ZOA Urges Treasury Department To Halt Imposition Of Islamic Law-Compliant Financing
November 6, 2008

New York (Nov. 6) — The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) joined with the Center for Security Policy, headed by Frank Gaffney, Jihadwatch.org (Robert Spencer), and the American Center for Democracy, led by Rachel Ehrenfeld, to hold a press conference today (Thursday, November 6) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, at 10:00 AM.  Several other public policy organizations, human rights activists and religious groups also participated in the press conference to establish the “Coalition to Stop Shariah.”  Shariah is the Arabic word for Islamic law, but in its usage by Islamic extremists, the concept is also used for the idea that the whole world should eventually come under the domination of Islam and the Islamic interpretation of how to live.  Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sudan all impose Shariah as the absolute law of the land, and there are virtually no rights in those countries for women, non-Muslims, or religious dissidents.   The immediate common concern to the coalition is the sponsorship by the U.S. Treasury of a workshop at its headquarters today to promote Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF) to U.S. government personnel.  

 This “seminar for the policy community,” entitled “Islamic Finance 101,” is being made possible by a collaboration between the Treasury Department and Harvard University – the most prominent and aggressive institutional advocate in American academia for Shariah and Shariah-Compliant Finance.

The meeting will be hosted by Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari, the man responsible for allocating the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Based on the speakers list, it does not appear that there will be any balance in the presentation to the Treasury officials, since all of the experts invited are either advocates of Shariah-Compliant Financing or financial professionals who have been involved in profiting from the Islamic investments. In response, a number of diverse groups have come to together to form the “Coalition to Stop Shariah.” (www.USAStopShariah.org


The ZOA opposes the imposition of Shariah-Compliant Financing on the American financial system. 


Shariah is usually translated as “Islamic Law,” but in authoritative Islam,  Shariah actually requires its adherents to work for the realization of global Islamic theocratic rule.  It is through Fatwas (rulings) based on Shariah that Israel has been determined to be an illegitimate country and warfare against the US and Jewish individuals wherever they live has been justified. Shariah-Compliant Financing (SCF) is therefore far more than an innocent exercise of religious accommodation, and under the guidance of extremist Islamic scholars,  it has the potential to do serious damage to the fight against Radical Islam.


The Shariah scholars who would determine where investments can be made under SCF have been united in condemning the Jewish State of Israel and all interaction with Israelis and Jews.  They have been advocates for the worldwide boycott of all Israeli products, and sometimes even all products connected to Jews from any country.  In order to be a legal company to invest in, a ”Shariah scholar” must approve the investment, and there is concern that Jewish and Israeli companies will not be eligible.  Before sponsoring workshops on Shariah-Compliant Financing, the US Department of Treasury should speak to the US Department of Justice.  It is against US law for any company to participate in the Arab-sponsored boycott of Israel.  In addition, any Shariah-approved investment must donate a given amount to an Islamic charity chosen by the “Shariah scholars.”  In the recent past, many of these charities have funneled money without supervision to terrorist-connected groups.


In a larger sense, the vision of a world where only Shariah is the guiding principle is actually the root of the Arab-Israeli conflict.  It is because of the intolerance of Shariah and the hatred it breeds that Israel, whose land mass is as small as New Jersey (Israel is 1/36 the size of Texas) cannot be allowed to survive under any non-Islamic government.  It is because of the intolerance of Shariah and hatred of non-Moslems it breeds that the neighbors of Israel are required to be in a state of war with it, regardless of what agreements are reached about borders.  And it is because of the intolerance of Shariah and the hatred that it breeds that the establishment of yet another Arab state in the middle east will not result in peace of any kind.


Another aspect of this Shariah-Compliant Financing movement is the way it is being financed and even orchestrated from Saudi Arabia.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is using its massive wealth to influence our Universities, our business community, and now even the US Department of Treasury.  The Saudi Kingdom is ruled by a single family, and there is ample evidence that they are not working for the best interests of our country. ZOA has supported the Saudi Arabia Accountability Act (H.R. 2976)  pending in Congress to hold  the Saudis accountable for their support of the construction of  extremist Wahhabi mosques and schools around the world, and the direct support of  terrorist groups by its wealthy citizens.


Daniel Pollak and Joshua London of ZOA’s Division of Government Relations in Washington, DC said: “Until the authoritative voices of Islamic practice develop tolerant and accommodationist doctrines towards non-Muslims and towards Jews and Israelis in particular, Sharia Compliant Finance policies serve to further legitimize immoderate Muslim Clerics and signal American weakness and subservience to radical Islam. Unlike other mainstream religious codes of law and practice, Shariah is espoused as an all encompassing code, imbued with universal aspirations over all others. Shariah is without any robust and egalitarian allowance for non-Muslims. Of course, we believe all Moslems in this country are entitled to the same religious freedoms that Americans of every faith enjoy. But our constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion does not and should not allow for imposing Shariah on the US financial system.”


ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said: “The Zionist Organization of America calls on the US Treasury Department to stop the movement towards any imposition of Shariah on our financial system.  In the longer term, the American people must become aware of the strategies of our enemies as well as their tactics.  They mean to fundamentally change the paradigm of the West as a tolerant and liberal place to observe any religion without compulsion.  They mean to impose Islamic law on everyone in targeted countries. The ZOA will oppose the tactics of our enemies every step of the way.  For a long time, the ZOA has stated that the fight of Israel to survive is part of a larger struggle to prevent Islamic extremism from being triumphant around the world.  It is unthinkable to give a victory to our enemies in this Jihad against America by changing our financial system to comply with Shariah.”  

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