ISLAMOFASCISM THROUGH THE FINANCIAL BACK-DOOR
Since September 11, 2001, the men and women of the U.S. Department of the Treasury have worked tirelessly to identify and cut off sources of financing for terrorist organizations and other threats to our national security.
However, their efforts are now taking place alongside an emerging financial trend that could threaten our national security in ways not yet fully grasped: the penetration of Islamofascism-tainted countries and radical Islamists themselves into Western financial markets and other Western strategic industries.
The problem consists of two elements. The first is the matter of countries with questionable, possibly hostile, dispositions towards the United States and the West staking out enormous positions in strategic U.S. industries, with numerous non-transparent repercussions.
As today's lead Wall Street Journal editorial points out, Abu Dhabi's recent $7.5 billion purchase of a 4.9% stake in Citigroup came in just below the 5% level that would otherwise trigger scrutiny by the Federal Reserve.
The Journal goes on to state that the structure of the purchase raises questions as to Abu Dhabi's motives and underscores the need for reassurance by Citigroup that it will continue to cooperate in tracking terror financing in the wake of this transaction, particularly in light of Abu Dhabi's historical relationship with Saudi Wahhabi-backed institutions and causes – including, on occasion, terrorists and/or their organizations.
Moreover, as Youssef Ibrahim highlights in today's New York Sun, the countries engaging in these purchases – including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates – are effectively purchasing silence from their Western sellers with respect to the Islamofascist behavior and pattern of human rights violations that have become a matter of course in much of the Gulf States.
Ibrahim rightfully points out – as just one example – the lack of American governmental or business community protest over Saudi Arabia's recent sentencing of a 19-year old gang-rape victim to two hundred lashes.
While this first element of Islamofascist penetration of Western financial markets has received much well-deserved attention by the media, a second element of equally startling import has gone largely ignored: the emergence and aggressive promotion of Shariah financing as a Western investment tool.
As documented in a recently published Center for Security Policy paper, Western financial institutions are beginning to offer so-called "Shariah-compliant" investment instruments to attract more Muslim (and some non-Muslim) investors, while failing to understand that Shariah – a legal doctrine that promoters claim is based on the tenets of the Koran – is in fact a doctrine of radical Islam that gives legal sanction for, among other things, jihad against non-Muslims, slavery, and persecution of women and homosexuals.
Even more troubling is that Shariah financing as an institution is dominated by individuals and organizations with undeniably Islamofascist agendas, such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the European Council for Fatwa and Research, among others.
By promoting Shariah financing, Western financial institutions are lending legitimacy to those who promote Shariah doctrine as a replacement for Western values, and are simultaneously creating a demand for individuals qualified to certify investment instruments as "Shariah-compliant" – individuals likely indoctrinated by Saudi Wahhabism and other Islamofascist schools of thought.
As these articles indicate, the American media is beginning to raise critical questions about sovereign wealth purchases by questionable sources in a post 9-11 world. What is regrettable, however, is that only one half of the broader ominous development is beginning to receive attention commensurate with the risks posed.
In order to fully address the phenomenon of Islamofascist penetration into Western financial markets, we must urge the media, the Executive Branch, Congress, and Wall Street to scrutinize and challenge Shariah financing with the same sense of urgency that we are now applying to transactions such as the Abu Dhabi – Citigroup purchase.
Alex Alexiev is vice president for research at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC.