Archive for March, 2012


No risk too high for South Africa

March 30, 2012

Here’s more on the South African love affair with Iran.  This time, Avi Jorisch takes on South Africa’s telecommunications powerhouse, MTN, for their deep presence in Iran and their complicity in quashing Iranian dissidents.

Even leaving aside the problem that their business ties could help prop up a regime driven by nuclear ambitions, it is a very foolish decision on MTN’s part.  FATF, the international financial watchdog, has warned that money invested in Iran has an unacceptably high risk of being laundered toward illegal activities.  Why would a responsible business want to take such a risk?

MTN has no business aiding terror in Iran
Allegations that SA cellphone company helps regime persecute opposition

Sunday Times – South Africa
March 25, 2012

MTN has a corporate responsibility to cease doing business with Iran and colluding with a state sponsor of terror that uses its technology to track, silence and kill its people. The South African government should take immediate action to prevent this abuse of the telecommunications industry.

MTN’s business ties to Iran are significant and represent approximately a fifth of the company’s revenue. It has a 49% stake in Iran’s second-largest cellphone operator, MTN-Irancell, which has cornered almost half of the Iranian cellphone market. The remaining 51% is owned by the Iran Electronic Development Company (IEDC), a company affiliated with the Iranian government. Its principal shareholder, Iran Electric Industries, has been blacklisted by both the US Treasury and the European Union for its role in proliferating weapons of mass destruction.

On January 27 an MTN spokesman said that while the company was monitoring events in Iran, it was conducting “business as usual” in the country. Minister of Communications Dina Pule further emphasized that there would be no pressure on MTN to pull out of Iran.

MTN has played a critical role in helping the Iranian regime to hunt down its opposition. In 2009, when Iranians took to the streets to protest President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election, MTN-Irancell, along with Iran’s other cellphone carriers, reportedly followed government instructions to suspend text messaging and block internet phone services such as Skype, which were used extensively by the opposition movement…

Read it all here.


Usmani fumes after being denied his cut

March 29, 2012

One of the two most prominent sharia finance proponents in the world, Taqi “Ugly” Usmani, has rebuked financial institutions in North America and Australia for using his name to market sharia financial products without having paid for his endorsement.

Mr. Usmani is accustomed to being “hired” as a sharia board member by major Islamic banks throughout the world.  Whenever he blesses off on the latest product that the sharia bankers have cooked up, Usmani gets a nice, fat check.

But this time, the sharia bankers failed to stroke his back and line his pockets.  They apparently decided to use old Usmani quotations to help promote ijara loans, which gave the appearance of Usmani approving these specific financial products.  Usmani released a written statement (h/t Creeping Sharia) last month warning legal action against the unnamed banks:

Announcement Regarding Misuse of a Fatwa

Thursday, 17 February 2011 12:32

This is for information of all concerned that I have been receiving correspondence from various places enquiring whether I have authorized any Ijarah contracts of certain financial institution in America, Australia and Canada. As evidence these companies have posted a 15 years old fatwa of mine on their websites. I would very explicitly like to declare the following in this regard:

I have never approved any Ijarah contract or scheme for any Financial Institution in America, Australia or Canada.

This fatwa was actually issued 15 years ago in peculiar circumstances prevalent at that time in favor of a house financing company, namely, Al-Amin Company based in Jeddah which they had intended to implement at that time but is no more acting in USA. This Fatwa cannot be used by any other company, because I never reviewed their contracts, nor do I serve on their Shriah Board . As such, the use of this fatwa by other financial institutions is illegal and misleading.

All such companies are requested not to refer to this Fatwa nor to use it as their marketing material, and immediately remove it from their websites failing which they may face legal action at their own cost.

But mind you, Usmani is not opposed to ijara loans.  In fact, ijara is one of the more widely accepted methods among Muslims for structuring a loan.  Usmani himself has specifically signed off on ijara loans before.  Recently Usmani has become critical of murabaha, which is a different structural basis for Islamic financial products.

