Archive for November, 2011


Justice: Petty thief swindles jihadists

November 22, 2011

The Indian Mujahideen (IM), which was probably established with money from Pakistan’s ISI spy service, has received the Ali Baba treatment from one of their senior operatives.  The IM collected zakat and hawala money for what they hoped would be a major attack against a stadium in southern India.  But the attack was carried out on a shoestring budget, and Riyaz Bhatkal made off with the excess cash.  From on Nov. 15:

‘Petty thief’ Riyaz Bhatkal torpedoes Indian Mujahideen’s plans

Riyaz Bhatkal, one of Indian Mujahideen’s most dreaded terrorists, is today perceived as a traitor for siphoning off funds, reports Vicky Nanjappa

When a Karnataka police official posted in Bhatkal town was asked about Riyaz, a wanted terrorist from the Indian Mujahideen, he quipped, “He was nothing but a chindi chor (petty thief) before he was roped in to become a big time terrorist.”

According to investigators who have been tracking the Indian Mujahideen, many members of the outfit were angry with Riyaz since they felt that he had betrayed them.

Riyaz Bhatkal had reportedly fled with a large amount of money from the IM’s coffers.

Riyaz, who hails from the coastal town of Bhatkal, was in possession of Rs 38 lakh that was collected through hawala transactions and donations. The money was supposed to be used for terror operations in and around Karnataka.

But the blasts near Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore in April, 2010, were not a costly affair at all. The terror operation, termed as a ‘flop’, could not have cost more than Rs 10,000, feel investigators.

Interrogations of suspected IM operatives have revealed that Bhatkal had siphoned off quite a bit of money just before he fled the country.

The IM has also faced deep divisions within its ranks over the issue of money. While it was founded for the purpose of propagating terrorism in India, some of its members have started using it as a money spinning business.

According to sources, when the IM was floated with the help of the Inter Services Intelligence, it was very clearly stated by the Pakistani spy agency that all the funds should be used to carry out terror activities in India.

Read the rest of this entry ?


Gulf-based CEO plans jihad & caliphate

November 21, 2011

A new presentation uploaded by Dr. Tareq Al Suwaidan to Slideshare (the popular website for sharing PowerPoint files) lays out his plans for “a new Islamic civilization.”  What do those plans include?  Resistance and jihad against Israel:

Islamist PowerPoint slide

Slide 91

Slide 126 shows Dr. Al Suwaidan’s plans for a neo-Caliphate that includes a common financial system:

Sharia slide

You can be sure that the economic plans do not include a financial system that allows for riba (interest), paper currencies, or any investment that “contradicts” Islam (which could be whatever the theocrats declare by fatwah).

The entire presentation entitled “Change Project مشروع التغيير الحضاري – بالانجليزية,” is 135 slides long, and it is not worth embedding on Money Jihad.

Dr. Suwaidan describes himself as a CEO at Innovation Group located in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.  His final slide says that the presentation was prepared “in collaboration with ANSI Systems Sdn Bhd in Malaysia.”


Afghan girls treated as cattle, traded as slaves

November 19, 2011

CBC Radio reporter Laura Lynch has filed a heartbreaking report from Kabul in late October about the Afghan baad system, which uses women as bargaining chips in the settlement of disputes or, like the traditional Islamic diyya blood tax, as compensation for misdeeds of a male family member.

The report highlights the story of one Afghan girl who escaped from an abusive man to whom she had been given to when she was only five years old.  Take a listen to this one-minute excerpt from the full report, in which Lynch says the girl’s story is just one among many “who have similar tales of being traded like cattle or cash, and treated like slaves“:

The girl tried killing herself by drinking acid to escape her circumstances.  That’s the result of the “ethical” Islamic financial and legal system for you.


Revisiting Treasury’s haste to unfreeze assets…

November 18, 2011

Lately, Money Jihad has experienced a small flurry of web traffic from people searching the Internet for information about Faraj Hassan.

To review, Faraj Hassan (a.k.a. Faraj Faraj Hussein al-Sa’idi) was a Muslim living in the U.K. who was convicted by an Italian court for being a member of a Libyan terrorist organization.  U.K. authorities declined to extradite Hassan to Italy, but the U.S. and the United Nations both designated Hassan as a terrorist.  Hassan was reported to have died in a motorcycle accident in August, 2010.

Ignoring the possibility that Hassan’s death could have been faked, the U.S. Treasury Department quickly lifted sanctions on Hassan, freeing up any assets he may have held in U.S. banks for Hassan’s family to use to continue supporting the jihad that Hassan extolled.

Here’s video that showed Hassan telling a cheering Muslim British crowd (at a rally for murderer Aafia Siddiqui) that “jihad against America is compulsory” shortly before his alleged death:

It is unknown how many assets may have been made available to Hassan’s family over the past year by the Treasury Department’s prompt action in this matter.


Recalling the post-Ottoman tax on non-Muslims

November 17, 2011

In November, 1942, the government of Turkey imposed the varlik vergisi, a tax on wealth, assets, and capital, that was applied mostly and at the highest rates against Turkish non-Muslims.  The rates were often higher than 100 percent of one’s total wealth.  The non-Muslims who could not afford to pay the tax where railroaded off to forced labor camps.

