Newsletter #25 – it’s the political shariah….

 

As discussion continues on the subject of the recent ECD appointment and the questions it raises for Tennessee in the global marketplace, it is imperative to understand that the issue is not with Samar Ali the person, but rather, what she and all information reported about her, describe as her professional expertise and political issues of focus – the very information, in fact some of the most relevant professional information about her, NOT reported by Governor Haslam.

See for example:

Global Islamic Finance Magazine- “White House Welcomes Shariah Finance Specialist” “http://www.globalislamicfinancemagazine.com/?com=articles_list&aid=842

“President Obama has announced his appointment of Shariah Finance Specialist Samar Ali to serve as one of the 13 fellows of the White House. Ms Samar Ali is an attorney who specialises on Islamic Shariah compliant finance and regularly advises clients on Islamic transactions and was founding member of first U.S delegation to the World Islamic Economic Forum.”

2010 6th World Islamic Economic Forum conference booklet bio, p.70 http://www.mcb.org.uk/wief/Documents/6WIEF%20Brochure.pdf

“Samar Ali is currently an Associate with the firm Hogan & Hartson,LLP. She regularly counsels clients on project finance transactions, mergers and acquisitions, Middle East hotel transactions, Shariah-compliant transactions and international business matters. During her tenure at Hogan& Hartson, she has also served as a founding member of both the firm’s Abu Dhabi office and its Islamic Finance Group.”

2009 5th World Islamic Economic Forum Conference booklet bio, p.64

http://www.mcb.org.uk/wief/Documents/5WIEF%20Brochure.pdf

“Samar Ali is currently an associate with Hogan & Hartson LLP in Abu Dhabi and is a member of the Firm’s Corporate and Islamic Finance Practice Groups. As a lawyer, she regularly counsels clients on project finance transactions, mergers and acquisitions and international business matters.”

White House bio –2010-2011 Class of White House Fellows 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/white-house-appoints-2010-2011-class-white-house-fellows

“Samar Ali, Waverly, TN. Samar Ali is an Associate with the firm Hogan Lovells US LLP.  She is responsible for counseling clients on mergers & acquisitions, cross-border transactions, Shari’a compliant transactions, project finance, and international business matters.  During her time with Hogan Lovells, she has been a founding member of the firm’s Abu Dhabi office.  Prior to that, she clerked for The Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and for The Honorable Edwin Cameron, now of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, where she also worked extensively on editing his book Witness to AIDS.  While in Nashville, Samar led the YMCA Israeli-Palestinian Modern Voices for Progress Program, and is currently the transatlantic liaison for the development of the Palestine Diabetes Institute.  She is a founding member of the first U.S. Delegation to the World Islamic Economic Forum, and has served as an Advisory Board Member of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health.  She is also a three-time Southeastern Tae Kwon Do Black Belt Champion.  Samar received a J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School and a B.S. in Political Science with Honors from Vanderbilt, where she served as the first Arab-Muslim student body president.”

Press Release from Hogan Lovells- Hogan Lovells Associate Appointed White House Fellow

http://www.hoganlovells.com/newsmedia/newspubs/detail.aspx?news=1626

“WASHINGTON, D.C., 24 June 2010 – Hogan Lovells is pleased to announce that associate Samar Ali has been appointed to serve as one of 13 White House Fellows for 2010-2011. To be selected to this prestigious program, applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to public service and leadership, a record of remarkable early career professional achievement, evidence of leadership skills, and the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed at the highest levels of the Federal government.

Ali’s practice in Abu Dhabi with Hogan Lovells US LLP focuses on mergers & acquisitions, cross-border transactions, Shari’a compliant transactions, project finance, and international business matters. Before joining Hogan & Hartson in 2007, Ali worked as a summer associate for the firm and as a legal intern for the Islamic International Arab Bank. She also served as a judicial clerk to The Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and as a judicial clerk to The Honorable Edwin Cameron, now of the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Prior to that, Ali led the YMCA Israeli-Palestinian Modern Voices for Progress Program, and is currently the transatlantic liaison for the development of the Palestine Diabetes Institute. She is a founding member of the first U.S. Delegation to the World Islamic Economic Forum, ..”

Duke University Law School – “Careers in the Middle East: an overview with Samar Ali”

When: 01/13/2012 at 04:00 PM to 01/13/2012 at 05:00 PM     “Samar Ali, an associate in Hogan Lovells’ DC office and White House Fellow in 2010-2011, will be speaking about the path that led her to a career practicing transactional law with a focus on the Middle East. Ms. Ali assisted in establishing Hogan Lovells’ Abu Dhabi office, and her practice areas include cross-border transactions and Shari’a compliant transactions. Ms. Ali will also be available to answer students’ questions. For more information, contact Daniel Koehler at dwk8@duke.edu.