Once you understand that Usmani supports ijara, but has blasted the banks who invoked his name to help market ijara loans, then you understand more about the profit motive of the sharia advisors.  He’s not mad that sharia banks in North America sell ijara loans.  He’s just mad that they didn’t pay him for it.

Also, sharia advisors like to have access to a portion of the sharia bank’s profits to divert as corporate zakat toward “Islamic charity” or jihad.  That helps the sharia advisors maintain their status and reputation with their sharia-oriented friends.  And if the banks don’t pay, then Usmani can’t play.


Essa Nagri Christians pay jizya at gunpoint

March 28, 2012

Don’t believe the lies from the Muslim apologists who claim that the jizya hasn’t been imposed since the 1800s.  The jizya humiliation tax is imposed today in locations from Egypt to the Philippines with government approval.  From the British Pakistani Christian Association on Mar. 25:

Jizya Tax imposed on Christians in Essa Nagri, Karachi.

Essa Nagri is a densly populated Christian community in Karachi. The total population of Essa Nagri is said to be close to 50,000 men, women and children.

Christians living there suffer great poverty, however, they are strong believers and church attendance is very good.  Essa nagri is served by over 15 established churches of varying denominations; Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Church of Pakistan, Philadelphia Pentecostal, Seventh Day Adventist, Salvation Army.  In addition to this many other large and small Ministries are also working in Essa Nagri.

During the last six months, Essa Nagri people have been subjected to increasing attacks from local Islamic militants. The militants are entering Essa Nagri with guns, machine guns, pistols and other modern weapons.  They enter the Christian colony and loot the community.  Incidents include; snatching mobile phones, obtaining Jizya tax (Islamic religious tax for protection of minorities) under duress – often at gun point and violent attacks on innocent victims simply for fun.  As they leave they celebrate their haul by firing their guns in the air and whooping!  This is causing significant fear in the local community…

And those jizya payments are funneled right back into the grand jihad.

Read the rest at


Kudos to Jessica Rubin for jizya insight

March 27, 2012

The term “jizya” gets thrown around somewhat casually these days.  Anytime a foreign aid payment is made to an Islamic country, at least a couple counter-jihad blogs will call it “jizya.”

From a purely technical standpoint under Islamic tax law, money transferred from the Dar al-Harb (the non-Muslim world) to the Dar al-Islam (the Muslim world) does not correspond to the letter of the tax laws administered by Muhammad.  (Perhaps this is because during his lifetime, it was unthinkable that non-Muslim nations would voluntarily transfer portions of their wealth to Muhammad without having been conquered or forced into a punitive treaty.)

Under Islamic tax law, the jizya is a nasty, discriminatory, hateful tax paid by dhimmis—that is, by non-Muslims living under Muslim domination.  A “harbi,” a person who lives outside the Islamic world, is technically not a dhimmi, and is not lawfully subject to the jizya.

That being said, Jessica Rubin has written an exceptionally wise, insightful, and instructive piece about how foreign aid to Islamist countries does indeed constitute jizya—at least in the spirit of Islamic law if not the letter.  Please read it.  We’ve been analyzing commentary on the jizya for several years now, and this is among the best.  Published by the American Thinker on Mar. 24:

Obama Dances the Jizya
By Jessica Rubin

In the classic Mafia protection racket scheme, the owner of a business must pay the pizzo for the Mafia organization to protect the owner from violence by an alleged third party — usually a branch the organization itself. In the same way, the U.S. taxpayer is paying various “moderate” Muslim countries and organization to protect us from extremist Muslim organizations. We pay not only in money, but by chipping away at our individual human rights in order to appease Muslim elements not to go over to the extremist elements.

In many ways, we are already paying the Islamic form of the pizzo — namely, the jizya. Formally, the jizya is a “tax” paid by kafirs already living under Muslim domination. It is a tax that must be paid at risk of losing one’s head. Moreover, the jizya is not just a “head” tax; it is also intended to be a form of humiliation.

