David J. Jonsson
December 21, 2006
My goal today is to put you into the mind of an Islamist—to think like an Islamist. It is only possible to understand the events occurring by understanding their thinking and what it would mean to live under Shariah law. There is a well-worn cliché “It’s the economy stupid” that appears around election times. So it is with Islamic Economics and the Clash of Ideologies we are witnessing today. See also: Islamic Economics and the Final Jihad: The Muslim Brotherhood to the Leftist/Marxist - Islamist Alliance
It should be realized that the goal of the Islamists, following in the footsteps of Muhammad, is not so much to conquer the land but to Islmanize the populations. In so doing they seek to have the lands come under Shariah law and that the lands become dar al-Islam—the land of Islam and that all non-Muslims accept the status of Dhimmis—subservient to Muslim rule. The Plan involves the incremental acceptance of basic tenants of Shariah law as applied to all aspects of life—the Islamic “Way of Life”. This implies the desire to incrementally change the laws and ultimately the Constitution of the U.S. This requires the population to accept the new laws as equally valid and acceptable. Initially this will result in parallel legal systems and progressing from there with laws that may be applied locally and ultimately nationally. Jihad can be with the pen and the tongue, just as it can be the sword and the spear as Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood has said. Knowledge combined with economic control can be wielded with the precision of a sharp sword to effect any desired social/political change necessary for the fulfillment of Islam’s goal.
To me based on reading the Qur’an, listening to pronouncements of the leaders, the scholars and reading their writings, it is to establish the “Islamic kingdom of God on earth.”
If this is true, then we have to look at what actions or events need to occur for the vision to come to pass. It is pretty easy to see what needs to be done and the current status. Then you need to identify the skills needed to complete the task. Then you identify the players for execution and figure out the cost to get them on board. If you read the newspapers and watch the TV, you will notice that the process is underway.
The Plan involves the incremental acceptance of basic tenants of Shariah law as applied to all aspects of life—the Islamic “Way of Life”. This implies the desire to incrementally change the laws and ultimately the Constitution of the U.S. Suggested reading from the Middle East Quarterly – Spring 2006 CAIR: Islamists Fooling the Establishment.
There is no question that many Muslims whether they are Summi or Shiite decry terrorism and are loyal Americans; however, most Muslims subscribe to the Muslim total “way of life” and desire to have the whole world under Islamic rule and the will of Allah. Combining a “way of life” into an economic system is proving to be more powerful than any other in having a global impact and spreading Islam on a global basis.
Jihad is considered a required religious duty for Muslims. Jihad is Islam’s normal path to expansion.
Islamic Economics is the stealth sword of Islam. It is more powerful than the Weapons of Mass Destruction and terrorism. It is immune to negotiation. The stealth sword is being applied for the Islamization of the West and the whole world. The goal is to create the “Islamic kingdom of God on earth.” The implementation of Shariah law would have a dramatic affect on your life and that of the entire Western Civilization. Understand the nature of the evil and do not be blindsided.
As UPI Editor at Large Commentary: Watching America: “In much of the world, friends and foes alike are challenging America's preeminence. The country that wishes to supplant America must possess a huge population, abundant resources, a universal ideology and the political will to succeed. The most obvious candidate is the Muslim world under the Caliphate, which Bush has often spoken about.” See also: 21st American century is about to end by Abid Mustafa in the Frontier Post, Pakistan, December 5, 2006.
The strategy from the time of Muhammad fourteen centuries ago was to create the “Islamic kingdom of God on earth”; this remains throughout the Islamic world today. Islam is not just another religion, but a total “way of life” that brings religion into the economic and political sphere. Integrating Shariah (Islamic law) into economics and finance is a powerful tool for Islamization and ultimately world domination.
Islamists do not seek integration and assimilation into Western society and culture; they seek to destroy Western governments and to establish nations under Shariah, in which all are subservient to Muslim rule. They seek “justice,” not democracy, as the West knows it--government by the people and for the people. Justice to Islamists means all peoples under Islamic rule.
Islamic economics has an impact on your life, whether you are a banker, investing in the stock market, selling a home, buying a car, purchasing food, buying a suit or a dress, or just trying to make sense of the current events. Islamic economics and Islamic banking are primary Islamist strategies to condition the West to accept Shariah law as a basis for all life in all nations.
The Islamic movement is an idea movement; at the present time the leader(s) has not been identified. Many, if not most, of the participants in Islamic Financing may not even be aware that they may be supporting the Islamist agenda.
Our goal is to understand, the genesis of Islamic Economics, what it is, how it is taking place, and how it would affect our lives.
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Mt. 4:8-10
An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. -Winston Churchill
The twentieth century has witnessed the emergence of an economic doctrine that calls itself Islamic economics. The doctrine is significant because it advances the sprawling and headline-grabbing movement known as political Islam, Islamic fundamentalism, or simply Islamism.
The movement is having a profound impact. The Islamic windows of major banks that incorporate the principles of Islamic economics represent the fastest growing sector. The banks, based on the principles of Islamic economics, raise billions of dollars in the form of Islamic bonds (sukuk) annually. Banking laws in Islamic and Western countries are changing to accommodate Islamic economic rules. The Dow Jones Islamic Stock Index and in April 2006, Dow Jones and Citigroup announced the launch of the first Islamic Bond Index. The Dow Jones Citigroup Sukuk Index, the first index that seeks to measure the performance of global bonds complying with Islamic (Shariah compliant) investment guidelines.
For a more complete discussion of the implications of financing with Sukuk bonds see my paper Structural Changes–Destruction Of The U.S. Dollar.
The Muslim Brotherhood (al-Ikhwan al-Muslimun) was the main motivator behind setting up experiments in Islamic financing on a nationally and internationally workable scale. The theory and practical requirements needed to set up an Islamic banking system came from among the ranks of the Ikhwan.
"Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope."—Muslim Brotherhood
Almost no research exists on the origins of Islamic economics. Part of the reason, no doubt, lies in the rhetoric of the doctrine: Islamic economics claims to reflect the fixed, transparent, and eternal teachings of Islam, thus making questions about its origins seem equivalent to investigating the origins of Islam itself. By this account, Islamic economics has existed since the dawn of Islam, and the role of the modern Islamic economist has simply been to rediscover forgotten teachings. Whatever the exact connection between the substance of Islamic economics and the precepts of Islam--this view is fallacious.
Some of the economic ideas and practices that are now characterized as inherently Islamic are new creations; others, while not new, acquired religious significance only recently. Moreover, even the concept of Islamic economics is a product of the twentieth century. So it is unclear why the doctrine exists, to say nothing of why it has generated Islamic norms, banks, and redistribution systems.
Compounding the puzzle about the existence of Islamic economics is the Islamic world’s generally low level of economic development, at least relative to Europe and North America. Given the prevailing pattern, it is not clear why Muslims, however devout, would look to Islam for solutions to their economic problems. True, the heritage of Islam offers principles, policies, and practices of relevance to modern economic problems, and in the religions early centuries, Muslim-ruled lands made remarkable economic progress. But if these scarcely disputed facts justify and explain Islamic economics, why did the doctrine not emerge earlier? If the answer is that the Islamic world’s persistent underdevelopment has led to a search for alternative economic programs, there is the point that the Islamic world passed its economic prime almost a millennium ago. The need for economic reforms has been present for many centuries; yet Islamic economics is barely a few decades old.
The declared purpose of Islamic economics is to identify and establish an economic order that conforms to Islamic scripture and traditions. According to the Islamic economic system, the economy, like all other aspects of the Islamic “way of life,” should be managed in a way that allows it to contribute richly to the achievement of the major socio-economic goals of Islam, i.e., creating the “Islamic kingdom of God on earth.” The system should also continue to perform the usual functions that relate to its own special field and which other economic systems perform.
(Mawlana) Sayyid Abul A'la Al-Mawdudi (1903-1979), one of the chief architects of contemporary Islamic resurgence, was one of the most outstanding Islamic thinkers and writers of his time. Mawdudi is credited with bringing economics within the purview of religion in the mid-twentieth century. He had a broader goal of defining a self-contained Islamic order.
He sought to turn Islam into a complete “way of life.” In his voluminous writing, Mawdudi exhorted that Islam is much more than a set of rituals. It encompasses, he argued, all domains of human existence, including education, medicine, art, law, politics and economics. To support this assertion, he laid the foundations of several Islamic disciplines, among them Islamic economics. Sayyid Qutb (1906-66), an Egyptian, Muhammad Baquir al-Sadr (Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr) (1931-80), an Iraqi, and Professor Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian, also made seminal contributions to Islamic economics.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki who belongs to the Shi'ite Dawa party, is close to the most important religious leader in Iraq, Ali Sistani, and therefore has widespread religious support beyond the political backing of his fellow party members. As a member of the militant party founded in the 1950s by Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr, who was killed by Saddam in the '90s, al-Maliki also has the support of al-Sadr's son-in-law, Muqtada al-Sadr. Reference: Spinning on an axis of evil by Zvi Bar'el published by Haaretz.com December 7, 2006.
Al-Mahdi Army / Active Religious Seminary / Al-Sadr's Group According to the Global Security.org organization, “Hujjat al-Islam Muqtada al-Sadr says that the Mahdi would soon return, in Iraq. Sadr’s preachers are spreading this rumor, touching the core of Shi’i faith and eschatology. In the Shia tradition, the Mahdi is the 12th Imam, who is in occultation. Muktada al-Sadr says the Americans were aware of the impending reappearance, and that the Americans invaded Iraq to seize and kill the Mahdi. His supporters chant Sadr's name at rallies to imply that he is the "son of the Mahdi." Sadr has stated that the army "belongs to the Mahdi" as an explanation of why he cannot disband it, as has been required of other private militias. Although the reappearance of the Mahdi central to Shia thought, it is unusual to raise claims of the imminence of this event, and other Shiite clerics have avoided the messianic ecstasy that such claims can induce.”
According to David S. Cloud and Michael R. Gordon, New York Times in the article Bleak assessment in Pentagon study “There were an average of 959 insurgent and sectarian attacks against American and Iraqi targets every week in Iraq over the last three months, the highest level ever recorded, according to a Pentagon report on security trends in Iraq issued Monday.”
“The report also says armed militiamen affiliated with radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr pose the gravest danger to the security and stability of Iraq, surpassing Sunni Arab insurgents and even al Qaeda terrorists. The finding is the military's strongest declaration of the danger posed by al-Sadr.”
According to the article in the Financial Times of December 16: Doubts precede Baghdad reconciliation conference “Sunni for their part complain that six months of national reconciliation pledges do not seem to have reduced the activities of Shia death squads, most of whom are believed to be affiliated to militias loyal to the radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr - a key ally of the prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki.”
This then directly links with Ahmadinejad’s beliefs and preaching about the return of 12th Imam.
In his book, Islamic Way of Life, Mawdudi wrote: “The chief characteristic of the Islamic Concept of Life is that it does not admit a conflict, nay, not even a significant separation between life-spiritual and life-mundane. It does not confine itself merely in purifying the spiritual and the moral life of man in the limited sense of the word. Its domain extends to the entire gamut of life. It wants to mould individual life as well as the social order in healthy patterns, so that the Islamic kingdom of God may really be established on earth and so that peace, contentment and well-being may fill the world as waters fill the oceans. The Islamic “way of life” is based on this unique approach to life and a peculiar concept of man’s place in the universe. That is why it is necessary that before we proceed to discuss the moral, social, political and economic systems of Islam, we should have a clear idea of the Islamic Concept of Life.”
One of the most important contributions of Mawdudi in twentieth century Islam has been his presentation of Islam as a system of life, a complete code of conduct that governs all aspects of human existence. The basic proposition in Mawdudi’s theory is God’s exclusive sovereignty. According to him:
“God’s sovereignty covers all aspects of political and legal sovereignty, also, and in these two no one other than God has any share. No monarch, no royal family, no elite class, no leader of any religious group, no democracy vested in the sovereignty of the people can participate in God’s sovereignty. Whosoever claims such a position is a rebel. Similarly, any institution or individual attempting to assume political and legal sovereignty and seeking thereby to restrict the jurisdiction of God to spheres of personal law or religious duties is a usurper and a rebel. The truth is that no one can claim to be a lawgiver, save under the dispensation of God. No one can challenge the supreme authority of God Almighty in any sphere.”
