody dared to mention jizya, to which “Sonic Hedgehog” huffed and puffed, “You’re generalizi­ng and probably don’t know that jizya hasn’t been used in a country since the first decade of the 20th century. The largest country that used jizya was the ottoman empire and even they abandoned it in 1856.”

Later on Sonic Hedgehog dismissed the Taliban’s imposition of jizya on non-Muslims because the Taliban is not a country.  Well, Sonic, that’s very true.

Do you think Pakistan is a country?  The government of Pakistan struck a truce with the Taliban granting them the authority to impose jizya against Sikhs.  What about the Philippines?  They offered to turn over tax authority to the jihadist MILF.  What about Egypt?  One of their governors–not the Muslim Brotherhood–imposes the jizya on local Copts to date.

Then there is the separate question of whether Middle East governments are doing enough to protect religious minorities from the jizya levied by Islamist groups.  The State Department, not some crazy blogger, has found that Pakistan and Iraq have not done enough to protect non-Muslims from the jizya.  Our own coverage has exposed that the jizya is levied against Jews in Yemen with the support of Yemeni politicians.

It’s time to crawl out of the politically correct mental bubble you Islamophiles have created for yourselves.

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Lashkar-e Islam levies heavy zakat, ushr‏

April 21, 2011
In addition to 1) the glorious zakat and ushr taxes levied by the Pakistani government, and 2) the secular taxes imposed by the Pakistani, the Pashtun tribe known as Zakhakhel also get to experience the boundless joy of paying zakat to Lashkar-e Islam, a jihadist group associated with the Pakistani Taliban.
 
According to one tribal elder, Lashkar-e Islam’s tax rate is as high as 50 percent.  This is higher than what is normally imposed on Muslims, but could probably be justified under Islamic law on the basis of sadaqa–giving money beyond the traditional 2.5 percent rate.  After all, a really solid jihad can be awfully expensive.
 
And at 50 percent, the Zakhakhel are learning what it feels like to be taxed at a rate only normally applied by Islam against non-Muslims.  From Radio Free Europe via Spero News on Apr. 20:
 
…Like the other militant groups, Lashkar-e Islam, which is believed to number some 10,000 to 15,000 fighters, levies tribute from all those within reach. One tribal elder, who spoke on condition of anonymity, recently described to Radio Mashaal how onerous the tribute demands can be.

“To raise funds, militant groups use various methods in Tirah,” he said. “Sometimes they levy Zakat and Usher [religious taxes payable in cash], sometimes collected from the whole village each month, sometimes collected per home.”

The elder added: “For people who own agriculture land in the valley but live in Peshawar, the militant groups demand 50 percent of the land and at the end of the year they keep half of the crop. If somebody can’t afford a monthly payment or doesn’t have land, then the militant groups demand he joins the fight personally and if he can’t go then he has to hire somebody to fight for the militants instead of him.

Beyond these demands, Bagh also let his fighters kidnap tribal leaders with whom they quarreled. It was the kidnapping of two leaders of the Zakhakhel tribe over the past several months that appears to have pushed the tribe into open conflict with Lashkar-e Islam and the bloodletting this month.

The most recent of the two kidnappings was that of a tribal elder and cleric, Maulana Mohammad Hashim, from Bazaar Zakhakhel on March 21. The cleric, who was killed the following day, had preached a Friday sermon against militancy. His abduction came just a month and a half after another Zakhakhel leader, Ghuncha Gul, who had been a commander in the Lashkar-e Islam force, was never seen again after quarreling with Manghal Bagh…

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Shia economics

April 20, 2011

The Ayatollah Khomeini once famously said “economics is for donkeys.”
 
Khomeini’s comments proved to be prophetic–the Iranian economy today certainly looks to be run by jackasses.
 
Iran’s recipe for an economic turnaround is as follows:
 
1.  Dub the current year “The Year of Economic Jihad.”
2.  Take more statist, government control of private businesses and bazaars and call it “cooperation” (see details below).
3.  Eliminate three zeroes from the currency to “reduce” inflation.  Seriously.
 
It has been said that over the centuries, Muslim leaders have often taken a dismissive view of fact-based economic scholarship because they have focused more strictly on the legal or jurisprudential traditions of Islamic financial law.  That seems to be the case in contemporary Iran, and a turnaround looks unlikely.  Poor Iranians are paying the price for their leaders’ anti-intellectual sharia socialism.
 
From Zawya on Apr. 14:
 

Minister of Economy and Finance Affairs Seyyed Shamseddin Hosseini said cooperation between the state-run and private sector would create an economic turning point in the current Iranian year (started March 21).

Speaking in the unveiling ceremony of Negotiation Council of Government and Private Sector, he noted that last year was the year of endeavors and challenges and those involving in economic activities took extensive efforts, ISNA reported.

He noted that following the targets envisaged in Vision 2025 caused domestic economy to flourish.