Qur’an (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

Paying the jizya is just part of dhimmitude. The full status of dhimmitude is a miserable, soulless existence. The linguist and Arabic scholar Mark Durie has traveled extensively to record and observe the status of dhimmis in the ummah (Muslim world). Think of the life of a cowering, abused dog. As Durie says, “it involves embracing your own inferiority.” Indeed, Sura 9:29 of the Koran says that the purpose of the dhimmi system is to “kill the soul” of the non-Muslim, so he will render willingly everything demanded of him.

Every time you go through security at an airport, you are in effect paying the jizya. You are also being humiliated. This is the price we must pay in order not to be blown up.

We pay Pakistan to be “on our side’ against al-Qaeda. We pay the Karzai Mafia to hold fast against the Taliban. We pay in blood and money.

Obama started his presidency by paying obeisance to the leaders of the ummah in the course of his apology tour and then made his shameless Cairo speech. This humbling of the U.S. before the Islamic world is part of the “humiliation” that is central to accepting one’s status as a dhimmi. As Mark Durie says, “The two most characteristic psychological traits of the dhimmi are gratitude and humility. We are seeing both these traits shaping public discourse around Islam. President Obama, for example, has spoken of the ‘debt’ the West owes to Islam. This sense of indebtedness is being imparted to our schoolchildren through Islamicized history textbooks.”

The worst of the tribute we pay the Islamic world is the sacrifice of our values — i.e., our souls. The right to free speech is being chipped away. Any criticism of Islam is labeled Islamophobia. This is the first soul-losing step on the road to full dhimmitude — part of which contains the principle that one must never say or do anything to offend Muslims.

Starting as early as 2008, there was a government memo that warned against “offending,” “insulting,” or being “confrontational” to Muslims.

By 2011, as reported by the Daily Caller, “the Obama administration was pulling back all training materials used for the law enforcement and national security communities, in order to eliminate all references to Islam that some Muslim groups have claimed are offensive.”

The deference to Muslim sensibilities reached the ludicrous extent of censoring photographs of the late Osama bin Laden lest they “offend” Muslims.

The statement by Dwight C. Holton, U.S. Attorney for Oregon, says it all. After discussing the matter with Attorney General Eric Holder, Dwight C. Holton said, “I want to be perfectly clear about this: training materials that portray Islam as a religion of violence or with a tendency towards violence are wrong, they are offensive, and they are contrary to everything that this president, this attorney general and Department of Justice stands for. They will not be tolerated.”

And now the Obama administration has announced its intention to “give” $3 billion to support the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The payment is part of Obama’s outreach program in Egypt. The idea is that by paying the jizya to the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim Brotherhood will keep the “radical” Salafists at bay — a classic Mafia squeeze-play protection racket.

This outreach program, the Obama administration alleges, will make us safer in the U.S., as accommodating Muslims at home and abroad will result in there being less fertile breeding grounds for terrorists. Winston Churchill would call it “feeding the crocodile.”

The U.S. is paying tribute to the House of Islam. Obama is their agent and bagman, and the bag doesn’t contain just our money; it also contains our values.


Treasury reports no blocked Taliban funds

March 26, 2012

Although American officials have blocked millions of dollars in Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah assets, two of the wealthiest jihadist organizations in the world, the Taliban and al-Shabaab, are not listed in the U.S. Treasury Department’s 2011 report on blocked terrorist assets.  Here’s a graphic from the report showing whose funds have actually been blocked under various U.S. sanctions:

Frozen assets

What has been frozen from the Taliban plus two dollars will buy you a cup of coffee.

But in their defense, the U.S. can only freeze or confiscate money that flows through its own financial institutions or correspondent banks.  It may be that members of the Taliban and al-Shabaab have been more circumspect about where and who they bank with, and whether they use banks at all.

But should U.S. officials continue to take victory laps about “unprecedented” sanctions and financial pressure being brought to bear against the enemies of the West when government figures don’t even show a penny being blocked from the Taliban’s clutches?