Mawdudi’s concepts of an Islamic state reject any Western model. In his view, everything about Western civilization was wrong and harmful because it was not God-given but elaborated by political leaders on the basis of false beliefs. To him and his followers, the West had long ago denied the sovereignty of God. Therefore, all things its people have constructed are unacceptable.
The works of Mawdudi were translated into Arabic and other languages as early as 1940. They exerted a profound influence on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and in other Muslim countries. They helped shape contemporary militant fundamentalist movements.
The religious and political ideas of Mawlana Mawdudi and Sayyid Qutb (Qutb wrote the famous book Milestones which was and still is a leading text for Islamic fundamentalism.) constitute the intellectual basis of many modern revivalist (fundamentalist) movements within the Islamic world. They were certainly more critical and disapproving than the Islamic modernists’ idea of bringing together specific Islamic and Western ideas and modernizing Islamic civilization along the lines those Western societies had previously experienced. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to claim that Mawdudi, Qutb, and those people who followed in their footsteps were backward-looking, reactionary traditionalists. This is not only because they admired specific aspects of Western civilization, such as Western science and technology, but also because the kind of Islamic society that they aspired to create was a modern one. The way they defined the nature of an ideal relationship between an Islamic government and its citizens, the manner in which they formulated the rights, duties and privileges of individual Muslims in such an ideal society, and their reinterpretation of the basic principles of Islam to construct a modern ideology prove this observation.
The people in the West who are trying to construct a new socialism, a de-Marxified alternative to the politics of pure individualism, share the views of Islamist economists. These Westerners also accept the market as the essential driving-force of any economy, but they too wish to set it within a man-made moral framework that will ensure support for the weak through the compassion and self-discipline of the strong. What communism tried and failed to achieve through the state, one Islamic economist has written, “is to be established through the agency of man himself.” It would be a good slogan for the possible new socialism of the twenty-first century. As we will see, these principles are being promoted broadly in the West. This merging of ideologies is a powerful force in today’s political environment. This merging is taking the form of a Marxist/Leftist - Islamist Alliance.
More recently, credit needs to be given to Professor Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi for his important book, The Lawful And The Prohibited In Islam.
Islamic law on commerce is known as fiqh al-mu`amalat. Much of the laws, rules and interpretations of Shariah takes into consideration issues of social justice, equitability, and fairness, as well as practicality of financial transactions. In general, the Shariah legal maxim in relation to commercial transactions and contracts states: “They are permissible unless there is a clear prohibition.” In a nutshell, prohibited elements of a commercial transaction must first be removed for it to be Shariah-compliant. The major prohibited elements under Shariah are riba (interest), gharar (uncertainty), maisir (gambling), non-halal (prohibited) food and drinks and immoral activities.
The principles laid out by al-Qaradawi are having profound influence on all daily and commercial activities, not only in the finance sector, but also in the energy, transportation (ports and terminals), construction, and food and drink sector. The goal is to bring all commercial activity into Shariah compliance.
Mawdudi had as his goal the establishment of a separate Muslim society, not integration and/or assimilation into Western culture. The existence of such Muslim dominated ghettos as Clichy-sous-Bois and Bagneux outside Paris and Leicester in the U.K. are examples of lack of Muslim integration. These concepts also pervade the Islamic banking sector of the Major Money Center Banks, with the fact that the accounts from the Islamic windows may not be co-mingled with those of non-Muslims. For his part, Mawdudi appealed to the old notion of the universal Muslim community, the Ummah, which operates according to traditional principles of Islamic solidarity. Essentially undifferentiated except by gender, the Ummah is supposed to transcend tribal, national, regional, and local ties. Having its own laws, values, and convictions, it is to be the individual Muslim’s principal source of identity and the focus of his loyalty.
The teaching of Mawdudi on no integration and/or assimilation into Western culture has far-reaching impact today on many of the issues being addressed in Europe. When immigrants came to America in its formative years, their goal was integration into a unified culture; this is what made America the strong nation it is. In Canada, the Muslim population has sought and has already achieved the separation by the creation of separate civil courts for Muslims. The goal of Islamists is the incremental Islamization of all countries and peoples.
Ummah is an Arabic word that means “community” or “nation.” In the context of Islam, the word ummah is used in foreign languages as well as in Arabic to mean the “nation of the believers” (ummatu l-muminin), and thus the whole Muslim world. The phrase al-ummatun wahid in the Qur’an (the “One Community”) refers to the entire Muslim world unified. Some modern Islamists use the term Islamic Ummah or Muslim Ummah to refer to all the people in the lands and countries where predominantly Muslims reside, and which were once under the control of the Islamic caliphate.
Whatever one thinks of his agenda, he was onto something real: with technological progress, economics was indeed becoming increasingly important to daily life everywhere. In a technologically primitive and static world, where family background determines one’s career, where one plants and sells crops in the ways of one’s grandparents, where one has little to spend on non-subsistence goods, and where markets offer little variety, economics may be vital to physical survival, but economic decision-making does not absorb much attention. By contrast, in a technologically advanced world, where job choices must be made, where women pursue and interrupt careers outside the home, where investment choices require monitoring, and where markets offer abundant choice, economic decision-making absorbs considerable time. It follows that if economic choice is considered a secular activity, economic advances will make Muslim existence look increasingly secular. But if economic activity is considered a religious activity, then economic development need not reduce Islam’s perceived role in the lives of Muslims.
We profoundly misunderstand contemporary Islamist ideology when we see it as an assertion of traditional Muslim values or culture. In a traditional Muslim country, your religious identity is not a matter of choice; you receive it, along with your social status, customs and habits, and even your future marriage partner from your social environment.
In such a society, there is no confusion as to who you are, since your identity is given to you and is sanctioned by all of the society's institutions, from the family to the mosque to the state.
The declared purpose of Islamic economics is to establish a new world economic order that conforms to Islamic scripture--the Qur’an--and Muslim tradition. (1) Its core positions took shape in the 1940s, and three decades later, efforts to implement them were under way in dozens of countries. (2) In Pakistan, Malaysia, and elsewhere, governments are now running centralized Islamic redistribution systems known as zakat.
More than sixty countries have Islamic banks that claim to offer an interest-free alternative to conventional banking. Invoking religious principles, several countries, among them Pakistan and Iran, have gone so far as to outlaw every form of interest; they are forcing all banks, including foreign subsidiaries, to adopt, at least formally, ostensibly Islamic methods of deposit taking and loan making. Attempts are also under way to disseminate religious norms of price setting, bargaining, and wage determination. And for every such initiative, others are on the drawing board.
From these developments one might infer that Islamic economics arose to advance an economic agenda. In fact, the doctrine emerged in late-colonial India as an instrument of identity creation and protection; at least initially, the economics of Islamic economics was merely incidental to its Islamic character.
Islamic banking and Islamic economics present themselves as alternatives to the dominant systems, but they are no more sacred than neo-liberal economic policies.
Islamists, who claim that Islam prescribes coherent systems of economic, political and social organization, implicitly seek the legitimatization of religion by its social roles. By contrast, in traditional Islamic society, their sacred dimension legitimated social arrangements.
It is important to understand the role of contemporary Islam vs. traditional Islamic society. This shift in the Muslim society is a significant contributing factor to the Clash of Ideologies.
The Muslim Brotherhood Movement (Ikhwan) began in 1928 as a youth organization formed in Egypt by Sheikh Hasan al-Banna and five like-minded followers. It was formed immediately following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and in consideration of the 1924 abolition of the caliphate by Turkish reformer Kemal Ataturk and after much contemplation of the sickness that had reduced the Ummah to its present state.
Beginning in the late ‘50s and early ‘60s and to the present day, the Ikhwan contributed to establishing a firm basis for Islamic communities in Europe and North America. This was done mainly through fostering the establishment of local community organizations, Islamic schools, national associations, and special interest organizations, e.g., medical, scientific, cultural.
From the earliest years, establishing an Islamic economic system was a priority for the Ikhwan. Hasan al-Banna, Sayyid Qutb, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and many other scholars laid down some of the groundwork for practical theories of Islamic finance. Later, specialized writers provided the practical basis for Islamic financial institutions, a number of which were developed in Muslim countries.
The Wahhabi ideology of the Saudi state, for example, and the religious doctrines of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and a host of voluntary religious organizations around the Islamic world are all Salafi. These diverse movements share the belief that Muslims have deviated from God’s plan and that matters can be returned to their proper state by emulating Muhammad.
The acronym HAMAS, taken from the Arabic Harakat al- Muqawama al-Islamiya--Islamic Resistance Movement--literally denotes “zeal” or “enthusiasm.” The Hamas Covenant, however, interprets its name to mean “strength and bravery.”
Hamas officially came into being in August of 1988. Founded as an alternative to the secular Palestine Liberation Organization, Hamas offers its activists the total rejection of Israel, together with absolute salvation.
Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood Movement. Like the Brotherhood, Hamas completely rejects Western values and communism and calls for the establishment of a pan-Islamic state—the Ummah founded on the basis of Shariah.
It is in part the concept of forming a pan-Islamic state that conflicts with the creation of the Palestine state. While some seek to create the Palestine state initially, others seek to create the broader pan-Islamic Ummah. As long as this conflict exists, it will be difficult to reach agreement on the Israel-Palestine peace agreement. Iran seeks to incorporate Palestine into the Shiite Crescent, which of course would impact Saudi Arabian desires for a Sunni Caliphate.
To attain the objective of an Ummah, it promoted the concept of an ideal Muslim state to be ruled by a caliph, the title bestowed upon the successors of the Prophet Muhammad at the beginning of the Islamic empire.
It is important to recognize that there are conflicts for control of Hamas between the Shia—Iran support and the Sunni—Saudi/Egypt support factions.
In October of 1992, the Iranian government agreed to a request by Hamas to open an “embassy” for the organization in Tehran. This Hamas “embassy” continues to maintain the contacts and coordination with the Lebanese Hizballah (Hezbollah) organization, also located in Tehran. Additionally, the Iranian government promised to provide training for three thousand Hamas terrorists.
With Iran’s relations with both HAMAS and the Lebanese Hizballah organizations, one could conclude that Iran had reached the Mediterranean. See my article: "Iran Reaches the Mediterranean"
Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah (Ruhallah) Khomeini was the first Muslim cleric in modern times to create an Islamic government based solely on his personal conception of what such a government should entail. Along with Mawdudi and Qutb, Khomeini became an architect of late twentieth century Islamic revolutionary thinking.
Few doubt that previously unorganized, grassroots religious groups played a key role in Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s successful election campaign for president of Iran in 2005. “He rode a wave, using mosque-based organizations and even maddahs [religious singers] to gain support,” says Mohammad-Ali Abtahi, cleric and former reformist vice-president. “But these songs aren’t political; they're not praising the Islamic Republic, only the Twelfth Imam.”
For political leaders to seek backing from popular religion, mystics or even millennialists is hardly new in Iran. The Safavid Dynasty (1501-1722), which converted the country to Shi’ism, sprang from a small Sunni sect whose followers believed its leader was divine. The Shah of Iran; often seen as a secular modernizer, allowed mobs to attack Baha’is, a sect seen as heretics by conservative Shia.
Three months after Ahmadinejad became president, whispers about his view of the Twelfth Imam are growing. According to one rumor, as mayor of Tehran, he drew up a new city plan for the imam’s return.
The culture ministry has denied the government had dropped a letter pledging loyalty into the Jamkaran well. But an early cabinet decision allocated the equivalent of $17 million for Jamkaran. And Ahmadinejad’s promises to eliminate injustice, corruption and unemployment have more sense of “heaven on earth” than mundane government targets.
At the mosque of Jamkaran, 110 kilometers south of Tehran and just east of the holy city of Qom, tens of thousands gather on Tuesdays to pray and drop messages for the “missing” imam into a well.
