Sharia Finance

All over the Western world governments are bending over backwards to accommodate sharia finance. This is an interest-free banking and finance system which Muslims want to have run in Western nations as a parallel economic stream.

The UK leads the world in this, but Australia and other nations are seeking to get their share of the action. Consider a speech made by Australian Assistant Treasurer Senator Nick Sherry on April 27 in Doha, Qatar. He told his Muslim audience how keen Australia is to embrace sharia finance.

Let me quote a portion of Sherry’s speech: “On 15 January this year, the Government released the final report of this process, known as the Australia as a Financial Centre (or the Johnson Report). The report concluded that Australia has arguably the most efficient and competitive financial sector in the Asia-Pacific region, but there are further opportunities to expand our exports and imports of financial services.

“And it made a range of important recommendations, including specific steps to ensure Islamic finance is enabled in Australia. And that’s exactly what I know [sic] want to address. The competitiveness of Australia’s financial services sector offers great opportunities for Islamic banks and financial institutions to do business in our country, or to export their products to Asia from a strong, stable and extremely well regulated regional base.

“It, of course, also presents opportunities for Australian-based banks and financial institutions to develop Islamic or Shariah-compliant finance products for domestic and international markets. Australia is well aware of the potential for Islamic finance in developing our nation as a financial services centre. The Financial Centre Report I just mentioned includes two specific recommendations on Islamic finance.

“First, the Report recommends the removal of regulatory barriers to the development of Islamic finance products in Australia. Secondly, the Report calls for an inquiry by the Board of Taxation into whether Australian tax law needs to be amended to ensure that Islamic financial products have parity of treatment with conventional products.

“It is with great pleasure I can confirm today here in Qatar that as the first major instalment in the Government’s response to this landmark Report, I have directed the Board of Taxation to undertake a comprehensive review of Australia’s tax laws to ensure that, wherever possible, they do not inhibit the expansion of Islamic finance, banking and insurance products.

“Australia’s decision means we will be among the first OECD countries to conduct this kind of system-wide review and it will mean we are among the very first to get all the tax settings right. I know the United Kingdom has acted on a few discrete areas, but the review I am announcing is thoroughly comprehensive.

“Islamic finance is a rapidly growing part of the global financial system and Australia is in an excellent position to capitalise on that growth, but we have to ensure our tax system doesn’t unnecessarily prevent that from happening. Today’s announcement is major step in ensuring that we get the settings right.”

Australia like other Western nations wants to gain financially from such moves, but it seems unaware that it is in fact cutting its own throat. Sharia-compliant finance is simply part of the wider move to set up sharia law in the West, which in turn is part of the larger goal of global Islamic domination.

Indeed, the push for sharia finance is a fairly recent development of the Islamic community, primarily promoted by radical Islamists. As former Muslim Patrick Sookhdeo says in his important book, Understanding Sharia Finance (Isaac Publishing, 2008), it was a militant Pakistani Islamist who initiated this drive.

Says Sookhdeo, “The concept of an Islamic economy was integrated into the discourse of the Islamist struggle to weaken the West in preparation for the ultimate phase of establishing Muslim political hegemony in the world.”

A separate Islamic economic system in Western nations is part of the push for a separate political and legal system. Committed Muslims see sharia law as the only true law, and consider Western, non-Islamic laws to be heretical. Thus the push for separate spheres of Islamic sovereignty.

Of course no nation can survive long with a two-tiered legal system, financial system, and so on. If immigrants seeking to come to Australia refuse to integrate into the Australian way of life, including its economic and financial system, then social cohesion is doomed from the start.

Indeed, many Muslims coming to the West have made it clear that they do not intend to integrate with the host nation, but to set up separate Islamic enclaves within it. And as the number of Muslims increase, the final goal of the complete Islamisation of society can take place.

As Sookhdeo notes, “Islamic economics became an efficient weapon in the hands of Islamists planning for Islam’s domination of the world-system in all fields: political, military, economic and cultural. For them, the establishment of a worldwide universal Islamic state under sharia is God’s command to Muslims of all generations and the real aim of jihad.”

Speaking of jihad, another major concern is how Islamic banking and finance are a major means of funding international Islamic terrorism. Islamists seek to redistribute wealth in sharia finance based on the zakat, the obligatory donation all Muslims are supposed to pay.