SFW: Someone was financing Merah

March 25, 2012

From Shariah Finance Watch yesterday:

Before he was killed by crack French security forces, the Jihadist terrorist Mohammed Merah claimed that he received funding for weaponry from inside and outside France.

This makes sense since he was known to have multiple Colt 1911 .45 automatic pistols, an Uzi, a Sten gun and a riot shotgun in his possession. The Uzi and the Sten are both submachine guns that would not be easy to come by at all. Even in civilian semi-automatic versions, those two weapons, combined with the others mentioned would likely have required over $3,000 to purchase in the USA. Such weapons are not believed to be readily available in France.

Someone was financing and supplying Merah…

“Someone” indeed.  Merah had visited Afghanistan or Pakistan three times.  It stands to reason, therefore, if Merah said he received funding from both “inside and outside France” that he was referring to Afghanistan or Pakistan.  And, if he fits the pattern of many other terrorists who received training or formed contacts in Afghanistan or Pakistan, then he possibly received the money from Pakistan’s ISI spy service or any number of Pakistani militant Islamic groups which are themselves funded by the ISI.  In this respect, the money trail looks similar to that of David Headley, the U.S. resident from Pakistan who scouted out the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

On the other hand, his Algerian roots suggest that he could have received money from Algeria, where Al Qaeda’s North African branch has been raking in cash by charging ransoms for European captives.  The fact that France itself has paid massive ransoms for the release of captives in Afghanistan and Africa looks especially counterproductive in the light of jihadist-funded weapon smuggling into Toulouse.

In any case, Merah got the money from jihadists to help wage jihad in France.  This shouldn’t be too surprising when one of Bin Laden’s last video messages was directed with particular scorn against France.


Malaysia imposes sharia food fatwa

March 23, 2012

Like the man who said, “Halal certification has made me a millionaire,” the government of Malaysia has determined that imposing sharia law can be a very profitable enterprise.  At least, that is, in the short term, until sharia law drains all the wealth from its subjects, and causes long-term economic inefficiencies, jealousies, poverty, and inequality that characterizes the Muslim world.  From Jihad Watch earlier this week:

Fines and jail time for Malaysian restaurants not certified as ‘halal’

Showing once again that the Islamic supremacist racket slash ratchet only goes one way. In a few short months, any Malaysian restaurant owner or food vendor that fails to register for and publicly display a ‘halal certificate’ on his premises will face both fines and jail time. There’s no escape — Islamic supremacism continues to steamroll its way through the country in ways both great and small.

From “Jakim: Fine, jail from July 1 for not displaying halal certificate and logo”, The Star, 16 March 2012:

KUALA LUMPUR: Effective July 1, the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will fine and jail food operators who fail to display halal certificate and logo.

Halal hub division director Hakimah Mohd Yusoff said monitoring will be done in cooperation with the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry.

“We will visit every premise from March 31 to educate food operators on the need to obtain the halal certificate and not only display the halal logo,” she said Friday.

Only halal certificates and halal logos issued by Jakim and the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) are recognised.

“Halal certificates issued by the private sector are not recognised and operators who display them will be dealt with. This is stipulated under Section 16 of Domestic Trade Act 2011.” Hakimah said until February, a total of 1,420 applications for halal certificates had been received. – Bernama

This certificate amounts to yet another thinly-disguised ‘jizya’ tax, as 80% of Malaysia’s food industry is owned and/or operated by non Muslims. Each ‘Halal certificate’ costs a reported RM1000, which is about 300 U.S. dollars. As each and every food item sold at a restaurant must be ‘certified as halal’, a Malaysian restaurant could easily be forced to spend up to hundreds of thousands of ringgit to become properly ‘halal certified’. There’s no telling how much this is going to cost the Malaysian economy, or how many businesses will be forced under. But Malaysian Muslims do have their priorities.

Meanwhile, the “occupy movement” and its Muslim cohorts tell us that we should fear “corporate food” and embrace halal food, as though there is no profit motive behind halal food.