Abul-Qassem Mohammed, the Twelfth Imam, whom Shia Muslims regard as a successor to the Prophet Muhammad, entered “occultation” in 941 and will one day return to rule justly before Judgment Day.
As seen from an Islamist perspective, Islamic finance provides financial services in accordance with Islamic law or Shariah. Islamists emphasize that Islamic financial services represent the ethical, social, and religious dimension of financial transactions to enhance equity and fairness for the general good of society. These services are not limited to commercial banking and extend into capital markets, insurance and other channels of non-bank financial intermediation. Adoption of the principles of Islamic Finance by the western institutions is a critical step in the Islamization of the West and the acceptance of Shariah law. It is one step forward in making dar al-harb into dar a-Islam and non-Muslims becoming al-Dhimmis and subservient to Islamic rule.
Just as the proponents of “organic” foods and the Green lobby have promoted their ideologies with catch phrases, the Islamists have promoted the their ideology of “Islamic-Safe” and “socially responsible investment” as preferred words for Islamist investing and finance, signifying that the investment products are in compliance with Shariah Law.
The lack of understanding the role of Islamic Economics and its impact on world events, including the solution to the Middle East crisis results in complete failure. No amount of political negotiation skill or military action or a war on terror will reduce or eliminate the conflicts. The economic issues must be addressed; they are core and kernel to the solution. The goal of the Islamist movements, whether they be Shiite or Sunni, is the same—Islamization of the West, bring the entire world under Shariah Law and to create the “Islamic kingdom of God on Earth”. Samuel Huntington spoke of the conflict between civilizations, this war is against the world and if necessary they believe that that the world may have to be destroyed in order to bring about Armageddon—and they are prepared to do it. This is not a war to save Western Civilization but a war to save civilization. We must realize who the enemy is, what their goal is, what their strategy is and we must win.
In his short story, “The Metamorphosis,” Franz Kafka described the transformation of a human into a vermin. He could also have written the plot for the mutation of the Christian nations into the coming new caliphate--one world under Islam--a world without borders. After all, Gregor Samsa found himself transformed into an insect one morning. Thus, Samsa lies in a room, examines his new physical state, and considers how he will be able to explain being late for work. Samsa does not waste any time thinking about why he has become an insect and how to escape the situation. Instead, there is only apathy, quiet resignation--the man accepts the undeniability of the surreal situation. He lies quietly with shallow breath--thinking, feeling, and acting as if he were unchanged.
There is not that much of a difference between the metamorphosis of a person into an insect and that of a group of states into a caliphate.
A similar fate is befalling the West--European countries and North America. They question nothing, they do nothing, and they observe their metamorphosis with little discernible recognition, much less appropriate agitation. Once the smoke clears from the stage and the new caliphate shows its true colors, they will catch sight of an ugly creature--and that creature will be themselves.
History clearly indicates that Islamic barbarism against Jews and Christians dates back to the seventh century.
With the Moral-Trade-Deficit of the West exhibited by the growth of the Radical-Center-Movement departing from the worldview of our Judeo-Christian heritage, a vacuum has been created for the creation of the caliphate. And so it is that the West is morphing from dar-al-Harb (The domain of war.) to dar-al-Islam (The domain of Islam.) A caliphate may be coming soon to a country near you.
Islam’s ultimate goal is the creation of the Ummah--“one world without borders under Islamic rule,” a totalitarian economic political theocracy based on Islamic law--Shariah law. The Islamic empire will not be limited to just the Spain-to-Indonesia region, for Islamists have a global vision that requires control over non-Muslim countries, also, and specifically the United States. Their universal ambitions certainly can be stopped, but first they must be understood and resisted. Only when the West, particularly the United States, realizes that the Islamists intend to replace the U.S. Constitution with the Qur’an--Shariah law--will it enter the final era of this war--the Final Jihad.
The issue being addressed: has there been or when will there be a penetration of the Western cultures and civilization that easily make takeover a fait accompli. The thesis is that the process is under way. What we need to fear is the dog that does not bark at night.
We are familiar with the horrific actions of terrorist organizations. Most of us are familiar with the term, “white collar crime.” We have seen the results of it in the rise and fall of major name corporations from Enron, Worldcom, and others. Few consider that while we are waging an all-out war against terrorism, Islamists seek to spread their ideologies through the control of the media, educational institutions including the textbooks, financial institutions and the control of natural resources. I refer to the leaders and workers performing these activities as performing “white collar jihad.” These workers are the “stealth” army of Islamic jihad. They are the “stealth sword of Islam.”
Just as the Islamist’s from Morocco to Malaysia are introducing Islamic banking, the major “money center” banks from New York to London are also introducing Islamic banking throughout the West. And they--the Western banks--are getting the banking laws of the countries changed to accommodate Shariah-compliant financial products.
Sheikh Yusuf-Qaradawi (Yousef al-Qaradhawi) along with Tariq Ramadan are the leading ideologists of contemporary Islamic thought. Sheikh Yusaf-Qaradawi is a spiritual leader of Muslim Brotherhood Movement, and hosts an Al-Jazeera’s weekly religious program. He has published some fifty books, including The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam and Islam: The Future Civilization.
We quote Sheikh Yusuf-Qaradawi: “I maintain that the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology…”
An intrinsic part of the Islamic faith is jihad. While modern Islamic scholars have endeavored to redefine jihad, claiming that it is primarily a struggle with self, history proves otherwise.
A major, twofold fact transforms the jihad into something quite different from traditional wars, waged for ambition and self-interest, with limited objectives, where the “normal” situation is peace between peoples. War in itself constitutes a dramatic event, which must end in a return to peace. Jihad does not end. The twofold factor is first the religious nature, then the fact that war has become an institution and no longer an “event”. Jihad is a continuing religious duty.
It is important to note that it is not the duty of Muslims primarily to conquer lands through Jihad but to Islamize the population.
In Islam jihad is a religious obligation. It forms part of the duties that the believer must fulfill. It is Islam’s normal path to expansion.
Hence, the second important specific characteristic is that the jihad is an institution—a process, and not an event; that is to say, it is part of the normal functioning of the Muslim world.
The conquered populations change status (they become dhimmis), and the Shariah tends to be put into effect integrally, overthrowing the former law of the country. The conquered territories do not simply change “owners.” Rather, they are brought into a binding collective (religious) ideology--with the exception of the dhimmi condition--and are controlled by highly perfected administrative machinery.
Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi writes: “Jihad can be with the pen and the tongue, just as it can be with the sword and the spear. Islamic Jihad is not limited to military efforts only; it extends beyond this, including several means that Muslims need to utilize now more than ever.”
Economic jihad is a long-term incremental program being waged to Islamize the world. The Medina Charter of 622, the conquests of Muhammad and the early caliphs gave birth for all time (within the Muslim world) of an institution that places the native populations into a permanently handicapped status. The imposition of Shariah law in Iraq and Afghanistan and changing and/or implementing Shariah-compliant laws in the West all contribute to accomplishing the goal of Islamization, as called for by Muhammad.
Once there are Islamic financial institutions, how long will it be before Muslims insist that the state and business direct all their monetary dealings with Muslims through these institutions, for example, boycotting businesses with Jewish connections en route? How long before Muslims, extending the logic of their concentration in places like Bradford and Leicester, seek to establish their own law within these areas, the germ of a state within a state? And how diverse would such a state be? Are we not seeing cities and even states setting up their own laws, although not Islamic, the principles are being established.
As David Kennedy Houck wrote in the Middle East Quartely for Spring 2006, The Islamist Challenge to the U.S. Constitution, “First in Europe and now in the United States, Muslim groups have petitioned to establish enclaves in which they can uphold and enforce greater compliance to Islamic law. While the U.S. Constitution enshrines the right to religious freedom and the prohibition against a state religion, when it comes to the rights of religious enclaves to impose communal rules, the dividing line is more nebulous. Can U.S. enclaves, homeowner associations, and other groups enforce Islamic law?”
“Such questions are no longer theoretical. While Muslim organizations first established enclaves in Europe, the trend is now crossing the Atlantic. Some Islamist community leaders in the United States are challenging the principles of assimilation and equality once central to the civil rights movement, seeking instead to live according to a separate but equal philosophy. The Gwynnoaks Muslim Residential Development group, for example, has established an informal enclave in Baltimore because, according to John Yahya Cason, director of the Islamic Education and Community Development Initiative, a Baltimore-based Muslim advocacy group, "there was no community in the U.S. that showed the totality of the essential components of Muslim social, economic, and political structure."”
“Baltimore is not alone. In August 2004, a local planning commission in Little Rock, Arkansas, granted The Islamic Center for Human Excellence authorization to build an internal Islamic enclave to include a mosque, a school, and twenty-two homes. While the imam, Aquil Hamidullah, says his goal is to create "a clean community, free of alcohol, drugs, and free of gangs," the implications for U.S. jurisprudence of this and other internal enclaves are greater: while the Little Rock enclave might prevent the sale of alcohol, can it punish possession and in what manner? Can it force all women, be they residents or visitors, to don Islamic hijab (headscarf)? Such enclaves raise the fundamental questions of when, how, and to what extent religious practice may supersede the U.S. Constitution.”
According to the article in the Guardian of November 30, 2006, British Muslims want Islamic law and prayers at work: “Muslims in Britain want greater recognition of their faith with the introduction of Islamic law for civil cases and time off for prayers during the working day, but are equally committed to greater participation in British life.“
A special Guardian/ICM poll based on a survey of 500 British Muslims found that a clear majority wants Islamic law introduced into this country in civil cases relating to their own community. Some 61% wanted Islamic courts - operating on Shariah principles - "so long as the penalties did not contravene British law".
Many civil cases in this country deal with family disputes such as divorce, custody and inheritance.
The poll also found a high level of religious observance with just over half saying they pray five times a day, every day - although women are shown to be more devout than men. The poll reveals that 88% want to see schools and workplaces in Britain accommodating Muslim prayer times as part of their normal working day.”
Western leaders believe that they can maintain the Western democratic way of life and economic system through military might, fighting terrorism, and appeasement. The leaders of the Islamic movement know that they will not be able to create the global Islamic state through the sword--guns, bombs and violence. This will be jihad fought only in the battlefield of the mind with a weapon far more powerful than any sword or bomb. The weapon in this jihad must include knowledge, but they do not believe that this can be accomplished solely as an “education jihad.” However, utilizing “economic jihad” for control of the world’s economic system provides the ultimate answer. Knowledge combined with economic control can be wielded with the precision of a sharp sword to effect any desired social/political change necessary for the fulfillment of Islam’s goal.
As shown above, the West has not comprehended the true nature and goals of Islam. It has also perhaps underestimated that the 1.2 to 1.4 billion Muslims of the world are not as poorly equipped as the West might like to believe for winning this war based on economic control, demographics, control of natural resources including energy and knowledge.
First, few Westerners understand what Raphael Patai calls “the Arab mind,” in his book by that title. The Middle Eastern culture is so different from ours in the United States that we consistently misunderstand the rhetoric and actions emanating from that part of the world. Second, few have made the effort to understand Islam and its history. In our misguided efforts to be inclusive and tolerant, we have glossed over the basics of Islam, attempting unwittingly to see this religion through the glasses of a culture still steeped in Judeo-Christian assumptions. There is no question that many Arabs and Muslims decry terrorism and are loyal Americans; however, most Muslims subscribe to the Muslim total “way of life” and desire to have the whole world under Islamic rule and the will of Allah.
We must realize that within the Middle Eastern culture, saying what your listener wants to hear is more important than telling the truth. For a Middle Easterner, words are more important than ideas, and ideas are more important than facts. It is this trait that has caused many Americans to wonder how such outlandish statements can be made that are patently false. For example, when Saddam Hussein said that the battle of the first Gulf War (Desert Storm) would be the “mother of all battles” and claimed victory before anything started, it was the words and ideas that were embraced by his followers. The facts were not important. Predominantly Muslim nations with state-controlled media--virtually all of them--exhibit this mentality most powerfully.
