Posts Tagged ‘khums’

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Arabs realize khums funds terror

May 13, 2016

The Koran 8:42 says that “when ye have taken any booty, a fifth part belongeth to God and to the Apostle…” This one-fifth tax, or khums, on booty or the spoils of war has been a common revenue-raising measure employed by caliphs, sultans, and Muslim military commanders since the eighth century.  Shia Muslims regard the concept more broadly to apply to one-fifth of personal net profits.

The problem with khums is that it has been used to fund Hezbollah for years, that it has funded jihadist movements for decades including the Iranian Revolution itself, and it has been used more recently to fund subversive activities in Bahrain.  Even Iraqi Shia have been critical of Iran’s abuse of khums, calling khums haram and equating it to flushing money down the toilet.  It’s amusing that Sunni Muslim figures in the Gulf are just now catching on to the scourge.

From the Jerusalem Post on May 4 (h/t El Grillo):

Gulf Shi’ites paying religious tax to Iran are funding terror, Sunni campaign says

The age-old Sunni-Shi’ite split is now the underlying cause of a new Sunni outcry against the expansionist policy of Iran in the Middle East.

A social media campaign launched recently by Sunni Muslims seeks to protest over the transfer of a religious tax payed by Shi’ites living in the Gulf to the main centers of Shia scholarship in Iran and Iraq.

The Khums (meaning fifth in Arabic), is a tax mentioned in the Koran and consisting of 20% of a person’s excess earning. The money is donated to poor and orphans, as well as to Islamic institutions.

According to the Koran, the Khums should be collected by the Imam Mahdi (the Shi’ite messiah). However, because the day of judgement has not yet arrived, the religious establishment in Iran is the one getting the money.

Since these endowments arrive directly to Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, without any supervision by Iranian state institutions, they are allegedly used for political purposes and not for religious and moral ones, as the Koran obligates.

According to Arab media reports, hundreds of millions of dollars payed annually by Gulf Shi’ites to the religious scholars in Qom (the major Shi’ite center in Iran) are transferred to Iran’s militias in Iraq and Syria, which are fighting the local Sunni population.

The Khums is also a major income source for Hezbollah. In 2005, then-Hezbollah spokesman Hussein Nabousli proudly declared that most of the organization’s revenues come from Khums.

Since this money is not circulated in the international financial system, it helped the Iranian regime withstand the financial sanctions that were imposed on it by the West, providing it with liquidity.

In light of Iran’s expansionist policy in the Middle East, Sunni social media activists are now calling on governments in the Gulf to prevent the transfer of the money collected from Khums to Iran and obligate Shi’ites to pay this money to the states they are living in.

The standard-bearer of the Sunni campaign is Khaled Alkami, a well-known Saudi political analyst, who wrote on Twitter a series of comments under the hashtag: “the transfer of Khums to Iran is terror.”

“Sending money, under any name, to the thug state of Iran, is the same as sending money to al-Qaida, ISIS or Hezbollah, and it should be designated as ‘terror funding,'” Alkami said…

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ISIS profits from 20% tax on smuggled loot

March 9, 2015

Why 20 percent? The Koran 8:42 says that “when ye have taken any booty, a fifth part belongeth to God and to the Apostle…” This one-fifth tax, or khums, on booty or the spoils of war has been a common revenue-raising measure employed by caliphs, sultans, and Muslim military commanders since the eighth century.

BBC’s “File on 4” aired a report on Feb. 17 examining the extent to which ISIS controls the market in smuggling antiquities out of eastern Syria, especially around the ISIS stronghold in Raqqa, for follow-on sales through middlemen in Turkey and elsewhere to wealthy European and Gulf buyers. The BBC’s Simon Cox spoke from Lebanon with “Ahmed,” one Syrian dealer working in Turkey who described ISIS’s 20 percent cut on the archaeological black market.  Listen to this three minute clip of their conversation (please allow several seconds after clicking the arrow for the audio to play):

Hat tip to Alan for sending this over.

Prior Money Jihad coverage of ISIS’s reliance on khums is here, here, here, and here.