FinCEN overreaches on beneficial ownership

March 22, 2012

The Democrats in Congress weren’t making much progress with their silly attempt to force a federal mandate down the throats of state officials who register and regulate corporations.  Despite arm-twisting and getting the Obama administration on board with Sen. Levin’s “incorporation transparency” bill, and getting Time magazine to write a glowing piece about the proposed law, the bill’s sponsors are stuck.

So what have they done?  Pres. Obama’s Treasury Department has established a rule that Congress could not get passed as a law.  Rather than getting the states to hunt down the “beneficial owners” (ie, the true owners of the corporation), the new rules established by FinCEN, an agency within Treasury, will require banks to discover the beneficial owners of all their commercial accounts.  This burden on the compliance division of banks will not be well-received by the business end of a still recovering financial sector.

Giving the states an unfunded mandate through a law would be bad enough, but imposing a costly regulation on the private sector through a backdoor rule is even worse.

This rule will not prevent terrorist financing or secret business activities by Iran.  The effect will be to increase tax revenues to the federal government by forcing banks to figure out what entities may be subject to additional American taxes.  If it is discovered that the customer is subject to a foreign tax, it may well be that the State Department will be lobbying the governments of those countries for a reciprocal law or rule to target Americans who off-shore their wealth.

The rule will also gum up the works at American financial institutions by creating new regulations that banks will have to pay for by increasing bank fees for ordinary customers.

From Complinet with a hat tip to Bachir El Nakib:

U.S. Treasury proposes due diligence and beneficial ownership clarifications for financial firms

Mar 01 2012 Brett Wolf

U.S. financial institutions’ obligations to know their customers have for years been implicit in anti-money laundering rules, but the time has come for an explicit rule to clarify and strengthen those requirements, especially with regard to accounts held by legal entities, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Wednesday.

Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), proposed such a rule and called for industry feedback. It cited concerns about “shell” companies that aid money laundering, terrorism financing, weapons proliferation and tax evasion by hiding the identities of participants from law enforcement authorities in the United States and abroad.

Ideally, financial institutions can mitigate such risks by conducting customer due diligence (CDD), which involves obtaining so-called “beneficial ownership” information necessary to reveal the people behind the legal documents.

Although AML regulations stemming from the USA Patriot Act clearly require CDD and more thorough enhanced due diligence measures in the relatively high-risk private banking and correspondent banking arenas, there is more ambiguity in other business lines, sources say.

Still, financial institutions are clearly required to know their customers well enough to develop a risk profile and spot transactions that are suspicious, which requires knowing who is behind accounts, FinCEN says.

“The explicit requirement that a financial institution know its customers, and the risks presented by its customers, is basic and fundamental to both serving those customers and implementing a program that protects a financial institution from abuse by illicit actors,” said FinCEN Director James Freis, Jr. “The comments we receive will help us balance the information needs of law enforcement with the responsibilities placed on the financial industry.

“Broad public input … will assist FinCEN in considering a CDD obligation that would bring consistency and uniformity both within and across financial institution sectors. With this consistency, FinCEN seeks to disrupt the ability of criminals to hide their assets behind the shroud of anonymity.”

Lack of “uniformity and consistency”

FinCEN expressed concern that its efforts over the past decade to highlight and clarify financial institutions’ obligations with regard to CDD and the collection of beneficial ownership information may have been insufficient. Specifically, it said it was “concerned that there is a lack of uniformity and consistency in the way financial institutions address these implicit CDD obligations and collect beneficial ownership information within and across industries.”

It cited a beneficial ownership survey it conducted in 2008 and industry reaction to guidance it issued a year later, both of which it said suggested that not all financial institutions understood their obligations. It also cited recent regulatory actions against several banks and broker-dealers, including the high-profile actions targeting HSBC Bank USA and Wachovia Bank (now part of Wells Fargo).