A recent article from Today’s Zaman noted that, “Within the scope of wealth tax payment requirements, 1,229 non-Muslims were sent to Aşkale via the Haydarpaşa railroad station in İstanbul to perform the jobs assigned to them.”  According to Wikipedia, 21 non-Muslims died at the labor camps.  The government collected over 320 million Turkish lira (approximately 270 million USD at the time) from Assyrians, Chaldeans, Greeks, Jews, and Armenians through the tax.

The varlik vergisi showed that the devshirme blood tax and the jizya against non-Muslims from the days of the Ottoman Empire could not be permanently purged from the “secularist” Turkish regime that replaced it.

Fortunately, Turkey rescinded the tax in 1944.

However, Turkey continues to impose the jizya against Greek Cypriots to this day, according to published reports.

Discriminatory taxes against non-Muslims in the post-caliphate Islamic world are much overlooked but not uncommon, whether it was the Turkish varlik vergisi, Malaysia’s bumiputra system, or government-endorsed jizya against Sikhs in Pakistan, Jews in Yemen, and Copts in Egypt.


Islamic insurance risky except to sharia advisers

November 16, 2011

Wednesday word:  takaful

Sharia law bans conventional insurance policies because Muslims think insurance involves uncertainty, gambling, and interest charges.  The substitute that the sharia financiers have come up with to replace insurance is takaful.  Dar & Moghul define takaful this way:

Islamic cooperative insurance is not a contract of buying and selling, where a party offers and sells protection and the other party accepts and buys the service at a certain cost or price.  Rather, it is an arrangement, whereby a group of individuals each pay a fixed amount of money, and then compensation for losses of members of the group are paid out of the total sum.

This chart from a presentation by Islamic finance lecturer R.A. Sarjoon helps distinguish between conventional insurance and takaful in the eyes of Islamic financial experts:

Diagrams of conventional insurance & takaful

The problem with takaful is that it gives the sharia law advocates and advisers yet another opportunity to distort financial markets with awkward, inefficient models that enrich themselves while spreading sharia law concepts deeper into society and farther throughout the world.

Whenever an Islamic financial product is pitched by the men on the business side of Islamic financial firms, they have to go to their sharia advisory boards and ask the members to sign off on the proposals.  When the product is structured on the borderlines of Islamic law, it gives the sharia advisers outsized influence over the final business decision on the structure of the product.  The controversial products probably help deliver more fees to the sharia advisors as well, because their services are called upon more often to bless off on the structure.  The sharia advisers like innovation in financial products because it gives them the opportunity to meet more often to deliberate on the sharia compliance of the proposed products, they can claim more expenses, and it helps justify the payments the sharia advisors receive from the Islamic firms, etc.

Takaful is a potential bonanza for the sharia advisers.  They can offer their services not just to Islamic banks, but to insurance companies as well.

Read more background and news about takaful over at Shariah Finance Watch.

* Dar, Humayon A., and Moghul, Umar F., The Chancellor Guide to the Legal and Shari’a Aspects of Islamic Finance (Great Britain: Harriman House, 2010).


Top sharia banker commits 58 criminal offenses

November 15, 2011

Majid Al Refai was no ordinary bank employee–he was the managing director and founding chief executive officer of the billion dollar Bahraini sharia financial institution known as Unicorn Investment Bank.  Prior to that, Mr. Al Refai was the deputy CEO of UBS’s Islamic finance entity, Noriba.

Sharia finance CEO

After auditors released their findings, Unicorn sought to distance itself from Al Refai’s deeds, claiming that “The alleged criminal offences relate mainly to transactions by Mr. Al Refai which were not approved by the Board of Directors.”  Mainly, but perhaps not exclusively…  Here’s Unicorn’s press release from earlier this fall:

Towards the end of 2010, Unicorn Investment Bank submitted a criminal complaint against its former CEO, Majid Al-Refai, to the General Prosecutor of the Kingdom of Bahrain. The General Prosecutor subsequently commissioned renowned global advisory firm Deloitte to conduct an independent investigation into the matter. The Deloitte report concluded that there were 58 alleged criminal offences committed by Majid Al Refai during his tenure at Unicorn, and the General Prosecutor has now referred the case to the Criminal Court of the Kingdom of Bahrain.

It is important to note that several reports issued in 2010 by the Central Bank of Bahrain, PriceWaterhouse Coopers and Ernst & Young arrived at similar conclusions to those detailed in the above-mentioned Deloitte report. The alleged criminal offences relate mainly to transactions by Mr. Al Refai which were not approved by the Board of Directors of Unicorn; personally appropriating and squandering Bank funds; shredding and destroying over 8000 Bank documents; and deliberately preventing the Bank’s partners, associates and other authorized entities from accessing Bank documents, thereby contravening the laws of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the rules and regulations of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

The Bank has also filed two civil cases against Majid Al-Refai and two other former employees of the Bank to retrieve funds that were misappropriated. Consequently, the Bahraini authorities have placed two travel bans on Majid Al Refai in Bahrain. Furthermore, the General Prosecutor has instructed all banks in Bahrain to freeze Majid Al Refai’s assets.

Unicorn confirms that the above-mentioned legal proceedings, which are ongoing since September 2010, are all within the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and do not affect the ongoing operations of the Bank.