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ISIS sells Christian loot at jihad bazaar

February 8, 2015

ISIS is funded in part from sales of illegally seized “Nazarene” (Christian) belongings. ISIS refers to the stolen merchandise as “spoils”—terminology chosen to reinforce the legitimacy under sharia law of dispossessing infidels of their property as described in the Koran, Sura 8, “The Spoils of War.” It has been estimated earlier that 12 percent of ISIS’s revenues come from concepts of taxation such as jizya and khums that are permitted by Islamic law.

From AINA on Feb. 2:

ISIS Opens Market in Mosul for Stolen Assyrian Property

Mosul (AINA) — ISIS has opened a special market to sell property it looted from Assyrian homes and churches in Mosul. The market, called “Spoils Of The Nazarenes,” sells televisions, refrigerators, microwave ovens and other electronic devices, as well as furniture and artwork. Prices range from 50,000 to 75,000 Iraqi Dinars ($42 to $63).

ISIS captured the city of Mosul on June 10. Almost immediately thereafter it began to drive Assyrians out of Mosul and destroy Christian and non-Sunni institutions. It imposed a poll tax (jizya) on Assyrians, ordered unmarried women to ‘Jihad by sex’, destroyed the statue of the Virgin Mary at the Immaculate Church of the Highest in the neighborhood of AlShafa in Mosul, as well as the statue of Mullah Osman Al-Musali…

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Secret details spilled on ISIS’s funding

November 14, 2014

How jihad group uses WhatsApp, oil hoses, and looted antiquities to stay solvent

ISIS using mobile apps to stay in touch with financiers
There was a time when terrorists preferred moving their money through the traditional Islamic debt transfer system of hawala, through the conventional wire services like Western Union and MoneyGram, or through a combination of both. But fears of detection led ISIS to send personal couriers and fundraisers to Europe, while staying in touch with them through text messaging and WhatsApp, as an ongoing trial against a Syrian-Lebanese man in Germany illustrates (h/t El Grillo)… more>>

Antiquity smuggling isn’t random looters, it’s an organized ISIS racket
ISIS has made over $35 million from selling historical artifacts, and now controls 4,500 archaeological sites (h/t Rushette). They justify their bulldozing and looting on the basis of khums, the traditional Islamic tax on discovered wealth (h/t Sal)… more>> and more>>

ISIS and al-Nusra smuggle oil right under the noses of Turkish gendarmes
Turkish border guards look the other way as vans filled with oil drums and tubes are laid in trenches to transfer black market oil from Syria and Iraq. A new report takes a look at the nuts and bolts of the illicit trade along with photos of how it’s done (h/t El Grillo)… more>>

Businessmen flee Mosul as ISIS breaks no-new-taxes promise
Manufacturers and small business owners in Mosul, Tikrit, and Fallujah abandon their factories to avoid making “royalty” payments to ISIS after they reneged on an earlier pledge not to tax them (h/t El Grillo)… more>>

ISIS’s coffers have been wildly overestimated, says Germany
Even using all of these revenue techniques, there’s a genuine possibility that ISIS may have bigger financial problems than previously reported. German intelligence reveals that ISIS is only to raise between 3 to 10 percent as much money from oil sales as previously reported, and that its production abilities are dwindling rapidly as oil production sites are bombed and oil technicians flee their posts (h/t El Grillo)… more>>

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Clandestine money news: recommended reading

October 9, 2014
  • Qatar is arming the revolutionary Islamist militia known as “Libya Dawn”… more>>
  • The international watchdog Financial Action Task Force finds that soccer and money laundering are a perfect match for each other… more>>
  • Arab Bank wasn’t the only financial institution funding Hamas.  Enter National Westminster Bank… more>>
  • How ISIS’s antiquities smuggling and the Islamic khums tax finance the blood-letting in Iraq and Syria… more>>
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Money for terror: recommended news reading

September 18, 2014
  • Behind’s ISIS‘s ascendance were piles of money from Kuwait and Qatar… more>>
  • Three anthropologists have learned “that ISIS is indeed involved in the illicit antiquities trade,” justifying their looting on the traditional Islamic khums tax… more>>
  • The threat of cyber-theft by terrorists raises alarms about the federal backstop for insurance against terrorismmore>>
  • Aid and donations are diverted to fund Hamas‘s rockets… Diagram>>
  • Biting the hands that fed them:  “Islamic State’s Ultimate Goal: Saudi Arabia’s Oil Wells”… more>>
  • Hamas’s budget is between $500 million and $1 billion a year. Funds derive from Iran, Qatar, and Turkey, and from taxing Gazans… more>>
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Following the money in early Islam

January 13, 2013

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.