It added that it envisions a requirement obliging financial institutions to collect beneficial ownership information for all account holders, with possible “limited exceptions based upon lower risk.”

FinCEN’s proposal is primarily aimed at banks, brokers-dealers, mutual funds, futures commission merchants, and introducing brokers in commodities. However, it said it is also considering extending a rule to money services businesses, insurance companies, casinos, non-bank mortgage lenders or originators and other entities with AML program rules.

Historical challenge has new implications

Determining beneficial ownership of certain corporate accounts has long been a challenge for U.S. financial institutions, primarily because some states do not collect the information during the incorporation process. Some financial institutions have argued that the government is in a better position to determine beneficial ownership and therefore should shoulder the burden.

FinCEN’s proposal notes that Treasury’s “strategy” to address “ongoing abuse of legal entities” will also depend on Congress enacting a law requiring that the states collect beneficial ownership information…


Europe pays ½ ransom, but hostages die

March 21, 2012

A news report indicated that U.K., Italy, or both contributed toward a ransom down payment for the release of a Briton and an Italian from a jihadist group in Nigeria.

After the down payment, British special forces attempted to free the abductees.  Unfortunately, the jihadists murdered the two non-Muslim Europeans during the raid.

Now the hostages are dead, and some of the jihadists who were not detained in the raid may have made off with the down payment money.  If you need another reason why we should not negotiate with terrorists or why ransom demands should not be paid, now you have one.

From the Guardian on Mar. 10:

Nigerian kidnappers ‘received ransom downpayment’

Extremists given part of ransom before failed attempt to rescue British and Italian hostages, agency reports

Ransom money was paid to the Islamic extremists holding British and Italian hostages in Nigeria before British special forces tried to rescue them from their compound, a news agency has claimed.

Part of a €1.2m ransom was paid to release hostages Chris McManus and Franco Lamolinara, who were killed during the raid on Thursday which sparked a diplomatic row.

The ransom talks, in which both British and Italian officials had participated, began with a request for €5m and the release of prisoners, the Mauritanian agency reported, quoting sources close to the extremists. During the talks, questions were sent to the kidnappers for the hostages to answer about their families to prove they were still alive.

The British took a tougher line in negotiations than the Italians and demands eventually settled on €1.2m and no prisoner release, it is alleged. After a downpayment, British and Nigerian operatives were able to follow the extremists back to their hideout, setting up the raid.

The Italian foreign ministry declined to comment on the report. The Italians protested that London failed to inform them of the raid until it was under way President Giorgio Napolitano calledBritain’s unilateral action “inexplicable”.

Operatives from Britain’s elite Special Boat Service and Nigerian soldiers surrounded the kidnappers’ hideout on Wednesday, a day before the firefight in which McManus and Lamolinara were killed, the Italian paper Corriere della Sera reported on Saturday. Quoting a Nigerian journalist, Ahmad Salkida, the paper said that, once surrounded, the kidnappers asked to be able to flee the hideout but their request was turned down by soldiers, who demanded they surrender. The kidnappers refused and the raid got under way.

The wife of one of the guards holding the hostages said on Saturday the two men were taken into a lavatory and shot dead during the rescue attempt.

The woman, who gave her name only as Hauwa and said she was 31, cried into her hands as she spoke to Reuters. Hauwa said bullets were fired into the room where she and her husband were staying, killing him.

“After that, there were about six men who came out of the house with the two hostages,” she said. “They came into our wing of the compound, pushed the captives into the toilet and just shot them. I screamed.”

Nigerian authorities have detained five Islamist militants suspected of involvement in the kidnapping. Two of the men were arrested before the rescue attempt and three at the compound where the raid took place.

Italian secret service officials were first alerted to the raid by British counterparts at 10.15am on Thursday, Corriere della Sera reported. They, in turn, informed Italian PM Mario Monti 15 minutes later. By 12.30, the UK ambassador to Italy, Christopher Prentice, was holding talks with Italian government officials to update them on the operation.

