Saturday, September 04, 2010

Afghanistan Opening First Shariah-Based Banks - Is The Taliban Setting Itself Up To Control All Banking And Zakat In Afghanistan?

Earlier this week, we reported that Afghanis were making a run on the Kabul Bank, pulling large amounts of cash out of their accounts, as if they expected the bank to collapse. President Karzai's brother, a major shareholder in the Kabul Bank, asked the United States to shore up the bank, infusing it with cash.

Could it be an ascendent Taliban has ordered Afghani Muslims to pull their cash, and deposit it into Sharia-compliant banks?
Aug. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Afghanistan plans to issue licenses for three Islamic banks, the first to offer a range of services that comply with religious law in a country where 99 percent of the population is Muslim.

Afghan United Bank, Ghazanfar Bank and Maiwand Bank are seeking permission to provide products that meet Shariah principles, said Aimal Hashoor, a central bank spokesman in Kabul. Now, seven local banks can offer Islamic services through dedicated tellers at branches, he said. The products are limited to Islamic loans, said Sayed Mahmood-ul-Hassan, chief executive officer of Afghan United Bank.

The government wants to expand Islamic finance to draw more assets into the financial system and help reduce the nation’s reliance on overseas aid for reconstruction following 30 years of war and insurgency, according to Hashoor. The country has received more than $32 billion in international aid since U.S.- led forces toppled the Taliban in 2001, he said.

“Afghanistan is a Muslim society and many people don’t want to use conventional banking,” Hashoor said in an interview on Aug. 15. “We want to bring all of the money that we have in businesses and with individuals into the economic cycle.”
Think about those words carefully? "We want to bring all of the money that we have in businesses and with individuals into the economic cycle."

To what economic cycle is he referring? Given the context of the article, he could only be referring to the Sharia-compliant cycle.

At the same time, we find the BBC reporting that Karzai has "suddenly" set up a "council for peace talks with the Taliban":

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has formed a committee to seek peace talks with the Taliban, his office has said.

It follows the endorsement by tribal leaders in June of a plan to engage militants in a reconciliation process.

The Taliban, who were ousted from power in 2001, have been fighting to overthrow the US-backed government and expel foreign troops from Afghanistan.

The formation of the High Peace Council was "a significant step towards peace talks", Mr Karzai's office said.

But previous attempts to negotiate with the Taliban have failed, partly over their insistence that foreign troops leave the country first.
Could it be that Taliban participation in the "peace process" is contingent upon deposit of monies in Sharia-compliant banks?

As they say, FOLLOW THE MONEY.

Remember, Islamic Charity is an integral part of Sharia-banking:

From Corporate Governance in Islamic Banks, at al-Bab:
Principles of Islamic banking

An Islamic bank is based on the Islamic faith and must stay within the limits of Islamic Law or the sharia in all of its actions and deeds. The original meaning of the Arabic word sharia was 'the way to the source of life' and it is now used to refer to legal system in keeping with the code of behaviour called for by the Holly Qur'an (Koran). Four rules govern investment behaviour:
  1. the absence of interest-based (riba) transactions;
  2. the avoidance of economic activities involving speculation (ghirar);
  3. the introduction of an Islamic tax, zakat;
  4. the discouragement of the production of goods and services which contradict the value pattern of Islamic (haram)

A mechanism for the redistribution of income and wealth is inherent is Islam, so that every Muslim is guaranteed a fair standard of living, nisab. An Islamic tax, Zakat (a term derived from the Arabic zaka, meaning "pure") is the most important instrument for the redistribution of wealth. This tax is a compulsory levy, one of the five basic tenets of Islam and the generally accepted amount of the zakat is one fortieth (2.5 per cent) of Muslim's annual income in cash or kind from all forms of assessed wealth exceeding nisab.