Each source includes her professional expertise in Shariah Compliant Finance.  Additionally, she was part of the 2009 British delegation to the World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) before she organized and participated in the first U.S. delegation to the WIEF.  And note that her international business experience as referenced in her former law firm’s press release, was based in the Abu Dhabi officewhich she helped to establish. 

Proponents of shariah law say that Islam dictates a complete way of life. Shariah adherents in Tennessee have affirmed publicly that they cannot pick and choose which parts of Shariah to follow. (see, Newsletter #13 Muslim chaplain to the MSA at Vanderbilt).

Even a cursory scan of the Shariah advisors who are integral to making the Shariah Compliant Finance (SCF) engine run, confirms that SCF is, as with everything Shariah, to promote Shariah.

What’s the problem with SCF?

1.    – Deceptively marketed as “ethical investing”, “interest-free”, “socially responsible”.

2.    – Lack of full disclosure to investors regarding all aspects of Shariah.

3.    – Funnels money to jihadi terrorists through “zakat” (Islamic charity or tithing and is one of the five pillars), which according to SCF, can only be directed to charities approved by authorized Shariah advisors/scholars.

4.    – Shariah law identifies 8 categories of permissible “zakat” recipients including, jihadi combatants “those fighting in Allah’s cause” as well as survivors of those that die in the fight.  For example, the 9-11 Commission report documented that zakat was used to fund al-Qaeda.

5.    – Tainted revenue, ie, earnings of SCF found to have come from activities or sources that are “haram,” or unislamic, must be “purified” through donations to Islamic charities, approved by the Shariah advisors.  For example, it could be revenue generated by an investment in a forbidden industry such as Western defense, pork or alcohol production. This proscription applies to any and all transactions and institutions involved with SCF.

6.    – At least 80 Muslim charities have been designated by the U.S. Treasury Department, the U.K. and even the U.N., as funding terrorism.

Examples of Shariah advisors utilized in the SCF industry:

Sheikh al-Qaradawi, describes SCF as “jihad with money”. (He was quoted in 2006 stating, “I like to call it [zakah] jihad with money, because God has ordered us to fight enemies with our lives and our money.”) al-Qaradawi, affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood and reputed to be the most prominent Sunni Shariah scholar, has been banned from the U.S. and Britain because of ties to terrorism and reported ties to Hamas.  He served 2 years as a board member of the Islamic Society of Boston.  He serves as President of the Saudi charity “Union of Good”, an umbrella group of 53 Muslim charities that has been designated as a terrorist entity by U.S. Treasury Department. In a statement aired on Al-Jazeera TV on January 28, 2009 during the Gaza war, al-Qaradawi said the following regarding Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust:

“Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the Jews people who would punish them for their corruption…The last punishment was carried out by [Adolf] Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them…Allah Willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.” MEMRITV.org, Clip no. 2005, Al-Jazeera TV (Qatar)

Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo, is considered the leading authority on Shariah finance in the U.S. and serves internationally as a Shariah advisor.  Among his credits is his statement attesting to the accuracy and authenticity of the English translation of the Reliance of the Traveller.  DeLorenzo is the Shariah scholar who has worked to uncouple and deliberately obscure the relationship between the Shariah and SCF –  “[i]n order to be more readily understandable to regulators in Muslim-minority countries, such as the U.S. and Europe, there is nothing wrong in using another term, like ‘Ethical Advisory Board’”.(Abana Review, Fall 2002).  He has served as the Secretary of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA), (formerly the Fiqh Council of the Islamic Society of North America).  Former FCNA President, Muzamil Siddiqui is an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism trial and FCNA trustee Abdurrahman Alamoudi is serving a 23-year sentence for terrorism-related activities.  FCNA leaders have appeared at conferences honoring al-Qaradawi.

Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, formerly a Shariah judge on the Pakistan Supreme Court for 20 years, is another highly recognized Shariah advisor in the SCF world.  He chairs one of the major SCF industry bodies – the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Finance Institutions and used to head up the HSBC Shariah Council and Dow Jones Islamic Index (which happens to be managed by Muslim Brotherhood unindicted co-conspirator North American Islamic Trust (NAIT)).  He is a central leader with the madrassa that produced the Taliban and he has publicly endorsed suicide bombing.  Among his writings is a book “Islam and Modernism” – “Killing is to continue until the unbelievers pay jizyah (subjugation tax) after they are humbled or overpowered.”  In other writings he states, “For a non-Muslim state to have more pomp and glory than a Muslim state itself is an obstacle, therefore to shatter this grandeur is among the greater objectives of jihad.”  He continues to sit on many Shariah Advisory Boards including Maldives Islamic Bank, Guidance Financial Group, USA, Amana Investments Limited and the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, UAE.

Why are U.S. leaders, banks, investment groups and other financial concerns willing to turn a blind eye to the realities of Shariah Compliant Finance?  Money, money, money?

 

 

 

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