This 2.5 per cent tax is in effect a type of income tax, and according to traditional Islamic teaching, the zakat is to be used in the funding of jihad. Says Sookhdeo, “According to Qur’an and sunna, God commands Muslims to devote their wealth and their lives to jihad.”

He continues, sharia finance “is part of a wider agenda of jihad, in accordance with the vision of Islamist ideologists of the overthrow of non-Islamic systems and the establishment of a pan-Islamic Caliphate that will rule the earth.” And he offers this sober warning:

“Western governments and institutions now gladly cashing in on the Islamic market are falling into the same trap into which Western governments fell when they supported Islamist radicals in fighting the Soviet Union. They are supporting the rise of a powerful system they cannot control and that might turn against them.”

Indeed, in the very same way Western governments last century were happy to prop up Communist dictatorships which were dedicated to overthrowing the West. Lenin once quipped that “the Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them”.

That is happening again today. A new enemy of the free West has arisen, and foolish, naive and short-sighted Western leaders are more than happy to aid and abet the Islamists as they seek the ultimate overthrow of all non-Islamic nations.

treasurer.gov.au/DisplayDocs.aspx?doc=speeches/2010/011.htm&pageID=005&min=njsa&Year=&DocType=1

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25 Replies to “Sharia Finance”

  1. I’d like to see an end to usury full stop. I’d like to see all Australians have access to just finance.
    Louise Le Mottee

  2. Thanks Louise

    But with all due respect, this article has absolutely nothing to do with the merits or otherwise of usury, or the charging of interest. If it did, there would be a number of issues that could and would be covered. Not only does the Bible clearly allow the use of interest, but what does one mean by “just finance” anyway? Indeed, Muslims themselves are quite divided on this issue, and many think it is usury that is forbidden in Islamic thought, not interest. The Koranic ban on riba is understood differently by Muslims, and many think the charging of interest is quite alright.

    But as I said, this article is about how Islamic imperialism is being furthered by sharia finance, especially in the funding of terrorism. That is the real concern here, not a secondary and rather unrelated debate about interest.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. Thanks Bill

    Insightful, clear and well thought out as always.
    Just a question. Do you think it’s just naivety and foolishness on the part of Western leaders who are willingly bowing to ‘Islamization’ or is there another agenda? It seems Islam is intricately entwined in the push for a global utopia that politicians of all stripes seem committed to.

    Glenn Christopherson

  4. Thanks Glenn

    Probably a bit of each. The agenda part would include the hatred that so many intellectuals and elites have toward the West, so they are willing to side with the enemies of the West. But these are mostly secular humanists and leftists, who will likely find little support from the Islamists if and when they get into power and implement sharia law big time.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. I believe we had a small insight into how the “Peaceful” Islamic majority in our nation would react when the “attack” of their “Peace Activist” vessel was fueled by a media frenzy.
    Out in force, demonstrating and chanting jihad. These are the people who profess to be “peace loving.” We now know, that when and if required, the Islamists will NOT be peace loving any longer, but join with their extremist minority, terrorist, brothers and sisters for the completion of their intended plan. The “universal Global Islamic State, under sharia law, as commanded by Allah in the Qu’ran.

    If anyone thinks that this is a trivial issue and that my comments are a knee jerk over-reaction fueled by bias, let me take you back a few years to New York City. If you believe “tolerance” is the order of the day, bare this in mind.

    It was ‘tolerance’ that leveled the World Trade Centre. It is one thing to watch the Middle East at war with each other every day, but quite another to allow our own country to become a sanctuary where they are able to carry out exactly the same practices.

    This is no trivial issue.

    Bennett Donelly

  6. Thanks Bennett

    Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) is doing concerts in Australia, as well as holding a seminar on peace. He of course said people like Salman Rushdie should burn for insulting Islam. What sort of peace is this?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  7. Surely normal banks can/would offer the inflated loans (and therefore interest free) that Muslims want.

    Or is that too simple?

    Jordan Grantham

  8. Well said Louise. I too would like to see a just banking system where interest rates on contracted loans for either housing and personal are set for the life of the loan.
    Michael Webb

  9. Yes Bill, I agree about the Sharia Law problem. I wasn’t disputing that. FWIW.
    Louise Le Mottee

  10. Regarding Glenn’s question above, when it comes to the secular left I think it’s mostly a case of willing blindness combined with a shared aversion to Christianity that sees them aiding and abetting the process of Islamisation. Presumably there are also unseen dark spiritual forces inciting these people to be as accommodating as possible to an ideology which would ultimately enslave them. It defies a rational explanation.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  11. “..it’s mostly a case of willing blindness combined with a shared aversion to Christianity” (Ewan McDonald, above); yes indeed, this is seen in the unholy alliance of the far-left and militant Islamicism and their protests against Israel and Western involvement in the Middle East. And some ultra-feminists are justifying Islamic female genital mutilation, on the grounds that the regional local traditions are superior to anything imposed by western colonialists – etc. So-called “liberals” are often anti-West/Judeo-Christianity first and foremost.
    John Thomas, UK

  12. Thanks Bill for this. This is a crucial turning point of Islam in Australia and what better way to introduce it here after all the issues about the GFC and the way the US’s market has been so rocky even with their beloved Obama in power. This is the way that Islam will set up their “wheel within a wheel”. Of course they are not interested in integrated into Australia – they want to take over and they are very patient and very subtle about doing it. What better way to offer interest free finance in Western countries (which just speaks to our love of money) and therefore bring in their financial institutions that will then have to bring in their Sharia Laws with it. What’s next?
    Francesca Collard

  13. To Glen Christopherson & Ewan McDonald – I am probably starting to sound like a broken record as I have said this before on other issues raised by Bill but the answer to your comments raised all comes down to this Bible verse – 2 Timothy 2:2:26 “and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will”. These people are under a curse and they are completely unaware of this. We need to be ready everyday to take up any opportunity that comes our way to let people know where we stand, even if it is just a few words, but make them count. Actually Bill, just a thought, I wonder what Tony Abbot’s view is on this sharia finance? I wonder if he is as willing to take it up? It would be certainly worth it to find out, are you able to?
    Steve Davis

  14. Dear Bill,
    It appears that ungodly behaviour, eg. profiteering, which is clearly the motive of the banks in regard to encouraging this sharia finance, always makes one blind to the authority and goodness of God and thereby to one’s own true benefit.
    I am with Louise though in the sense that is possible that the appearance of justice in this sharia finance could be the appeal to genuinely disillusioned people who are looking for an alternative to the monopoly of money grabbing banks. Is it not important for Christians to develop a genuine banking system that would not rob the small account holder?
    Many blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  15. Hi Ursula,

    I’m always amazed when people accuse the banks of profiteering (by this I assume they must mean making excessive profits by exploiting a monopoly position).

    This is bizarre. The retail banking industry in Australia is anything but a monopoly. There are hundreds of institutions competing for your savings dollar.

    My credit union, for instance, offers internet banking, credit cards, debit cards, cheques, eftpos, and ATM access all with no account fees, and no fees for normal use of any of these services. They also have very competitive rates of interest on loans and savings accounts.

    And this credit union and many others like them are just waiting for customers to walk in off the street and open an account.

    I really don’t think we can blame the banks, or a non-Islamic system for bad deals from the big banks. It is the laziness and unconcerned ignorance of the customers.

    Mansel Rogerson

  16. Hi Bill,

    I think the community needs to face the ‘facts’ on Islam and realise ‘tolerance’ is not part of Islam. For example here are some facts…

    ‘Jihad’ is referred to about 140 times in the Quran. This equals 1 in every 5 suras (chapters) or again, 1 in every 50 verses- hardly a ‘peaceful’ religion!

    Some quotes from the Quran

    9:123 Believers, make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Deal firmly with them. Know that God is with the righteous.

    25:52 Do not obey the unbelievers, but strive against them with the greatest striving (jihadan kabiiran).

    66:9 O Prophet, strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and deal sternly with them. Hell shall be their home, evil their fate.

    8:12 I [God] shall cast terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads; strike off the very tips of their fingers. That is because they defied God and His apostle.

    47:35 So do not be weak and do not ask for peace (from the enemies of Islam), while you have the upper hand.

    2:193 And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone). But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.) [Muhsin Khan translation]

    8:39 Make war on them [unbelievers] until idolatry shall cease and God’s religion shall reign supreme.