Ideology is a philosophical term meaning “the science of ideas.” Again, idea is a subtle and very comprehensive term. For our present purpose, it is unnecessary to go into the details of the term. Suffice it to say that idea means “a basic concept,” and that the basic concepts on which any system is built constitutes its ideology. Since ideology presupposes the existence of a system, the question arises: Is Islam a system?
Yes, Islam is a system. But unlike what most people in the West believe, Islam is not a religion in the ordinary sense of the word. Religion is the English equivalent for the Arabic word Mazhah, which does not occur even once in the whole of the Holy Qur’an. Instead, the Qur’an has used the word Addeen for Islam, which means “a particular way of life.”
Islam is an ideology that claims divine authority in all religious, economic and political affairs of life. So naturally, it follows that Islam would be in direct conflict with democracy, capitalism, liberalism, socialism, and all the other non-Islamic systems of government, jurisprudence, and economics.
“As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy. Whatever differs from this, to the extent of the difference, is no democracy.” Abraham Lincoln
Shariah law is the key to understanding Islamic ideology, government, economics, and social institutions. It is the basis for Islamic fundamentalism’s disagreement with Western thought, and it encapsulates the ideology of Islam that is found in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Shariah brings Islamic theology down to a person’s everyday life. The objective of Islamic ideology is to have everyone in the world governed by Shariah law. Muslims believe this law expresses the universal will of Allah for humankind. They think they have a holy obligation to impose it upon all the nations of the world.
As noted earlier, Islam is much more than a religion. Muslims themselves describe their faith by saying that Islam is a complete “way of life.” This is certainly a more apt description, because Islam is a religious, social, economic, educational, health, political, and philosophic way of life. In fact, Islam is an all-embracing socio-politico-religious utopian ideology that encompasses every field of human endeavor.
The Western view of religion is that a religion is a narrow aspect of life. It does not encompass all human affairs. Religion stands beside culture, economic, politics, and other human institutions. Westerners may differ on matters of religious faith, but they can work together in social, state, and economic affairs. The reason for this is that their respective religions do not claim divine authority over the institutions of governance and economics. Their faiths may differ regarding the salvation of the soul, life after death, and religious rituals, but they don’t claim to have divine insight into the institutions of human government and its particular laws. As good citizens, they strive to have a just and equitable society.
Islam is different from other religions in that it is not limited to the spiritual aspects of life. It engulfs all aspects of life from the cradle to the grave. Islam claims to have a divine mandate over everyone, and this includes non-Muslims, too. While non-Muslims may not be required to observe the religious rituals of Islam, they must recognize the supremacy of Islamic rule over them. Living in dar al-Islam requires non-Muslims to be Dhimmi—subservient it Islamic rule. As an ideology, Islam promises an economic, political, social, and religious Utopia, when the world finally submits to Allah and the rule of Shariah law. The Islamic objective is to have all aspects of a nation’s culture and institutions undergo gradual Islamization to yield an Islamic state patterned after Shariah law.
According to Islamic Jurisprudence (Usul al Fiqh) --from an Islamic legal perspective, there is no king but Allah, and he is the supreme ruler and legislator of the world. This is significant, because since Allah is king, no earthly ruler has sufficient authority to legislate law. The reason for this is that sovereign authority belongs to Allah and his laws; those laws were revealed to Muhammad in the seventh century. Muslims believe that the Qur’an and the Sunnah are Allah’s final legislation for the world. Hence, according to true Islam, Shariah law is the only law with divine approval and authority for the nations of the world.
The Qur’an itself states that Allah is the sovereign “King of Mankind.”
Therefore exalted be Allah, the King, the Reality: there is no god but He, the Lord of the Throne of Honor! Qur’an 23:116 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)
Under the kingship of Allah, a Muslim caliph or vicegerent enforces the law of Allah on the earth. The caliph is not like a king who has authority to create laws, because the laws of an Islamic state pre-exist in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. As a result, Islamic rulers are not at liberty to create any law that would conflict with the principles of the Qur’an or the Sunnah. The subordinate role of the caliph (amir or viceroy) is to serve under the authority of Allah as revealed by Muhammad.
Thus, the Provisional Constitution for Iraq (adopted in October 2005) includes the provisions that no law shall conflict with Islamic beliefs.
There are two reasons to view the interim constitution as a signal victory for militant Islam. First, the compromise suggests that while all of the Shariah may not be put into place, every law must conform to it. As one pro-Shariah source put it, “We got what we wanted, which is that there should be no laws that are against Islam.” The new Iraq may not be Saudi Arabia or Iran, but it will include substantial portions of Islamic law. Second, the interim constitution appears to be only a way station. Islamists will surely try to gut its liberal provisions, thereby making Shariah effectively the source of Iraqi law.
The Qur’an disposes of all jurisprudence outside the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The days of ignorance (jahiliya) refer to the times before Muhammad. Some Muslims argued that the verse in the Qur’an 5:50 negates all laws that were legislated on the basis of non-Islamic principles. The result is that no one may appeal to judicial precedence outside of the Qur’an and the Sunnah. From a Muslim’s perspective, Allah revealed his divine law in the Qur’an and in the life of Muhammad. As a result of this divine revelation, the so-called human laws of the nations have been abrogated by Muhammad’s revelation. In fact, it is rebellion against Allah’s supremacy to submit to a human law after Allah has issued afresh the divine code of conduct for humankind.
Do they then seek after a judgment of (the days of) ignorance? But who, for a people whose faith is assured, can give better judgment than Allah? Qur'an 5:50 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)
In addition, the Qur’an asserts that those who say they believe in the revelations that came before Muhammad wish to resort to the judgments of the Evil One (Satan), who seeks to lead humankind astray. The important revelations that came before Muhammad were the Old and New Testaments, and those who believed in these revelations were the Jews and Christians. Now notice Muhammad’s next move. Essentially, Muhammad said that religious hypocrites appeal to the Evil One when they seek the judgments of prior revelations.
Hast thou not turned Thy vision to those who declare that they believe in the revelations that have come to thee and to those before thee? Their (real) wish is to resort together for judgment (in their disputes) to the Evil One, though they were ordered to reject him. But Satan’s wish is to lead them astray far away (from the right). Qur’an 4:60 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)
Hence, Muhammad abrogated all the prior prophets of Allah. And the Qur'an teaches that resorting to the judgments of prior revelations was resorting to Satan’s judgments and wishes. Muslims believe that the only divine message that is valid is what Muhammad gave centuries ago. Thus, they believe the choice is between the rule of Allah and the rule of Satan. And it is turning to Satan to appeal to revelations that came before the Qur’an. The Qur’an and the Sunnah must be the exclusive foundation of law.
Islamic ideology asserts that Muslims are the most highly evolved specimens of humanity. Their advanced evolutionary state places them on a higher plane than everyone else, and it burdens them with the special duty of enjoining humanity to attain a divine standard of morality.
For Muslims engaged in imposing Islam upon the world, the “People of the Book” (Jews and Christians) will be the people who make their task most difficult, because most Jews and Christians, according to the Qur’an, are perverted transgressors. So while Muslims seek to promote the right and forbid the wrong, Muhammad believed that the People of the Book would confront the Islamic message with perversions and falsehoods. He felt that Jews and Christians would be the ones who would prove to be the most opposed to an Islamic government with its Qur’anic constitution and Shariah legal system.
Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had faith, it were best for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors. Qur’an 3:111 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)
Essentially, Muslims believe that a democratic system of government is an evil legal system, because its fundamental principle is that man is sovereign over his affairs. This principle conflicts with the principle that Allah is sovereign “King of the Worlds.” Orthodox Muslims argue that only Islam recognizes Allah’s divine right to rule.
If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good). Qur’an 3:85 (Yusuf Ali’s translation)
The goals of Islamists in establishing an economic system based on Islamic law (the Shariah) are:
· To establish credibility for Islam as a “way of life” equal to all other economic and religious doctrines
· To establish an economic system that allows control of the financial, natural resources and intellectual properties by a totalitarian, non-elected hierarchy justified on the basis of religious law--the Qur’an
· To bring together the global economic resources of Islamic Ummah to influence the world opinion and provide the funding for proselytizing (Da’wa) of non-believers
· To establish an economic system not based on scientific principles but on religious beliefs
And let those who do not find the means to marry keep chaste until Allah makes them free from want out of His grace. And (as for) those who ask for a writing from among those whom your right hands possess, give them the writing if you know any good in them, and give them of the wealth of Allah which He has given you; and do not compel your slave girls to prostitution, when they desire to keep chaste, in order to seek the frail good of this world’s life; and whoever compels them, then surely after their compulsion Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. Qur’an 24:33
The starting point of the Islamic economic system is the “sovereignty of Allah.” This contrasts with Western democratic capitalist systems, where there is separation of church and state, and the systems are “people-based.” In the Islamic system, all economic decisions must be based on the Qur’an. The laws governing the economic system are therefore based on Shariah and rulings by Muslim clerics (fatwas). This limits the scope of economic theory. Therefore, the major effort of Islamic economists is directed toward devising strategies to accomplish Western principles of economics to be consistent with Islam.
There is a general consensus among Islamic scholars and Muslim laymen that Islam places sovereignty in Allah. The Qur’an explicitly describes Allah as al-Malik, meaning “sovereign,” and al-Malik-ul-Mulk, meaning “the eternal possessor of sovereignty.” These two adjectives are also among the ninety-nine names of Allah. The Qur’an also makes it clear beyond any doubt that all power lies in Allah, who is al-Muqtadir, “possessor of all power.“
For Allah is He Who gives (all) Sustenance, Lord of Power, Steadfast (forever). Qur’an 51:58
Believe in Allah and His messenger, and spend (in charity) out of the (substance) whereof He has made you heirs. For, those of you who believe and spend (in charity), for them is a great Reward. (Yusuf Ali) Qur’an 57:7
O ye who believe! Lo! Many of the (Jewish) rabbis and the (Christian) monks devour the wealth of mankind wantonly and debar (men) from the way of Allah. They who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah, unto them give tidings (O Muhammad) of a painful doom. (Pickthal) Qur’an 9:34
What Allah has bestowed on His Messenger (and taken away) from the people of the townships belongs to Allah, to His Messenger and to kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarer; In order that it may not (merely) make a circuit between the wealthy among you. So take what the Messenger assigns to you, and deny yourselves that which he withholds from you. And fear Allah; for Allah is strict in Punishment. (Yusuf Ali) Qur’an 57:7
Islamic economics covers the broad ideologies, which require individuals and countries to operate, finance and invest in accordance with the principles of Shariah Law.
Islamic economics is not capitalism or socialism/communism, but a third economic system. It is a system that has its own rules and is based on the theological principles of Islam, combined into an economic system. Combining a “way of life” into an economic system is proving to be more powerful than any other in having a global impact and spreading Islam on a global basis.
The primary tenant of Islamic economics is that the problem of the world’s economic systems is not one of increasing production, for instance, increasing the size of the pie, but of the redistribution of the wealth.
Ultimately, Islam seeks to create a system in which justice, not profit, reigns supreme. Islamic economics has two primary goals: to combat poverty and to provide for a just and equitable distribution of wealth. The Islamic state does this through a variety of voluntary and mandatory mechanisms. For example, zakat (A tax on assets not earnings), a powerful redistributive tool, transfers money from the hands of the rich into the hands of the poor. The abolition of interest (riba) prevents unfair lending schemes that penalize the poor. In addition, the state is required to provide each citizen with a minimum standard of living.
As Muhammad said from the Hadith, “Any ruler who is responsible for the affairs of Muslims, but does not strive sincerely for their well-being will not enter Paradise with them.” (Muslim, vol. 1, p. 126).
Yet, at the same time, Islam achieves balance and maintains economic freedom by securing the individual’s right to private property. However, all natural resources and intellectual property must remain with the state.
The doctrine of Islamic Economics is socially significant because it advances the sprawling and headline-grabbing movement known as “political Islam,” “Islamic fundamentalism,” or simply “Islamism.”