Referring to naming the current year as the Year of Economic Jihad by supreme leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei he said that the measure aims at realizing the objectives set by Vision 2025 in under the general policies of Article 44 of the Constitution.

The minister said that the leader has paid special attention to the economic issues during the recent years, noting a large number of forums, mostly political, have been formed during the past years.
Hosseini stated that the expenses of the political forums are higher that their income.

He called for the members of council to join hands and cooperate with each other in order to create new economic capacity for the country.

The economic structures of the country should be developed, he said, adding experiments show that public and private sector should collaborate to achieving the purpose.

He hoped that the council would help enhance cooperation between the government and private sector and remove the distance between them.

Mutual Understanding
Pointing to the lack of mutual understanding between public and private sector, he said that for example those involving in the industrial activities believe that the profit rates of banks’ saving account are high in the country but when the Money and Credit Council lowered the rate, the private banks wrote a letter to complain about the issue.

The minister said that this year should be a turning point in the economic jihad process and average annual economic growth rate, which stood at 5 percent in the past, should increase this year.

“In order to realize the economic growth envisaged in the fifth development plan, at least, $1000 billion worth of investment should be absorbed. We didn’t have such experience because financial resources have been restricted”, he noted.

Hosseini said that improving the business environment and enhancing productivity are among the necessary measures which should be taken in the industrial sector, adding in line with the same policy the Commerce Ministry lowered final cost of products.

Talking to the reporters on the sideline of ceremony, he said that Money and credit Council would study banking development plan which aims at establishing good relation between money and investment.
Criticizing the way of issuing participation bonds for financing projects, he said that banks themselves are in charge of repurchasing the bonds and paying back the original sum plus profit.

“It is actually like paying profit to saving accounts “, he noted.

He stated that nothing has so far been ratified about new national monetary units and the number of zeros that are to be eliminated from national currency.

Looping 3 Zeros Off
Slashing several zeros from national currency was put on agenda of Central Bank of Iran (CBI) several years ago. But, recently practical moves have been adopted to this end. It seems that upon implementing this plan, at least the volume of bills used in current transactions of the people will be reduced.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Women urged donors to focus on jihad

April 19, 2011

The Muslim ladies and their lawyers claim in public that they “were collecting money and clothing for refugees in Somalia.”

But in government recorded phone conversations, the women encouraged potential zakat donors to focus on “the jihad.”  The money they collected went toward the jihadi terrorist organization al-Shabaab.

It does make one wonder about the typical public cover stories of Islamic charities, does it not?  From the Associated Press via the Grand Forks Herald on Apr. 14:

MINNEAPOLIS — While investigating whether two Rochester women were funneling money to a terror group in Somalia, FBI agents sifted through the trash of an apartment complex roughly 90 times, intercepted and recorded 30,000 phone calls and interviewed suspects more than once.

Details revealed in court Thursday hint at the scope and complexity of the investigation into Amina Farah Ali and Hawo Mohamed Hassan, two women who prosecutors say were part of a “deadly pipeline” routing money and fighters from the U.S. to al-Shabab.

Ali, 34, and Hassan, 60, will face trial Oct. 3 on multiple charges, including conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Prosecutors say they went door-to-door to collect funds and held teleconferences to solicit donations. In one of those calls, prosecutors say, Ali told others to “forget about the other charities” and focus on “the Jihad.”

The women have said they are innocent and were collecting money and clothing for refugees in Somalia. Their attorneys have filed numerous requests in the case: asking that the indictment be dismissed…

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Without zakat, “experts” predict collapse of Saudi middle-class

April 18, 2011

A group of “economists, sociologists and Muslim scholars” have told the Arab News that the middle-class in Saudi Arabia could disappear without the steady application of zakat.

This is at striking odds with recent analysis from Pakistan that has found that nobody who received zakat benefits ever gave up those zakat benefits.  More people, not fewer, have added their names to the zakat registers since zakat was legally mandated in Pakistan.  The Malaysian auditor general has also declared that more zakat equals more poverty in Malaysia.

The Arab News article itself presents little evidence to support the claims of these experts.  The one slim argument it provided follows:

Hassan Safar, a Muslim scholar, called for reviving the middle class so that there is no huge disparity between the rich and the poor. “Our society should help the poor emerge into a middle class,” he added. Safar referred to the concept of Takaful (solidarity) in Islam and said it could be activated to give birth to the middle class. “We can also use zakat money to release prisoners and help poor families and by so doing, we will be bringing back to life the middle class that has disappeared from the scene,” he said.

Using zakat to redeem prisoners will help restore the middle class?  Oooh-kay…  This article is probably just part of the broader Saudi clerical effort to defend all zakat collections and transfers, and shield the Kingdom from any anti-money laundering and terrorist financing scrutiny by Western governments and international accounting standards.

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