    48:28 He it is Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad SAW) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam), that He may make it (Islam) superior over all religions.

    The ironic thing is recently i was involved in meeting with the Islamic leaders of the Victorian Islamic council. They tried to tell us that there are only a ‘few’ references to Jihad in the Quran, and that most of it is peaceful. The reality is, the opposite is true. But Satan will use anything to discredit our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Sorry for the long post

    Mark Topping, Victoria

  17. Thanks again, Bill,
    There already are many church funds around – I work for one – and most that I know of have a focus on restraining fees. Most denominations have them of some sort – Baptists, Lutherans, Anglicans, Uniting, Catholics, with others to lesser extents and many not limited to their own denomination’s members. Some have a greater focus on individual account holders (rather than just church accounts) than others. Not wanting to flog mine here (you will have to guess ….), but check us out!
    Bill, I think the commercial banks would see Sharia finance as simply another product/service to provide upon which to make a profit. They would have no idea as to the spiritual and cultural implications of it.
    Having experience on the apathy of Christians to the stewardship impacts of their investments and banking, evidencing the church being mostly asleep in this matter, is it any wonder the commercial organisations wouldn’t have a clue?
    Jeremy Peet

  18. In business the golden rule is that the ‘customer is always right’ ( well not quite but anyway…) my point is that Louise and Ursula are onto something here.
    Pointing out dissatisfaction with the current banking system does not imply support for sharia finance.
    As Christians, if we do not acknowledge with humility the un-Christian aspects of our own financial system, we are simply not dealing with the needs of the citizens as a whole( regardless of religion).
    Credit unions and mutual societies and co-operatives have a strong Christian basis. We need policy settings to help them flourish so much more.
    Michael Webb

  19. To Jeremy Peet, I had a look at that talk given by Prince Charles, quite frightening really, a practicing Christian speaking like that? I am now wondering just what sort of reception he will get if he is ever about to become king, will the people of England accept him?
    Steve Davis

  20. Medieval Christians were the founders of modern capitalism, according to Rodney Stark’s book The Victory of Reason (reviewed here on this site).

    One important innovation was a proper understanding of interest. When someone lends money for a period, he no longer has the freedom to spend that money on the things he wants. Therefore he needs some compensation for this opportunity cost. This is precisely what an interest payment is. Without this, lending would hardly ever occur because it is a financial sacrifice — and this doesn’t even consider the risk of non-repayment.

    Yet most governments wilfully misunderstand this role of interest as compensation. Instead, they count it as earnings, and even tax it at the highest marginal rate. It’s ironic that governments are hardly ever accused of “greed” when they confiscate more money from the people.

    Jonathan Sarfati, USA

  21. Bill, regarding sharia finance, I was wondering what Tony Abbot’s views were on this concept so I rung his office in Canberra and asked to speak to someone. I was put onto one of his advisors and he told me that they had received a number of letters addressing the possibility of this happening in Australia. The advisor told me that as far as he was aware, the Liberals are not in favour of this and do not share the Labor government’s views on it. He stated that the Liberals would not change our laws to accommodate this sharia finance but he did say that if it developed within the framework of our Australian laws then there would be probably nothing they could do to stop it. An interesting hypothesis at work here, could sharia law operate within the confines of our existing legal system? That would be a matter for interesting debate, however I am only a lowly accountant, not a constitutional law expert. Anybody out there with any thoughts?
    Steve Davis

  22. Mansel, point taken and I have taken all just about all my accounts across to a local credit union.
    Still, I am not convinced that the big banks are offering value for money to ordinary account holders with just working accounts that attract more fees than interest, especially pensioners who use their services and are not always able to evaluate the plethora of financial products out there.
    Thanks to Jeremy for pointing out church based institutions, I didn’t know that and have to look into it.
    Blessings
    Ursula Bennett

  23. “Loosely speaking, the interest rate is the market’s measure of impatience. Rather than lending his money, the capitalist could choose to spend it on fancy cars or steak dinners in restaurants. The interest rate is the premium necessary to make him postpone his consumption.

    “Looked at the other way, borrowers will be willing to pay a higher interest rate based on how urgently they want to consume in the present.”
    Dr Robert Murphy, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism.

    Jonathan Sarfati, USA

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