Some would refer to Islamic economics as the “peaceful side of Islam”; its proponents wear the finest clothes, stay at the finest hotels and sit in the boardrooms of major banks (such as Citigroup, HSBC and Standard Chartered) and corporations, and are served coffee and tea by well-dressed attendants. However, they have the same goal of establishing a global totalitarian Islamic state.
Islamic economics is a powerful tool for the Islamization of world, including the West, in our generation. The Islamic economic movement is transnational in its scope. In contrast to other major ideologies, such as communism, Nazism, and fascism, that enlisted individuals, Islamic economics goes to the core of leadership of money and natural resource entities to achieve its control.
The introduction of Islamic economics is an incremental process, slowly changing the laws for the acceptance of Shariah-based banking laws as parallel systems and progressing from there. Islamic economics is also not just for banking; it extends throughout the entire economic system of a country.
And just like its communist and fascist predecessors, Islamist totalitarianism seeks redemption through politics. It is animated by the pursuit of temporal power: the destruction of the “decadent” or “liberal” West and the creation of a pan-Islamic utopian state featuring unrestrained centralization of authority. Whether the utopian blueprint calls for mullahs, commissars, or Gauleiters to wield absolute power is of secondary importance: It is the Utopian idea itself--the millennial fantasy of a totalitarian state--that unites all the radical movements of the Industrial Counterrevolution.
The point bears emphasis. Radical Islamist fundamentalism not does content itself with mere rejection of the West’s alleged vices. If that were all there were to it, its program might be simply to stage a retreat from modernity’s wickedness--in other words, to do what the Amish have done. But Islamist totalitarianism, though it claims otherworldly inspiration, is obsessed with worldly power and influence. It does not merely reject the West; it wants to beat the West at its own game of worldly success. Osama bin Laden is constantly claiming that the United States is weak and can be defeated; he and his colleagues’ lust for power and believe they can attain it.
Recalling the comments of Saddam Hussein about the “Mother of All Battles” we see that the facts were not important. Predominantly Muslim nations with state-controlled media--virtually all of them--exhibit this mentality most powerfully. Quoting again from the article Commentary: Watching America:
“WatchingAmerica.com conveys a bleak picture of how the rest of the world views the 79 recommendations of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group. Whichever way you slice 'em and dice 'em, the report's 104 pages spell failure. Some of its harshest critics in America say they're a recipe for surrender. Abroad, they're seen as a tacit recognition of defeat.
From Buenos Aires to Berlin and from Brussels to Beijing, ISG was a devastating indictment of a multi-billion dollar boondoggle. In Tehran and Pyongyang, the two remaining capitals in the "axis of evil," and in Damascus, axis of lesser evil, clichés bristled about paper tigers and giants-with-feet-of-clay.”
So, although it attempts to appropriate a particular religious tradition, Islamist totalitarianism is not, at bottom, a religious movement. It is a political movement--a quest for political power.
Indeed, Islamist fundamentalism shares with other totalitarian movements a commitment to centralization, not just of political power, but of economic control as well. Consider Iran, where the first and greatest victory for Islamist totalitarianism was won.
As Shaul Bakhash describes in his Reign of the Ayatollahs:
[The] government took over large sectors of the economy through nationalization and expropriation, including banking, insurance, major industry, large-scale agriculture and construction, and an important part of foreign trade. It also involved itself in the domestic distribution of goods. As a result, the economic role of the state was greatly swollen and that of the private sector greatly diminished by the revolution.
Today, the sectaries of radical Islamism continue to uphold various collectivist strains of “Islamic economics”-- trumpeted as righteous alternatives to the secular and individualist corruption of “Eurocentric” globalization.
The arrival of Islamic economics is leading to the Islamization of major money center banks worldwide. This has resulted in the creation of Shariah councils in many banks, with prominent Islamic leaders as members. The Islamic banks and their Shariah councils are coordinated through global organizations. This is influencing their manner of doing business and the investments in which they participate. It will be or may already be more powerful than the “Green Movement.” Islam economics is influencing the accounting practices of major corporations, requiring new accounting practices. It is requiring governments to devise new laws to accommodate the principles of Islamic economics. It will even affect the foods we eat.
It is imperative on all of us--individuals, investors, bankers and government officials--to understand the impact of the emergence of Islamic economics on our future as a free democratic country.
Expanding on the economic principles described above, Islamic economics differs fundamentally from systems such as communism, socialism and capitalism in defining the economic problem.
Understanding the fundamentals of the Islamic economic systems and the genesis helps in understanding the issues faced in Iraq and also doing business in Muslim countries including the development of energy resources. Although no country, even Islamic States such as Saudi Arabia follow the Shariah law completely; the Islamists seek to instill these laws in secular states. However, when I was negotiating contracts with leaders starting in Saudi Arabia in 1973, the first book I was given to read was the Qur’an and told that this was the Constitution of the country—it still is and all contracts must be consistent with it. Needless to say I read the Qur’an. Any diplomat, businessperson or investor working or considering doing business in Muslim countries better understand what Islam is all about. This is also critical even if your doing business in nominally secular countries such as Turkey and Indonesia. The Qur’an is the exclusive basis of Shariah law.
Thus there are wars and terrorism among the fundamentalists with the secular states. In some cases this is a major problem causing civil war and terrorism in these states.
To better understand the behavior of consumer and producer, it is useful to study the concept of property ownership within Islam. The following three points are particularly relevant.
· Only Allah unconditionally owns property.
· Property among human beings is a form of stewardship or care taking; in other words, it is conditional.
· A person is answerable to Allah for the use of every property he or she uses.
Conditional ownership is either collective or individual:
a.) Collective ownership: fundamental natural resources as water, air and fire, and intellectual property.
b.) Individual ownership: things as goods, buildings, livestock and rights to lease, rent or re-sale.
According to Islam, Allah owns all resources and man is only a trustee in their use. Therefore, the economic aspect of how to handle those resources in real life is also not completely free. There are moral and legal constraints. It is in this moral restriction that Western economic practice and Islamic economics have a major conflict. Private ownership of natural resources is not allowed; hence, restricting investment in energy exploration and development projects thus limits economic development of the resources.
The doctrine impacts the establishing of laws for example in the Iraqi Ministry of Energy in developing the concessions for oil exploration and hence increasing oil production. Similar events are taking place in the development of oil in Saudi Arabia, Iran and Indonesia. As a result, Indonesia is a net importer of oil and Iran may be within 10 years.
The issue also arises on the ownership of intellectual property.
Islam uniquely considers distribution as the economic problem, and Muslims do not share the obsession of capitalists and communists with production. Islamic economics, therefore, blends the thesis of communism and capitalism. The Islamic economic system deals primarily with distribution of wealth, and not with the means of production. The main thrust of Islam economics then takes the form of redistribution of wealth.
According to Islamists and the propaganda being published in the media, capitalism has created a vampire club of institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF)), World Bank, and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), that employ tactics such as loans and structural deficit re-planning to siphon off the world’s resources to the so-called developed nations, leaving behind a gross inequality in distribution of wealth. The West, specifically America, has created a world order that has resulted in a bleak scenario, in which most of the world chokes from the exploitation of a few elitist nations that continue, under the protection of laws and systems that are designed to serve their interests, to squander the wealth of the world and systematically tighten their control of societies around the globe.
Islamists also think the current capitalist countries cleverly mask the inequality in wealth that they produce by assessing the wealth and productivity by the Gross National Product (GNP), or the average income per capita, deceptively duping the observer into regarding the total production as a means of measuring the well being of each citizen, when, in actuality, such figures give no indication of the status of the individuals. Hence, we witness comments, for example, that America sucks up more than a third of the world’s resources; yet poverty in America has escalated to such levels that a new class of people--the fourth or underclass--has emerged. In Cairo, the average income obscures the facts that while some reside in penthouse flats, others settle for the night in cemeteries. Such a contradiction results from the current systems that fail to differentiate between an “economic system” (Islamic economics) and “economic science” (capitalism). As a result, Islamists view the Capitalist system as viewing human beings not as humans, but as statistics and figures on the stock market.
Therefore, Islamic economics is used as the justification for gaining world domination. The implementation of Islam economics would eliminate the stranglehold, by which the elites control the policies of the world and milk its resources. Unlike the current systems, Islam will not impose any limits on the amount of wealth that an individual may acquire, thus creating and maintaining an incentive to work. The shortsightedness of limiting production stems from capitalism's failing to understand the nature of creation. Because the Islamic system reflects the wisdom of Allah, then the implementation of Islam will provide a society conducive to life that will address the needs of humanity, based on the correct understanding of life. Muhammad said, “The son of Adam, if he had two valleys of gold, would desire a third and would not be satisfied till he bites the dust.”
While generating massive abundance and wealth of resources by eliminating all the restrictions and oppressive systems that prevent production, Islam will safeguard against abuses of exploitation in acquiring wealth by limiting the way in which wealth is acquired. For instance, Islam denies the free market of capitalism, which has led to the situation of the survival of the fittest. Such an unrestricted environment has led directly to the current situation, where multinational companies have scavenged the resources of the world like parasites, unrestricted in their freedom. Under the caliphate, natural and vital resources would be categorized as public property and a right of every citizen of the state--Muslim or otherwise--in accordance with Muhammad, who states in the Hadith:
“The humans have a right to three things: water, green pastures, and fire-based fuels (An-Naar).”
In Islam, public revenue from oil and natural resources would be used to secure the needs of the whole Muslim Ummah, and not to line the pockets of private companies--i.e., privately owned oil companies. The caliphate would provide public and vital resources without charge to cover the needs of every individual and family, and the monopolies that multinational corporations maintain to dictate the lives of the people would dissipate.
The appeal of these philosophies obviously resonates with the Leftist/Marxist -Islamist Alliance. Many people in the West routinely complain about profits generated by “Big Oil,” not recognizing that the major oil producers of the world are the state-owned oil companies (National Oil Companies-NOCs) that are setting prices by limiting production and reaping the big profits.
The Shariah also defines certain rules that regulate company structure, effectively preventing abuse and corruption. For instance, Islam forbids monopolies by outlawing the hoarding of wealth (al-Ihtikar) and eliminating copyright or patent laws that would open the avenue for potential monopolies to develop.
Also, Islam protects the ownership of businesses and companies by restricting ownership of companies only to those who contribute both capital and effort to the company or business, thus effectively putting the seal on such concepts as corporate takeover from ever becoming a reality. Islamic financial experts have conceived ways around the restrictions and obtained fatwas from the scholars to allow business to proceed. It should be noted that the applicable laws vary from country to country. Certain financial structures, corporate structure and bonds may not be fungible in all markets. Competent Islamic legal advice is absolutely necessary.
In the systems of today, the stock market offers no such protection and allows for any outsider to secure a share in any business or corporation and impose his policies on the company agenda, even if that individual puts no effort or work into the business. Today according to Islamists, food manufacturers have cultivated the art of burning surplus food and dumping surplus milk into the ocean to inflate prices artificially by creating scarcity, an art that would cease to exist with the implementation of Islam.
Unlike the capitalist system, which opens all doors for anyone to access wealth by any means, Islam categorizes wealth in a systematic way that both protects the right of individuals to access wealth, and simultaneously protects the society and secures the needs of the Ummah. Islam mandates vital and natural resources as public property, while allowing for unlimited access to luxury items. Also, Islam protects the society in ways that corrupt man-made systems have overlooked by defining certain needs as prohibited needs. For instance, to protect the honor (ird) of the woman, Islam would outlaw all forms of prostitution, pornography, or any type of sexual bombardment that exploits the charms and physical attractiveness of women. In addition, Islam would prohibit alcohol and gambling, killing every industry and institution derived from such filth that has seeped the capitalist nations in a downward spiral of corruption, social turmoil and moral devastation.
In addition, the form of currency in Islam will break the economic hold of the Kuffar over the Muslim lands. The caliphate would link the currency to gold, silver or some other precious resource. By backing the currency with resources of real value, Islam creates a stable medium of exchange and eliminates the concepts of linking currencies that allow nations to manipulate currencies and maintain a monopoly over the financial markets of the world. This is of course why it is important to monitor the actions of OPEC and the currency of trade for oil.