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The fairy tale of Muhammad dying in poverty

July 8, 2012

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:

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Khums is haram, goes into toilet

September 30, 2011

A rather surprising video was uploaded on Sep. 14 to Youtube showing Shia Iraqi scholar Sayyid Ahmed al Qabbanji blasting Iranian leaders on how they use their revenues from the khums tax:

Al Qabbanji is right that the Iranian clerics have become stinking rich taking money from their people (both through religious taxation and government corruption).  He goes as far as to call khums not obligatory, but haram, and that giving khums is like flushing “a million in the toilet.”

Still, given the choice, I’d rather the ayatollahs travel to London and spend khums on hotels and shopping sprees versus diverting the money toward Hezbollah, which is one of the terrorist organization’s key revenue sources.

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Shia revolutionaries in Bahrain funded by khums

June 6, 2011

The chief investigator of 21 agitators has testified before a Bahraini court that the defendants were working with Iran and funded by khums, Shia Islam’s 20 percent tax on gains. The investigator stated that the men received the khums in cash along with marching orders from Hezbollah.

This conforms to what we already knew about 1) the historical role of khums in funding “jihadi movements” including the Iranian Revolution itself, and 2) the role of khums in funding Hezbollah, and 3) the role khums was reported to play last year in a failed Shia Bahraini coup.

From the Muslim News on May 22:

…At the hearing of the prominent 21 activists, Lieutenant Isa Sultan was brought as a witness. Isa Sultan is the person in charge of the case and investigations. According to people present at the hearing, he was sweating and appeared very nervous. He said that the defendants were working in coordination with Iran as they all followed Velayat-Al-Faqih and wanted an Islamic Republic. He also said that they received payments of “Khums” which is Islamic taxation. The lawyer asked him how he knew this if there were checks or such, and he responded that they received it all in cash and then used it to buy gas and car tires for the youth to burn on the streets. He then said that the defendants were receiving directions from Hezbullah who told them they must achieve a constitutional monarchy…

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Failed Bahrain coup funded by khums

October 4, 2010

The khums tax funded the Iranian Revolution, and if 23 Shia Muslims had their way, it would have funded a new Bahraini revolution as well.  This Sept. 7 story from the Vancouverite slipped by us, and is further evidence of the dangers of khums:

23 Shiite Muslims charged with plotting Bahrain coup

By Yehonathan Tomer

MANAMA, BAHRAIN: 23 Bahraini nationals have been charged over the weekend with belonging to a “sophisticated terrorist network” plotting with “international support to overthrow their government by force.”

Members of the all-Shia group have been in detention since August 13 when the first arrests were made following a detailed intelligence gathering operation by Bahrain’s National Security Agency.

The group is being prosecuted under Bahrain’s ‘Protecting the Community from Terrorism Act 2006’ with acts relating to “planning and executing a campaign of violence, intimidation and subversion in the Gulf Kingdom.”

According to Bahrain News Agency (BNA) the prosecutors named the Bahrain-based leaders of the network as Abduljalil Al Singace, Mohamed Habeeb Al Saffaf, Abdulhadi Al Mokhaidar, along with London-based Bahraini nationals, Saeed Al Shehabi and Husain Mshaima.

Among them are also leading figures in the Al Wafa Movement, the banned Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, and the London-based Bahrain Freedom Movement.

Other members of the 23-man network, picked up in the security sweep include academics, taxi drivers, civil servants, dentists and administrators as well as several unemployed receiving state benefits.

They are all part of an organised multi-tier network covering the supervision and planning of terrorist acts, through to logistical support and propaganda, the state news agency said.

Funding for the group came from three principal sources, said Bahraini Public Prosecution official, Abdulrahman Al Sayed; the misappropriation of ‘Khums’ – the traditional religious tax levied in the Shia community; a group of unnamed ‘charities’ acting as front receivers of donations and overseas funds derived from supported international organisations, and unspecified foreign entities…