On September 17, 2008, the U.S. News and World Report magazine reported on how the “Federal Reserve extended an $85 billion loan to American International Group to be paid back as AIG sells off some business in the biggest government takeover so far in the ongoing credit crisis.” What the American public hasn’t seen yet is what AIG is going to sell off in terms of its business. According to the September 16, 2008 press release by the Federal Reserve on this bailout, the “U.S. government will receive a 79.9 percent equity interest in AIG and has the right to veto the payment of dividends to common and preferred shareholders.”
But while the U.S. taxpayers are loaning money to AIG and the U.S. holds a nearly 80% equity interest in AIG, no one in the government seems concerned that AIG is continuing to expand its Sharia finance business. Less than a week after the government bailout of AIG, Reuters reported on how AIG’s unit American International Assurance Co (AIA) was awarded an “international takaful (Islamic insurance) license” by the Malaysian government. AIG’s American International has been selling Sharia-based “Islamic insurance” for at least two years, through its AIG Takaful division, since its October 1, 2006 announcement, with a stated goal to sell such Sharia financial instruments in the United States. AIG SunAmerica, AIG Financial Services Corp, and other divisions of AIG also are dealers in Sharia mutual trusts.
The day before the AIG bailout was being announced, the Center for Security Policy’s (CSP) Frank Gaffney published his concerns about this growing financial institutional problem of “Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF)” in an article entitled “Into the Fire.” In his article, Mr. Gaffney references David Yerushalmi’s study “Sharia’s Black Box: Civil Liability and Criminal: Exposure Surrounding Shari’ah-Compliant Finance,” which details the lack of financial transparency inherent in Sharia finance, and how such lack of transparency could lead to financial institutions being used to support terrorism and reverse money laundering. Moreover, as Mr. Gaffney, the current financial crisis will allow Islamist nations to buy “up engines of our capital markets for pennies on the dollar,” and "[w]orse yet, they are, in the process, putting themselves in a position to promote Shariah-Compliant Finance and the seditious theo-political agenda it serves.”
Sharia finance is not just “business.” Sharia finance exists to promote an expansionist, supremacist ideology; it is not merely “business,” but is “business with an agenda.” As I addressed in my November 14, 2007 article “Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal, and Islamist Financing,” organizations promoting Sharia finance have employed individuals such as former Dow Jones’ advisor Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, who have called for Jihad. As Alex Alexiev has stated, “far from being an innocent venture in free market capitalism, Islamic finance was conceived and is practiced as one of the key instruments of the militant Islamist movement in its struggle against the West." As reported by Alex Alexiev, Alyssa A. Lappen, Lt. Col. Jonathan D. Halevi, and others, Shariah finance zakat can be used to promote Jihad warfare. As addressed by Allyson Rowen Taylor and others, Sharia finance is anything but simply “business,” as has been addressed in multiple articles on this subject.
Go read the rest.
Bonus reading, via Center for Security Policy:
AIG Sharia compliance certificate
Harvard goes Halal
The Risky Business Of Islamic Finance
Sharia showdown on Wall Street
and last but not least, Takaful presentation.