Just a glance at the economic system in Islam suffices to explain the fear and dread that America and the West have shown towards Islamization. It also explains the dedication and effort exerted towards curtailing or suppressing the resurgence of Islam as a system. Such a system would break the grip that the capitalist nations have secured over the wealth and resources of the Muslim lands and dethrone their upper hand over the policies of the world. It would also provide the long-awaited solutions to life that they have kept a secret from their own people, with their extensive media manipulation and education. Because the currency in Islam is linked to gold or other precious resources, the implementation of Islam would cut the economic chains that America employs by linking other currencies to the dollar.
In addition, the Islamic economic system correctly defines the economic problem and secures the needs of every individual. It would eliminate all forms of economic and social corruption, and it would provide fuel (funding) for the foreign policy of the Islamic state, enabling the caliphate to spread Islam ideology easily throughout the world.
For such a system to emerge, the Ummah must revitalize within itself the Islamic “way of life” and cultivate the Islamic culture and the Islamic Aqeedah as the sole basis for providing solutions to its problems. Without the clear conviction in the Islamic Aqeedah and the comprehensive understanding of the Islamic system, the corrupt regimes will continue to tame and manipulate the Muslim masses with empty slogans, while behind the curtains, the feudal landlords of Pakistan will maintain their status and the Gulf sheikhs will continue to squander the public resources of the Ummah.
Because of similarities between Islamism, socialism and communism, we see a merging in demonstrations among the supporters of the three. These have also linked with the anti-globalists. With the decline of communism, they believe that this is their hope for reclaiming power among the less-developed nations.
This merging of the ideologies of communism and Islam is exemplified in the Respect Party in the United Kingdom led by anti-war activist and former Labor M.P., George Galloway. attempted to woo the Muslim vote by campaigning on anti-American and anti-Blair platforms during the British election of 2005. For economic gain, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is joining the Islamic and communist blocks.
From a tax point of view, Zakat is not based on income, but rather on the assets owned. Tax, or zakat, then is taken only on the wealth that exceeds that which each individual normally uses to satisfy his basic needs and luxuries. In this way, it achieves the right of livelihood for everyone individually and facilitates the securing of the luxuries. At the same time, Islam sets certain limits, within which the individual may earn in order to satisfy his basic needs and luxuries. So also, Islam prohibits the production and consumption of wine by Muslims, and it does not consider it an economic material.
Islam forbids both the taking and giving of interest. Perhaps the most striking and unusual difference in business practices comes in the area of banking and investment.
According to the Islamic economic theory, interest is the greatest evil of capitalism, and it is also the worst form of capitalism. The Islamic economy that accepts a form of capitalism without interest has almost eliminated its harmful aspects. Muhammad advised Muslims to avoid seven harmful things, and the third among them is interest. He stated, “Although interest brings increase, yet its end tends to scarcity.” The Qur’an reads:
That which ye lay out for increase through the property of (other) people, will have no increase with Allah: but that which ye lay out for charity, seeking the Countenance of Allah, (will increase): it is these who will get a recompense multiplied. (Yusuf Ali) Qur’an 30:39
According to the Qur’an, riba, which has been interpreted as any form of interest, is completely illegal. From a theological standpoint, interest is forbidden because it is thought to deprive the wealth of God’s blessings. More concretely, Muslims believe it causes greed within an individual and a furthering of income gaps as well as indebtedness. It is also viewed as a wrongful appropriation of property belonging to others. This is because the investor does no physical labor in order to obtain his financial reward.
A quote by Muhammad illustrates how serious this offence is to Allah: “Not only those who take interest, but also those who give interest and those who record or witness the transaction are alike in guilt and are at war with God and his prophets.” In general, Muslims tend to believe that no human explanation is necessary for a divine commandment, so in practice, almost all Islamic nations have accepted this commandment. Remember that Islamic economics is a “system,” not a “science.” A few attempts have been made to argue that riba in fact meant only excessive interest; however, such claims have been unsuccessful because it is so clearly forbidden in the Qur’an and in Muhammad’s deeds and sayings.
Perhaps paradoxically, Islam does encourage investment. The Qur’an allows the owner of capital legitimately to share the profits made by an entrepreneur. The difference is that while interest’s rate of return is guaranteed, a profit-sharing ratio is based only on the earnings themselves. Should an entrepreneur fail in a business endeavor, the loss would fall completely on the investor.
The constraints and costs imposed on financial institutions by the nominal prohibition on interest payments may preclude a free market in financial capital, causing inefficiency, moral hazards in banking, and limits on the funds available for investment. The prohibition on interests serves no beneficial purpose. Apart from it being banned by the Qur’an, there is no reason in modern times for the charging of interest to be considered immoral. In ancient times, unscrupulous tax collectors may have forced people to pay exorbitant and unreasonable interest on unpaid taxes. Today, there is no compulsion, but rather competition between lenders to offer attractive rates. Those who borrow money receive a service, and those who lend it provide one. Elaborate schemes to circumvent such transactions because of their supposed immorality or due to their prohibition in Islam serve no purpose except to increase costs and increase inefficiency.
Social conditions have a deep impact on many business activities. Initially, it is clear that the opportunities for women to work in Islamic countries are limited. This ought to be considered when looking at foreign production or other business activities traditionally involving women.
Also, any advertisement depicting women must be in line with social norms. For example, women may dress with more colors and use accessories when they are at home, as opposed to when they are in public. Therefore, a public advertisement, such as a billboard, must be careful not to use immodest images, while private advertisements, such as direct mailings, have more leeway.
Since these social customs are often deeply held in certain countries, if not revered, it is important for visitors to respect them. The decision to send a female executive abroad might need to be evaluated more carefully in these scenarios. It is also important for businessmen who travel to these countries to know what is expected of them in social settings.
A significant factor in the productivity of a nation is its attitude toward utilization of their human resources. This is not just a matter of population. People need to be educated and trained in order to make use of the physical capital, as well as maintain society in a situation of security and fulfillment. Education is a form of investment in “human capital.” This requires not just technical training but a full range of education, serving the enlightenment, service and entertainment of society. It is in the interest of society to maximize the potential of every individual. The capacity of society’s human resources to generate income will be diminished to the extent that those resources are not utilized to their potential. Religion may play a role here--possibly a negative one.
In Islam, women are inferior to men. According to the Qur’an: Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property [for the support of women]. So good women are obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded.
As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great. Qur’an 4:34
No alternative quotations or excuses can prove otherwise. Recent figures from the International Labor Organization, published by the World Bank, indicate that in the Middle East and North Africa, women comprise 28 percent of the total labor force, whereas the world average is 40 percent. As a group, these countries have the lowest female labor force participation rate in the world. One of the lowest figures is Saudi Arabia, with 16 percent. As distance from the Arabian Peninsula increases, so does the proportion of women in the labor force. In Pakistan, the figure is 28.6 percent, whereas in Bangladesh and Indonesia, the figures are close to world average. This is a reflection of cultural values regarding women in Muslim countries, values inseparable from religious values. It is also associated with higher birth rate in these countries. This religiously prescribed role for women in society has profound economic consequences.
The major economic impact of low female participation is due to the fact that one-income families have lower incomes than two income families. If these women were engaged in paid employment, increasing the labor force by 30 percent, it is not unreasonable to assume there would be an additional contribution to national income of around 10 percent. Whatever the figure may be, if a large proportion of the potential workforce does not work, total national income is reduced by a considerable amount. Furthermore, this is a percentage of national income that is forgone every year. This relative income loss persists every year. Therefore, income continually forgone represents an accumulating loss in potential national prosperity.
The limitation on the labor force participation of women reduces potential production and income. The role of women in Islamic society, with its focus on domestic responsibilities, may lead to a high birth rate and population growth rate, and a correspondingly lower per-capita income growth rate, further contributing to relative poverty. The role prescribed for women in Islam, as outlined in the Qur’an, conforms to Arabic customs in the seventh century. It does not conform to modern standards of equality and objections to sexism. Discrimination against women also contravenes the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements. It also contravenes modern standards of morality.
The Islamic dietary laws are called halal, also the term given to permitted foods. Food and drink that are prohibited under Islamic law are known as haram. For a product to be allowable, it must conform to Islamic law in a number of ways. First, it must be free of any substance or ingredient taken or extracted from a haram animal or ingredient. Second, the food must be made, manufactured and stored by using equipment and machinery that have been cleansed according to Islamic law. The food must have never come into contact with a haram substance. According to Islamic law, haram is:
· Any type of pig, dog, donkey or carnivore
· Animals having protruding canine teeth, such as monkeys, cats, and lions
· Amphibious animals such as frogs, crocodiles, and turtles
· Undesirable insects such as worms, flies, and cockroaches
· Birds of prey with talons such as owls, and eagles
· Animals that have died as a result of strangulation, a head injury, being attacked by another animal, or natural causes
· Alcohol and other harmful substances, including poisonous and intoxicating plants or any addictive substance
From a business perspective, these laws can be viewed as product and production restrictions. The alcohol and beverage industry would certainly be limited. It would still be possible to market alcohol-free beer; however, typical advertisement campaigns involving women would need to be drastically changed. Stimulating drinks, such as tea and coffee, have fallen into a more gray area under these restrictions. Although they are not explicitly banned under the haram, those who believe very strongly in the religion frown upon these products. With only one example, it is clear that these lifestyle restrictions have far-reaching business implications.
The Muslim community has some of finest strategic planners, and they have also recruited some of the best from the major corporations worldwide, including the money center banks to participate in the development. The strategy has been established, the major participants have been recruited, and the plan is rolling out. Recruiting of the major participants was a relatively easy task, with the utilization of the carrot of a fast growing market, where money was to be made in excess of equivalent markets in the West. It also helped that in this period that there already was a decline in Christianity in Europe, which led to the belief that all religions were equal and to too many liberal politicians joining forces with Islamists for political gain. Witness the courting of the Islamic voting block in the Mid-Term election in the U.S. in 2006 and the coming elections in the U.K.
The approach taken--the strategy is consistent with some of world leaders in Islamic thought--does not place the emphasis of terrorism as the greatest threat to our world and our way of life. The elimination of all threats from terrorism will not eliminate the threat to our way of life in the future. Instead, the battle will be ideological--through control of economic resources, natural resources and people groups in transnational organizations.
The strategy of the Islamists is to organize the youth, control the natural resources, pool all financial resources, collect the zakat (tithe) to fund the venture, establish big enough trading blocks, put the enemy into hock, create fear, and promote multiculturalism. It is also to promote human rights and political correctness in the enemy camp to prevent an dissenting view, control the press, control the currency, make the laws of all nations and organization compatible, control the organizational structure of companies, bring the organizations under umbrella organization, control commerce with trade agreements, and equally important, gain alliances with common goals or hates. Then they will be able to control the world and bring all under Allah’s will.
Never before in history has a religion group attempted to do the following:
· Create a transnational block of countries coordinated with central planning, strategy and purpose guided by religious leaders, in this case, imams. The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) is composed of fifty-six countries, plus the observers, which include Russia
· Create a central bank, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB)
· Establish a mega-Islamic bank with global reach and financing backed by the IDB
· Establish an interlinked merchandise trading system and a trading block with Free Trade Agreements with other blocks
· Centralize the wealth of all people of one faith in financial institutions under the direction and management of religious leaders as is occurring in the Money Center Banks with their Shariah Advisory Boards.
· Centralize and mandate the contribution of tithe (zakat) and direct the funds for economic gain, political action and proselytizing non-Muslims
· Create a monetary union: the AGCC Monetary Union allows Euro-Arab economic and financial integration
· Create a new currency, the gold dinar
· Control the major transportation systems—Ports (Dubai World Ports), shipping and control of oil transit choke points
· Control more than 90 percent of the exportable oil and natural gas of the world
As reported by the Financial Times on December 13, 2006 Opec warned not to cut oil output: “The International Energy Agency on Wednesday warned the Opec oil cartel not to cut production further after commercial petroleum inventories in Asia, North America and Europe recorded a big decline in October. The warning from the watchdog agency of the world’s biggest energy consuming countries came ahead of Thursday’s meeting in Abuja, Nigeria, of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which controls 40 per cent of the world’s oil supplies.”
