- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Frank Gaffney’s two recent columns on the Treasury Department and Islamic finance (“Treasury submits to Shariah,” Commentary, Tuesday; “Sell-off or sell-out?” Commentary, Oct. 28) misstate Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert M. Kimmitt’s comments at a press briefing in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 25.

As the transcript of the deputy secretary’s press briefing indicates, he did not suggest Islamic finance is a solution to the current financial turmoil. In response to a reporter’s question, the deputy secretary simply stated that the Treasury Department is looking to learn more about Islamic finance, just as it is studying countless other aspects of the global financial system.

The deputy secretary’s full comment was: “Well, again, I think that the crisis has shown the interconnected nature of the global economy. We have had good discussions with countries around the world, including many important Islamic countries. As I mentioned too among the participants at the G-20 meeting will be not only Saudi Arabia, but also Turkey and Indonesia. I know that quite a bit of attention has been focused recently on the issue of Islamic banking. A lot of work is being done in the private sector on that. Our experts at the Treasury Department have been learning about the important features of Islamic banking.”

The Treasury Department has a responsibility to understand Islamic finance and will continue its efforts to do so.

MICHELE DAVIS

Assistant secretary

Public affairs,

Director of policy planning

Treasury Department

Washington

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