British government officials have said Italy had been told of the possibility of a raid and Corriere della Sera said Italian defence minister Giampaolo Di Paola had been informed the week before that special forces had been deployed to the area.

But politicians across the political spectrum in Italy have demanded to know why Rome was not warned that the raid was about to take place, calling it a “slap in the face”.

Italy’s predilection for negotiating with kidnappers instead of rescuing hostages through force was shown in Afghanistan in 2007, when it released Taliban prisoners in return for the freeing of an Italian journalist…


“Halal certification has made me a millionaire”

March 20, 2012

With a tip of the hat to Act for Australia.  Coralie Smith is pushing for greater transparency to let Australian consumers know whether or not the companies they buy food from are paying money to halal certification agencies (the stealth halal tax) and indirectly aiding the spread of sharia law. It’s also making some Muslims stinking rich, while the Islamic nations of the world suffer from some of the greatest internal income inequalities on the planet.

Unfortunately, some food producers and sellers are bowing to behind-the-scenes shakedowns from the big halal industry.  This video from “Today Tonight” reports that corporations are paying secret fees and signing non-disclosure agreements with the halal certifiers:


Concerns mount over Bangladesh

March 19, 2012

FATF, the world’s leading international watchdog for money laundering, terror funding, and financial standard setting, is concerned that Bangladesh hasn’t done enough to criminalize terrorist financing, and isn’t freezing suspect accounts.

FATF is rightly concerned.  Just take Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited as an example.  IBBL is Bangladesh’s premier sharia bank, and it has used its wealth to fund jihad militants, according to intelligence from Bangladesh’s own interior ministry.  Naturally, a sharia bank that funds terrorism isn’t going to freeze the accounts, or even screen the accounts, of terrorist customers. 

(By the way, IBBL is currently attempting to push farmers into loans that they may not need.  Predatory lending by sharia banks should be condemned as vigorously as predatory lending by conventional banks.)

From Gulf Times on Mar. 4:

Dhaka urged to curb terror financing

By Mizan Rahman

Dhaka—The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global body to combat money laundering and terror financing, has asked Bangladesh to freeze terrorist assets and confiscate funds relating to money laundering.

A senior official in the finance ministry said yesterday that Bangladesh might see its place coming down in the global scenario from the current ‘grey list’ to the ‘black list’ if the government failed to implement the action plan of FATF on money laundering by June.

The warning from FATF and its action plan was conveyed to Bangladesh from a recent plenary meeting of the task force, held in Paris in mid-February.

Bangladesh Bank (BB) Deputy Governor Abu Hena Mohammed Razee Hassan led a four-member delegation to the meeting.

“The meeting was a groundbreaking one as it lauded Bangladesh for several steps to combat money laundering and for scrapping the fiscal measure allowing black money in share business,” a delegation member said.

“The FATF has asked us to implement a large number of measures to combat terror financing and money laundering at the earliest possible to avert a possible degradation of our global status from ‘grey list’ to ‘black list,” he added.

According to the action plan, Bangladesh has been asked to adequately criminalise money laundering and terrorist financing, establish and implement adequate procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets, implement adequate procedures for confiscation of funds related to money laundering, ensure a fully operational and effectively functioning financial intelligence unit, improve suspicious transaction reporting requirements, improve international co-operation in money laundering and issue guidance to capital market intermediaries to effectively extend the anti-money laundering obligations.

The FATF is an inter-governmental body, the purpose of which is to develop and promote policies, both on national and international levels, to combat money laundering and terror financing.

The task force is a ‘policy making body’ which works to generate the necessary political will to bring about national legislative and regulatory reforms.

Earlier, the FATF in a report in 2010, said Bangladesh was still non-compliant in at least 10 key areas in attaining the international standard in the sector of money laundering and terror financing.

The government had formed a national co-ordination council, headed by Finance Minister A M A Muhith, to implement the recommendations of FATF.

A ministry of finance official said a joint effort by ministries of finance and home and central bank is needed to implement the action plan.