On December 15, 2006, It was announced that OPEC also broadened its reach by adding Angola as a member boosting its share of world production from 40 to 43 percent – while also calling a rare heads of state summit next year in Saudi Arabia. OPEC last met in the kingdom in 1980. In its 46 year history, OPEC has only held two heads of state. Analysts saw the move as highlighting Saudi Arabia’s assertiveness within the cartel, which comes as Riyadh is also stepping up its political activities. Reference: Financial Times December 15, 2006, Opec flexes its muscles by agreeing to cut production.
Also in the article from 24.com in South Africa Enlarged Opec aims for $60 oil it was reported that OPEC members meeting in Nigeria this week decided to restrict their output but expand their club, sending strong signals that the cartel is targeting high prices and a tighter grip on world oil resources. “Some ministers also expressed concern about the weakening dollar, which reduces their revenues from oil exports. An OPEC spokesperson suggested Thursday that Sudan could join in March as a 13th member after approval from new president Omar al Bashir, while a membership bid by South American producer Ecuador must clear similar political obstacles.”
"Both Angola and Sudan feel that OPEC membership will give additional political benefit and protection, while for Ecuador there has to be an additional motive," said John Hall of energy consultancy John Hall Associates. "With the administration (in Ecuador) somewhat under the influence of President Chavez of Venezuela we can surely expect some more anti-US behavior from yet another OPEC member."
On December 13, 2006 “The International Crisis Group and Human Rights Watch called on the eve of a summit in Brussels for the extension of travel bans and asset freezes, and the targeting of Sudan's petroleum revenues and foreign investment. "It's time for the screws to be tightened on Khartoum," former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, president of the International Crisis Group, said in a statement. He said President Omar Hassan al-Bashir had "just been laughing at the 'do this or else' resolutions" passed by the UN Security Council and needed to be pressed to stop attacks on civilians, accept a proposed new African Union-UN peacekeeping force, and cooperate fully in political settlement efforts.”
Possible sanctions on Sudan include restrictions on its booming oil industry and a naval blockade of its only major port — Port Sudan on the Red Sea. China, which has veto rights in the U.N. Security Council, could reject such measures. It is the major foreign investor in the Sudanese oil fields.
Recommendations to the Nation on Reducing U.S. Oil Dependence – December 2006 by Securing America’s Future Energy lays out the significance of the risk to our national security by relying on foreign oil.
George W. Bush has repeatedly identified “energy independence” and immigration reform as two of the issues most likely to attract bipartisan support following the Republican loss of control of Capitol Hill in mid-term elections last month.
“Events affecting supply or demand anywhere will affect consumers everywhere,” said the report. “Exposure to price shocks is a function of how much oil a nation consumes and is not significantly affected by the ratio of “domestic oil” to so-called “foreign oil”. The report also warned Mr Bush, who is expected to announce new energy independence measures in his annual State of the Union address to Congress next month, that America’s oil dependence makes it acutely vulnerable to terrorist attacks.
America’s transport system is 97 per cent dependent on oil. Foreign governments control more than 90 per cent of world oil supply. “America must address this critical weakness.” "Current events only serve to confirm the unacceptable security risks created by our extraordinary level of oil dependence. Significantly reducing the projected growth in U.S. oil consumption must become a compelling national priority. I look forward to making the case for immediate and meaningful action." “An oil supply interruption cannot be reasonably dismissed as improbable.” Said General P.X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.) 28th Commandant, United States Marine Corps
With control possible by the Islmists as shown above, the next goal is underway: to change the laws of the world’s major economies to accommodate the Islamic economic system and to allow parallel Shariah legal systems to operate in non-Muslim countries.. Not only is this task underway, but also it is succeeding. In effect, the Islamization of the world is underway, without a sword being drawn. The series of initiatives has been effective in extracting “booty” from the West and spreading Islamization globally. The founders of the Muslim Brotherhood could not have dreamed of the speed with which Islamizaton is proceeding worldwide today.
You may ask, how can this be taking place? Most of actions are not published in the mainline press. There is lack of connecting the dots. In general, the West does not understand the mind of the Muslim. Finally, the major politicians, corporations and banks do not want the West to know what is really going on for fear of losing business. In addition, in the name of “political correctness,” many churches have joined forces with the Islamists.
As long as the West continues to believe that Islam is purely just another religion and only addresses terrorism, we will not address economic jihad. Everything possible will be done to accommodate Islamic economics by changing our laws and “Islamizing” the West in accordance with Islamist strategy. Money is king.
Money will given by the G-8 to forgive the debts of Islamic nations, money will be given to Palestine, and money will be given for AIDS in Islamic countries, all of which will allow the zakat collected to be spent on spreading the Islamic doctrines and economic jihad farther. Just as Muhammad attacked the caravans and pillaged the cities to collect the booty, so the Muslims are collecting the booty from the West.
As reported by the Financial Times on December 15, 2006 US warns Dubai over diversion of military hardware:
“Washington is alarmed at the diversion of militarily sensitive technology to Iran and Syria via Dubai, a US official said yesterday. "Increasing numbers of controlled items are being diverted from ports in the United Arab Emirates - Dubai - to Syria and Iran," the administration official said, threatening unspecified action if this was not halted. The concerns have been shared with US trade negotiators and are likely to further strain US-UAE free trade talks. Concerns center on the trans-shipment of technology with conventional military uses, such as lasers, and come as the US tightens controls on exports to China, a supplier of military technology and hardware to Iran.
A congressional aide said: "The administration's view is that . . . we get pretty good co-operation from the UAE. We can go to them and say, 'There is a ship and it has got this specific component on board and we don't want it going to Tehran'. "But if it is not a missile component or something that can be linked directly to weapons of mass destruction, then maybe some of the princes will look the other way," said the aide. "The view in Congress is that Iran and its desire to get nuclear weapons has to be the overriding concern when set against economic goals . . . we are just as concerned about delivery systems and the conventional components."
Concerns about shipping in Dubai led to this week's sale of five US container terminals by DP World, the Dubai ports operator, after a political furore. A report to Congress last year said Dubai was alleged to have been a key transfer point for shipments of nuclear-related technology to Iran. See also my paper: Dubai Ports — Strategic Implications
With the international inspections of Iran's nuclear operations and the October 2003 interception of a ship headed for Libya and carrying centrifuge parts, Pakistan began seriously investigating A.Q. Khan. The United Nation's International Atomic Energy Agency in November 2003 itself warned Pakistan of possible nuclear leaks. After two months of investigations, in late January 2004 Pakistani officials concluded that two of the country's most senior nuclear scientists had black market contacts that supplied sensitive technology to Iran and Libya. Pakistani intelligence officials said the scientists - A.Q. Khan and Mohammed Farooq - provided the help both directly and through a black market based in the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai. Dr. Khan and Dr. Farooq were longtime colleagues at A.Q. Khan Research Laboratories. President Musharraf acknowledged that some scientists may have acted for their own personal gain, but he denied any government involvement and pledged harsh punishment for any person implicated in the scandal. No serious action was taken against Dr. Khan.
The Dubai state government owns Dubai Ports World (DPW). DPW was formed in September 2005 from the combination of the Dubai Ports Authority and Dubai Ports International Terminals. Dubai Ports International (DPI) completed the acquisition of CSX World Terminal, the international terminal business of CSX Corp, in February 2005. P&O--Britain’s biggest ports and ferries group was acquired by a Middle East rival (DPW). DPW was keen to acquire P&O, the world’s fourth-largest ports operator, to strengthen its position in the rapidly consolidating global ports industry. Once the international ports are controlled, how long will it be before the ports require that products shipped through the ports comply with the principles of Shariah? Control of shipping is a critical strategy for the progressive control of world economies. The deal was arranged by Western banks and funded by Islamic bonds (Sukuk) underwritten by Western banks. As noted, DPW is now again implicated in the transfer of sensitive materials to Iran and Syria.
According to an AP story on March 10, 2006, “Bush expresses concern about collapse of Dubai port deal” President Bush said Friday he was troubled by the political storm that forced the reversal of a deal allowing a company in Dubai to take over take over operations of six American ports, saying it sent a bad message to U.S. allies in the Middle East. Bush said the United States needs moderate allies in the Arab world, like the United Arab Emirates, to win the global war on terrorism. He made his remarks to a conference of the National Newspaper Association, which represents owners, publishers and editors of community newspapers. He went on to say: “"UAE is a valued and strategic partner," he said. "I'm committed to strengthening our relationship with the UAE."
In an Agence France-Presse, Dubai article of November 11, 2005 U.S. Eyes Military Sales at Dubai Show: “U.S. defense firms looked to capitalize on Gulf states’ unabated need for sophisticated new military equipment at the Dubai air show Nov. 22, with Washington hoping such sales will reinforce strategic alliances… Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE), together spent about 277 billion dollars on defense and security between 1995 and 2002, according to Arab League figures.
US air defense giant Lockheed Martin started delivering this year  to the UAE air force its most advanced F-16 fighting jet, the so-called Fighting Falcon, as part of a previous multi-billion dollar order for 80 planes.
The UAE also owns 30 Apache Helicopters made by the defense arm of U.S. aircraft maker Boeing. Northrop Grumman, another U.S. defense major, said it was in talks with the UAE to sell it its latest generation Hawkeye surveillance plane.
”My principle mission is relationship building, and helping our friends and partners have the right capabilities to meet their requirements for their own security and to foster interoperability between our air forces,” said Bruce Lemkin, a senior U.S. Air Force official in charge of international affairs. He said Gulf countries have become even more staunch allies of the United States given what he described as the “common enemy” in the form of international terror.
Top U.S. military brass were present at the Dubai show including Brigadier General Clinton Anderson, who heads a special agency of the U.S. army in charge of overseeing joint foreign security programs. Also attending was Lieutenant General Walter Buchanan, head of the air component of the U.S. Central Command, which overseas military operations from Eastern Africa to Southwest Asia including the Arabian Peninsula. Buchanan boosted the U.S. Air Force’s longstanding relationship with its regional counterparts through joint training and annual exercises conducted in Bahrain and at the UAE’s Al-Dhafra base. ”We have to ensure that in any future conflict we are all able to come to each other’s aid as partners in the coalition,” he said.
Consider the case concerning the sale of military hardware by BEA to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia plans to buy Typhoon fighter planes from BAE. According to the article in the Financial Times of December 18 Britain buckles before Saudi threats, The establishment consensus has been that the Saudi authorities would have scrapped a multi-billion pound contract to buy Typhoon fighter planes from BAE. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of jobs would have been been at risk if Lord Goldsmith’s decision the Serious Fraud Office’s two-year investigation into allegations against BAE Systems, Britain’s foremost defence company proceeded. Consider the dry explanation of Britain’s most senior law officer: “It has been necessary to balance the need to maintain the rule of law against the wider public interest.” Now translate: “Faced with serious threats to the nation’s security from the rulers of Saudi Arabia, I have decided to put aside the fundamental principles at the heart of our democratic system of government.”
“It should be stressed that BAE Systems has denied the allegation that it operated a £60m (€89m) slush fund in association with the 20-year-old Al Yamamah arms contract. Lord Goldsmith has voiced doubts as to whether the investigations would have led to successful prosecutions. Yet surely it was more than a coincidence that the attorney-general halted them soon after the SFO had gained access to a number of Saudi bank accounts in Switzerland.”
“As the Financial Times has reported, the Riyadh government said it would withdraw all co-operation on security, including intelligence-sharing on al-Qaeda, and would downgrade its embassy in London unless Mr Blair scrapped the inquiry. Since Saudi Arabia was the main source of finance and Islamist ideology for al-Qaeda, this was a threat taken seriously.”
“All this should be familiar to Mr Blair and Lord Goldsmith. Both, after all, are lawyers. A recent constitutional reform act sets out explicitly the government’s duty to uphold the rule of law. Yet all it takes apparently is a threatening missive from Riyadh and such principles are cast aside.”