Every Islamic bank has to establish a zakat fund for collecting the tax and distributing it exclusively to the poor directly or through other religious institutions. This tax is imposed on the initial capital of the bank, on the reserves, and on the profits as described in the Handbook of Islamic Banking.
One of the most important principles of Islamic banking is that the Sharia-compliance of the bank is overseen by a Sharia Advisory Council:
Who are these “Shariah Authorities” who sit on bank boards directing where and how Middle East oil wealth is invested?

Here are four of the most sought-after “Shari’a Authorities” in the industry, all of whom are highly paid to sit on individual corporate bank Shariah Advisory Boards. Each also sits on the AAOIFI (Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions) Board, an international body that parallels western regulatory agencies. Incredibly, the SEC embraced the legitimacy and members of the AAOIFI.

13. Who is Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi?

Boards: AAOIFI; Bank Al-Taqwa (shut down 2001 by U.S. TSY for terror funding)
  • Considered one of the most respected Shariah Authorities and Shariah Finance experts
  • Terrorist banned from US (1999) and UK (2008)
  • Supports suicide bombings, no rights for women, Islamic supremacy, and Jihad
  • De facto leader of the Muslim Brotherhood
  • Urged replacing western capitalism with Shariah Finance, Oct. 2008
  • Described Shariah Finance as "Jihad with Money," BBC, 2006
  • Referred to 6 times during a Feb. 26, '09 Fordham Law School Continued Education Credit Conference on Islamic Finance
Quotable Quotes: "Allah Almighty is just; through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak a weapon the strong do not have, and that is their ability to turn their bodies into bombs as Palestinians do."

“The most important form of jihad today….is to rebuild Islamic society and state….in the political, cultural and economic domains. This is certainly most deserving of Zakat.”

14. Who is Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani?

Boards: Chairman of AAOIFI; HSBC, Dow Jones, Citigroup, Guidance Financial
  • The single most influential Shariah authority on Shariah finance in the world
  • Founder and Director of Jamia Uloom madrassa, 2nd largest in Pakistan, which "boasts close ties to the Taliban" according to International Crisis Human Rights Group
  • Deobandi Cleric to the Taliban, 2001
  • Calls for western Muslims to wage violent Jihad against non-Muslims, whether or not Western countries allow Islam to be freely practiced
Quotable Quote: Usmani writes “Killing is to continue until the unbelievers pay jiziah (a subjugation tax) after they are humbled or overpowered.” (Islam and Modernism, 2006)

15. Who is Imran Ashraf Usmani?

Boards: AAOIFI; AIG, HSBC, Citigroup
  • Educated at and currently teaches at Jamia Uloom Madrassa, a well-known Jihadist school, with this father, Muhammad Taqi Usmani
  • Banks are replacing Taqi Usmani with his son, Imran, as Dad's Jihadist background is publicized
16. Who is Yusef Talal De Lorenzo?
Boards: AAOIFI; IFSB, Barclays Capital, Shariah Capital, Dow Jones, Guidance International
  • American convert to Islam
  • Dropped out of Cornell and educated at Darul Uloom Madrassa in Pakistan, the same madrassa founded by Sheik Usmani
  • Advisor to Pakistan President Zia al-Haq 1981–1984 during creation of Taliban
  • Director of Education for the Islamic Saudi Academy, which is condemned for its hate curricula by the Congress-appointed U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom
  • Secretary of FCNA, where fellow Trustee and President of FCNA is in prison for funding al-Qaeda and/or co-conspirator in terrorism trial
  • Coined the term "ethical" as a better description than "Shari’a" for Western bankers to understand



Imagine that. The Taliban will receive 2.5% of every dollar which runs through the banks in Afghanistan.

Now, let's return again to the words quoted above:
“We want to bring all of the money that we have in businesses and with individuals into the economic cycle.”


Unknown said...

Hi Pastorius.
Great posting makes a lot of sense.
The High Peace Council was "a significant step towards peace talks".More like a surrender before the foreign troops leave and save what can be saved from the drug trade.

Unknown said...

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