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MCC asks CMHC to drop $100,000 study to introduce Islamic banking in Canada
TORONTO - The Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC) has asked the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to abandon its $100,000 study to introduce so-called Islamic Banking in Canada, saying there should be no room in Canada for Saudi inspired Islamist political doctrines dressed up as innocuous religious requirements.
In a letter to Karen Kinsley, Chief Executive Officer of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the president of the Muslim Canadian Congress Farzana Hassan said, "Islamic Banking is nothing more than an attempt by Islamists, with backing from Middle Eastern Financial Institutions and their Western partners, to scare Muslim Canadians into believing that they should pay more to the banks and demand less in return as an act of religiosity. "
"Sharia Banking is an obscene attempt to fleece an already marginalized Muslim community while promising them the exact opposite. On the one hand Imams are warning Muslims of hellfire if they deal with the existing banking systems, and on the other the same clerics are being paid by banks to herd Muslims towards a system that is based on lies and deception.
What we need is a better deal from the banks for all Canadians, rather than dividing us up into religious groups and pacing obstacles in the way of better integration of all Canadians. Our banking system has developed in Canada over the last 200 years, and there is no need to adapt it to the failed economies and medieval systems modeled on Saudi Arabia and Iran," added Ms. Hassan.
In the letter, Ms Hassan said it was unfortunate that some Canadian Banks are succumbing to the lure of easy money that comes from supposed interest-free banking where customers receive zero interest on their deposits while paying more to the banks. "While the banks and their paid Imams and sheiks will make handsome returns, Muslim Canadians will end up as losers, with promises of rewards in the afterlife," she wrote.
"Religion has no place in the banking or mortgage industry and banks should desist from employing imams or sheikhs who sanctify so called Islamic bank products and mortgages. We are not living in the middle ages to get our financial cues from clerics claiming guidance from the divine," she added.
Explaining the deceptive workings of interest-free Sharia banking, as practised by Saudi and other Islamic banks, Ms Hassan said: "Muslim bankers and their hired clerics claim they indulge in interest-free banking, but in reality they hide this interest. So-called Islamic banking institutions claim they operate on "zero interest." However, the fundamental characteristic of charging interest is never truly eliminated in Islamic banking, but rather is hidden.
The MCC president referred the CMHC president to Muhammad Saleem, a former president and CEO of Park Avenue Bank in New York, who has written a book, Islamic Banking — A $300 Billion Deception. Mr. Saleem, who was a senior banker with Bankers Trust where, among other responsibilities, he headed the Middle East division and served as adviser to a prominent Islamic bank based in Bahrain, dismisses the founding premise of Islamic banking, saying, "Islamic banks do not practise what they preach: they all charge interest, but disguised in Islamic garb. Thus they engage in deceptive and dishonest banking practises."
The MCC president also referred the CMHC CEO to another critic of Islamic banking, professor Timur Kuran, who taught Islamic Thought at the University of Southern California, and who has authored, Islam and Mam-mon: The Economic Predicaments of Islamism, Prof. Kuran writes that the effort to introduce sharia banking "has promoted the spread of anti-modern currents of thought all across the Islamic world. It has also fostered an environment conducive to Islamist militancy."
Two other academics who have studied the phenomenon have reached similar conclusions. New Zealand business professors, Beng Soon Chong and Ming-Hua Liu of Auck-land University, in an October, 2007 study on the growth of Islamic banking in Malaysia, wrote: "Our study, however, provides new evidence, which shows that, in practise, Islamic deposits are not interest-free. " They concluded that the rapid growth in Islamic banking was "largely driven by the Islamic resurgence worldwide."
In the letter the MCC president said, an additional and related byproduct of Islamic finance is the legitimization and financial support by Western institutions for the type of radical Islamic scholarship and indoctrination. The need to certify shari’a-compliance of their Islamic products by "qualified shari’a scholars" has created demand for the services of experts that more often than not are the indoctrinated products of radical Wahhabi/Salafi shari’a faculties in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, who generally hold views fundamentally inimical to the most ba-sic values of Western civilization.
Even a cursory look at the names, affiliations and views of popular shari’a scholars, such as Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani, Sheikh Mohamed Ali Elgari, Faysal Mawlawi, Sheikh Nizam Yaquby, Suleyman al-Maniya and others , many of whom sit on the shari’a advisory boards of dozens of Islamic banks and get paid princely sums from each, would make it clear that most are hard line Islamists and, in at least some cases, open supporters of terrorism. She informed the CMHC CEO that Mr. Qaradawi, a prominent Muslim Brotherhood ideologue, for instance, is chairman of the shari’a boards of the two Qatari Islamic banks owned by the ruling families among many others.
In another example, Muhammad Taqi Usmani, a radical Deobandi cleric and a former shari’a court member from Pakistan, who sits on dozens of shari’a boards in the West, is a key executive in the Karachi Deobandi ma-drassa Darul Uloom, which has trained and continues to train thousands of Taliban and jihadist cadres. He was also instrumental in the Pakistani government decision to declare the Ahmadi Muslims apostates and thus com-plicit in the murder and suffering of countless innocent Muslims. He is further on record preaching that Muslims living in the West "must live in peace until strong enough to wage Jihad’ against their fellow-citizens in order "to establish the supremacy of Islam."
The same is true about many of the trustees of various Islamic banking insti-tutions. The Dow Jones Islamic Fund (IMANX), for example, is owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) - a Saudi-controlled non-profit institution that holds title to hundreds of American mosques – which was recently listed by the US Dept of Justice as an unindicted co-conspirator in a terrorism financing trial in Dal-las, Texas.
"We urge the CMHC to not proceed any further with their ill advised initiative to promote Islamic banking in Canada. A crown corporation should not be a party to any venture that strengthens the jihadi movement and leads to the segregation of Muslims from the mainstream," Ms. Hassan added.
A copy of the letter was sent to Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development who is responsible for the CMHC.
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