On Sunday, Arab News reported, "The U.S. government is currently studying the salient features of Islamic banking to ascertain how far it could be useful in fighting the ongoing world economic crisis, Robert M. Kimmitt, U.S. deputy secretary of the Treasury, said at a press conference held at the U.S. Embassy here yesterday." The newspaper went on to note that "[Mr. Kimmitt] said that experts in the U.S. Treasury Department are currently learning the important features of Islamic banking."
As it happens, for the better part of a year we at the Center for Security Policy have spent a fair amount of time trying to teach U.S. Treasury Department and other government "experts" about what is euphemistically called "Islamic banking" but better known as Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF). In meetings with Mr. Kimmitt and other top Treasury officials, my colleagues and I have presented all they really need to know about the "important features" of this growth industry.
Specifically, we shared with them a detailed legal memorandum written by one our experts - David Yerushalmi, an attorney specializing in securities law who is deeply knowledgeable about the comprehensive theo-political-legal code that authoritative Islam calls Shariah. Mr. Yerushalmi's memo makes a compelling case that there is both civil liability and criminal exposure associated with SCF.
This is so because, at its core, Shariah is sedition: It explicitly espouses the violent overthrow of all secular governments and constitutions - including those of the United States - in favor of a global Islamic theocracy. The Yerushalmi memo makes clear that Shariah advisers - who play a central role in this industry as it falls to them to determine whether transactions are Shariah-compliant or not - and/or the companies that employ them appear to be involved in one or more of the following: racketeering, antitrust violations, consumer and securities fraud or material support for terror.
Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, the Senate's No. 2 Republican and a senior member of that chamber's Finance Committee found the conclusions of the Yerushalmi memo to be sufficiently alarming that in August he sought official reactions to its findings from Bob Kimmitt's boss, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Chris Cox, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Attorney General Michael Mukasey. To date, only Mr. Cox and Mr. Bernanke have deigned to respond. Both did so in an appallingly superficial manner.
Mr. Cox he assured Mr. Kyl that the SEC was ensuring that "U.S.-registered issuers offering SCF products must comply fully with the applicable disclosure requirements of the federal securities law." Never mind that no offerer of Shariah-Compliant Finance products discloses that Shariah is seditious, let alone that SCF is an instrument of its stealth jihad.
Fed Chairman Bernanke blithely stated that, since "Shariah-Compliant Finance is still in its infancy," it was too early to tell whether regulators would have problems monitoring it. Moreover, he wrote, the Fed has at present "no reason to believe" that "SCF products and services offered by banks in the United States are noncompliant with U.S. financial services law."
In these regards, it might be helpful if, while Mr. Kimmitt is in Qatar, he pays a visit to one of the most prominent of the SCF advisers, Sheik Yusef al-Qaradawi, who serves on, among numerous others, the Shariah advisory board of two Qatari Islamic banks. As my colleague Christopher Holton has pointed out in a recent posting on the Family Security Matters Web site, Sheik Qaradawi has called for the Islamic world to use the present financial crisis to destroy Western capitalism and replace it with "an Islamic economic system."
Inquiring minds among Treasury's experts trying to "learn about Islamic banking" might also be interested to know that, in a 2006 interview with the BBC, Sheik Qaradawi also declared that he calls SCF "jihad with money, because God has ordered us to fight enemies with our lives and our money."
What are we to make of the fact that so many senior U.S. government officials seem so clueless about the true and threatening nature of Shariah-Compliant Finance and the seditious Shariah agenda it explicitly serves? For sure, they find David Yerushalmi's conclusions inconvenient at a time when Mr. Kimmitt and others are desperately trying to recycle our petrodollars now in the hands of Shariah-adhering Saudis and Qataris.
In a terrific new book, "The Failure Factory," The Washington Times' ace national security correspondent Bill Gertz documents myriad cases of federal bureaucrats actively subverting the president's efforts to wage and win the war against our terrorist foes. Perhaps this is yet another example of such insidious disloyalty.
Whatever the motivation for federal officials giving Shariah-Compliant Finance the "see-no-evil" treatment, sedition is sedition. And under the U.S. code, those who are aware of seditious activities and who fail to take actions to stop it are themselves guilty of a felony offense. It is called "misprision of treason."
Those government officials who have sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States have a special responsibility not only to learn all they can about seditious Shariah and the various means - including "Islamic banking" by which it is being advanced in our capital markets and others. They also have a professional obligation to make clear that Shariah and its financial form of jihad are not legal in the United States and will be prosecuted. If they fail to do so, they themselves risk, and deserve, prosecution.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times.
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