Newsletter #27 – Why Samar Ali as International Director?


Question – why Samar Ali as International Director?

Short answer – the Governor’s economic plan for Tennessee requires someone with professional credentials and credible presence in the Shariah finance world.

Commissioner Bill Haggerty announced this past Tuesday that he has refused Samar Ali’s offer to resign.

Both Governor Haslam and Commissioner Haggerty have all but said outright that they are looking to expand Tennessee’s commerce with Arabic Gulf states and as the Governor noted, “[Ali] is highly qualified for this position – if we are going to expand opportunities for Tennessee businesses, we have to understand the rules of the game all around the world.”

So the Governor chose someone whose foremost area of expertise is Shariah Compliant Finance, and who:

-is founding member of her firm’s Abu Dhabi office

-interned at the Islamic International Arab Bank

-is founding member and participant in first U.S. delegation to the World Islamic Economic Forum

-is considered an expert source on Shariah Compliant Finance for the International Bar Association

-is described by Global Islamic Finance magazine as “regularly advis[ing] clients on Islamic transactions”

-describes her own career as “practicing transactional law with a focus on the Middle East”

International Director Samar Ali will represent Tennessee, a state that has a documented Muslim Brotherhood presence and a Governor-approved Tennessee American Muslim Advisory Council. 

According to the Quaran and Sunnah, and as confirmed by leading Islamic jurists through fiqh (the detailed interpretations of Shariah law), a Muslim may not sell or conduct transactions involving “impure” merchandise.  Shariah law includes wine and pigs in the “impure” category and an additional prohibition against animal breeding (the sperm of stallions). The accuracy of these prohibitions has been attested to by the leading authority on Shariah finance in the U.S.

Can Ms. Ali fairly represent the TN Pork Producers and Jack Daniels Whiskies?  Is she the ONLY possible choice for ECD’s International Director?  She is if the goal is to pursue Shariah compliant transactions with the Arabic Gulf states.

The reason Shariah Compliant Finance (SCF) has been nicknamed as “the Trojan Horse of Shariah” is because SCF transactions are designed first and foremost, to promote and insinuate Shariah law into non-Muslim countries. 

Governor Haslam is following the example of Illinois Governor Quinn – first set up the Muslim Advisory Council with folks tied to Muslim Brotherhood organizations, and then work to expand trade with the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries.  The next step will be to appoint a Governor’s liaison to the Muslim community since Governor Quinn has been the first in the country to establish this office.

Tennessee has already exported goods such as cars to Saudi Arabia. Oman and Jordan have been identified among the  “Fastest Changing Export Destinations” (meaning potential increase in export.)  Shouldn’t the Governor be asking at what cost to Tennesseans in the end and aren’t all Tennessee producers entitled to equal representation by the International Director?

Potential markets and potential job expansion aside, does the Governor appreciate the course he is charting for Tennessee – embracing one aspect of Shariah and Islamist activists will make it practically impossible to deny the encroachment of political Shariah emerging in other states and other non-Muslim majority countries.

Aren’t all Tennesseans entitled to a Governor who is truthful about his intentions?