“Those impatient of principles should reflect on the supposed realpolitik of Lord Goldsmith’s decision. Britain, it says, is now content to be reliant on a regime so determined to be spared any embarrassment that it would even withhold information on al-Qaeda terrorists. How comfortable can any state or government feel in such a relationship? Not at all.”
“Perhaps the Saudis were bluffing. Either way, this affair has opened eyes to the nature of the Riyadh regime.”
In the December 2006 Quarterly Report of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS Quarterly Review, December 2006), it becomes clear that the U.S. dollar can be impacted by the enormous fund transfer to OPEC countries following the oil price rise. The control of large assets, working in concert, can impact currency movements and equity markets. Oil producing countries have reduced their exposure to the dollar to the lowest level in two years and shifted oil income into euros, yen and sterling, according to new data from the Bank for International Settlements.
The revelation in the latest BIS quarterly review confirms market speculation about a move out of dollars and could put new pressure on the ailing US currency.
Russia and the members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, the oil cartel, cut their dollar holdings from 67 per cent in the first quarter to 65 per cent in the second.
Meanwhile, they increased their holdings of euros from 20 to 22 per cent, the BIS said. The speed of the shift may help to explain the weakness of the dollar, which recently fell to a 20-month low against the euro and a 14-year low against sterling.
Such shifts may be modest compared with the total assets held, but they provide a crucial indication on future thinking.
Currency switches are likely to be progressive, subtle and discreet, as untoward attention could hit the dollar, lowering the value of depositors’ remaining dollar-denominated assets.
The last time oil-exporting countries cut their exposure to the dollar – in late 2003 – it pushed the euro to an all-time high against the dollar. Eighteen months ago, the exposure to the dollar of oil producing countries was above 70 per cent.
BIS data is the best guide financial markets have to the currency investment trends of oil producers, which otherwise do not provide figures. The rise in oil prices since 2002 means oil-producing countries have amassed a current account surplus of about $500bn, according to the IMF. This is 2½ times the current account surplus of China.
An ultimate goal for the oil producers is converting the currency of oil to the petro euro, and ultimately, the gold dinar. Iran, the world’s fourth-largest oil exporter, plans to reduce its use of the US dollar in world trade and increase use of the euro, two Tehran-based newspapers reported. In the Bloomberg report: Iran May Reduce Use of Dollar, Tehran Papers Say: “The Tehran Times said on December 6, 2006 Iran has started substituting euros for dollars in oil sales, citing an unidentified person at the oil ministry. Iran Daily reported Iran wants to cut its dollar-based transactions to a minimum, citing minister of economy Davoud Danesh-Ja’fari. Iran’s policy of selling oil in US dollars “has not changed yet,” said Hojatollah Ghanimifard, executive director for international affairs at National Iranian Oil Co., in a statement read to Bloomberg News from his office. See also: Give Me Energy Security And I Will Give You A Foreign Policy
The US and several European nations are pushing the United Nations to sanction Iran for its nuclear program, while Iran, Russia and OPEC countries are already taking monetary acting against the U.S. See also: The Grand Chess Masters: The Bear and the Dragon.
The dollar touched a 20-month low against the euro in December, and central banks in the Middle East including the United Arab Emirates have plans to convert some of their dollar reserves into euros. Exporting nations “are only holding so many dollars because of all the trade in the currency, but if the trend begins to move out of it, then it’s going to be a positive for the euro and add to the negative sentiment on the dollar,” said David Mann, a foreign-exchange strategist at Standard Chartered Bank Plc in Hong Kong.
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries members including Qatar earlier this week expressed concern about the falling dollar, saying output should be cut to drive prices higher.”
Just as oil can be used as a “weapon” for geopolitical and religions gain (da’wa), so too currency can and will be used. The growth of the Shariah-compliant market is profitable and rapidly growing.
The foreign control of U.S. Dollar denominated bonds is crucial to financing domestic debt and foreign trade imbalance. Probably most important, is that should we enter into war, say with Russia, China or even Iran, the U.S. would need to loan money, as it did in World War 11, if these countries dump our bonds and there is additional need for financing the interest rate would need to increase very significantly.
Mohsin Nathani, chief executive officer, Citi Islamic Bank, said: “We are delighted to offer our global index and Sukuk capabilities to the Islamic Banking industry in partnership with Dow Jones Indexes. The launch of the Index is in line with our strategy to offer Islamic issuers and investors world-class and innovative products that contribute to expanding the frontiers of Islamic capital markets.”
It should be noted that Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal through Kingdom Holding, a Saudi company is a major shareholder of Citigroup, AOL Time Warner (CNN), News Corp. (FOX News), etc.
Citigroup has been a leader in the Islamic finance business for more than 20 years and has successfully arranged Islamic transactions for issuers in Europe, Asia, LATAM, Africa and the Middle East. Citigroup’s Islamics operation began in 1981 in London, and in 1996 Citigroup was the first international institution to set up a separately capitalized Islamic Bank, Citi Islamic Investment Bank (CIIB). CIIB’s core business has been the origination, structuring and distribution of Islamic banking transactions in structured trade finance, leasing, project financing, advisory services and Islamic securities.
Members of the Dow Jones Shari’ah Supervisory Board are: Sheikh Nizam Yaquby, Bahrain; Sheikh Dr. Mohd Daud Baker, Malaysia; Sheikh Justice Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Pakistan; Sheikh Dr. Mohamed A. Elgari, Saudi Arabia; Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah, Syria; and Sheikh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo, U.S.
 Sharia recognizes as legitimate financial securities that derive the rate of return from the performance of real assets. Sukuk are best conceived as asset-backed certificates that carry ownership rights and risks. There are also special purpose vehicles that acquire a financial asset and then issue financial claims on that asset. The claims represent a proportionate beneficial ownership for a defined period.
 . Sayyid Abul-Ala Mawdudi, Islamic Way of Life, (Orig. Urdu ed., 1948; Lahore Islamic Publications, 1950), ch.. 1. http://www.muhammad.net/ebooks/iwoLife/001.htm (June 27, 2005).
 caliphate. An Islamic form of government; the Muslim state. caliph, khilifa, khaleefah. Means “representation,” or head of state. According to Islam, man is the representative of Allah on earth, His vice-gerent; that is to say, by virtue of the powers delegated to him by Allah and within the limits prescribed, he is required to exercise Divine authority.
 Ataturk, Mustafa Kemal (1298-9/1881-1357/1938). The founder of the modern state of Turkey in 1342/1923 and first president of the secularized Turkish republic. Ataturk means “Father of the Turks.” The secularization of Turkey meant the abolition of the sultanate and the caliphate, as well as the Sufi orders, Qur'an schools and Shariah courts. It was no longer stated in the constitution that Islam was the state religion. Ataturk blamed Islam for the long decline of the Ottomans and their empire.
 Wahhabis, Wahhabism, Wahhabis. (Wahabism, Wahabbism) Followers of the strict puritanical teachings of Ibn 'Abd al-Wahhab, who are sometimes called “Unitarians” (Muwahhidun) and should not be confused with the Almohads. They embraced a strict fundamentalist spirit of Ahmad b. Hanbal. Some of their followers continue to practice in Saudi Arabia. Among some things forbidden to them are the intercession of saints, use of the rosary, use of ijma' in law, visiting the tombs of saints, and tobacco. Wahhabism accepts the Qur'an and hadith as basic texts. It also accepts various commentaries including Ibn Abd al-Wahhab's Kitab al-Tawhid (“Book of Monotheism”), and the works of the earlier scholar Ibn Taymiyya (1263–1328).
 Salafi. A term often used to describe fundamentalist Islamic thought. Adherents more often refer to the teachings of Abd Al-Wahhab as Salafi, that is, “following the forefathers of Islam.” This branch of Islam is often referred to as “Wahhabi,” a term that many adherents to this tradition do not use. Members of this form of Islam call themselves Muwahhidun (“Unitarians” or “unifiers of Islamic practice”). They use the Salafi Da'wa or Ahlul Sunna wal Jama'a. Wahhabism is a particular orientation within Salafism. Most puritanical groups in the Muslim world are Salafi in orientation, but not necessarily Wahhabi. In the United States, Salafism has been equated by some with radicalism and terrorism in some newspaper articles, books, and public discourse. However, it is not inherently synonymous with violence, terrorism, or radicalism. Many Salafis throughout the world are doctrinally rigid, but peaceful.
 Baha'is. Members of a new religion, deriving from Babism, founded by Baha'ullah, and propagated by the latter's son, 'Abd al-Baha'. Baha'is believe in an utterly transcendent God who has, nonetheless, manifested himself through a continuing chain of prophets, including many of the great figures familiar to adherents of the three major monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Bab abd Baha'ullah also have a prophetic rank. The Baha'is believe that all the religions that have prophets possess an intrinsic truth. Because the Baha'is, technically speaking, are an offshoot of the Ithna 'Asharis, they have often been regarded as gravely heretical by Muslims, and are sometimes subjected to persecution and execution.
 Dar al-Harb. Domain of War. Refers to the territory under the hegemony of unbelievers, which is on terms of active or potential belligerency with the Domain of Islam, and presumably hostile to the Muslims living in its domain.
 Dar al-Islam. Means “the household of submission/Islam.” It means the territories governed by Muslims under Shariah; the term's opposite is Dar al-Harb, or “the household of warfare,” those lands lacking the security and guidance of Allah's law.
 “Leading Sunni Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi and Other Sheikhs Herald the Coming Conquest of Rome,” MEMRI no.447 December 6, 2002. http://www.memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Area=sd&ID=SP44702 (August 31, 2005).
 al-dhimmi, Ahl al-Dimmah (or Dhimmis). Non-Muslims who came under submission to Islamic governments to obtain the protection of the Islamic state after fighting and accepting the defeat. They are to be distinguished from al-muahid (contractees) who agreed to live under Muslim protection as a result of some peace agreement. Al-Muahids are liable to pay tax according to the agreement whereas al-dhimmis are subject to jizyah. dhimmah lands. Lands in possession of dhimmis in exchange for land taxes. Also known as ard al-kharaj.
 Dr. Yusuf Quradawa (Qaradawi) Fiqh, al-Zakat, part 2, 5th ed. (Al-Risalah Co., 1981) 666-669.
 See, for example, discussion of the Sonali Gardens project in London, The Evening Standard (London), Apr. 27, 2004.
 Marya Morris, "Muslim Community Development Initiatives," American Planning Association, Apr. 25, 2004.
 Muslim Community Development Plans," Fox 16 News, Aug. 26, 2004.
 In Islam, the Arabic word sunnah has come to denote the way Prophet Muhammad (saas), the Messenger of Allah, lived his life. The Sunnah is the second source of Islamic jurisprudence, the first being the Qur'an. Both sources are indispensable; one cannot practice Islam without consulting both of them. The Arabic word hadith (pl. ahadith) is very similar to Sunnah, but not identical. A hadith is a narration about the life of the Prophet (saas) or what he approved - as opposed to his life itself, which is the Sunnah as already mentioned.
 aqeeeda. Literally means belief. In Islamic terminology, it means articles of faith. There are six articles of faith. They are: 1) Belief in Allah. 2) His Mala’ika (angels). 3) His Revealed books. 4) His Rusull (Messengers). 5) Belief in the Day of Judgment. 6) Belief in Fate and the Divine Decree.
 al-dinar. A monetary unit. Technically, a gold coin weighing one mithqal, equivalent to 4.25 grams
David J. Jonsson is the author of Clash of Ideologies —The Making of the Christian and Islamic Worlds, Xulon Press 2005. His new book: Islamic Economics and the Final Jihad: The Muslim Brotherhood to the Leftist/Marxist - Islamist Alliance (Salem Communications (May 30, 2006). He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics. He worked for major corporations in the United States and Japan and with multilateral agencies that brought him to more that fifteen countries with significant or majority populations who are Muslim. These exposures provided insight into the basic tenants of Islam as a political, economic and religious system. He became proficient in Islamic law (Shariah) through contract negotiation and personal encounter. David can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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