THE British Government will be capitulating to Islamic religious law if they change the current financial regulations to accommodate Shari'ah Finance and issue sukuk bonds, following recommended changes to the Legislative Framework for the Regulation of Alternative Finance Investment Bonds (Sukuk) as proposed.
Christian Concern for our Nation and the Christian Legal Centre, in a written submission to the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority, give what they describe as a 'prophetic warning' over what could radically change the fundamental basis of British society through its financial regulation.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, Barrister and Director of the two organisations, said: "The accommodation of Shari'ah Compliant Finance by the British Government represents a capitulation to Islamic religious law. The Shari'ah scholars who mastermind this kind of finance desire to see the Islamisation of the UK and its submission to Shari'ah Law.
The authority given to Shari'ah scholars by financial institutions and the plans announced by the Authorities to appoint such clerics to advise them shows just how far adrift we have sailed as a nation from tolerance, via multiculturalism to accommodation and soon to subjugation."
Mrs. Williams has reminded the Treasury that in 2003, the European Court of Human Rights found that Shari'ah Law: "...was incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy as set forth in the Convention. It considered that 'sharia, which faithfully reflects the dogmas and divine rules laid down by religion, is stable and invariable. Principles such as pluralism in the political sphere or the constant evolution of public freedoms have no place in it'.
According to the Court, it was difficult to declare one's respect for democracy and human rights while at the same time supporting a regime based on shari'ah, which clearly diverged from Convention values, particularly with regard to its criminal law and criminal procedure, its rules on the legal status of women and the way it intervened in all spheres of private and public life in accordance with religious precepts.
In October last year, the House of Lords also found Shari'ah Law to be incompatible with human rights, stating that it was 'arbitrary and discriminatory'.
Muhammad Taqi Usmani, a 'Godfather' of Islamic Finance, was quoted in The Times in September 2007 as saying that Muslims should wage jihad in "to establish the supremacy of Islam" worldwide. This includes jihad bi l mal, or jihad through financial activities.
The Government has publicised its support for Islamic or 'Shari'ah-Compliant' Finance (hereinafter 'SCF' or 'Islamic Finance') and has stated its intention to facilitate the growth of the sector so that London remains Europe's gateway to international Islamic finance. The Government has already passed a number of enactments and laid several sets of regulations in order to create a 'level playing field' in tax and regulatory law for Islamic products vis-à-vis conventional ones.
HM Treasury and the Financial Services Authority are currently seeking to establish how best to regulate an issue by the British Government of sukuk, or Islamic bonds. They say that these bonds share the legal framework of collective investment schemes, yet mirror debt securities or asset-backed securities in economic substance.
The Authorities believe that issuing such bonds and thus accommodating Shari'ah Finance will be of benefit to society as a whole, will increase liquidity for the Treasury and will enable Muslims to be financially enfranchised.
For further information:
Andrea Minichiello Williams
Director CCFON & CLC
(020) 7467 5427 and (07712) 591164
CCFON/CLC submitted their response to the consultation on 4th March highlighting the following concerns:
1. Shari'ah-Compliant Finance was invented by the terrorist organisation, the Muslim Brotherhood, in the 1920's as a means of waging financial jihad against Western nations with the ultimate aim of undermining Western capital markets and Islamising Western nations. To accommodate it is therefore to hasten the demise of this nation's democracy and the introduction of all parts of Shari'ah Law.
2. SCF proclaims itself to be ethical due to its supposed avoidance of interest, its contributions to Islamic charities and its refusal to invest in certain 'haram' (forbidden) industries. The reality, however, is that SCF products charge and pay interest and call it by another name; that Islamic charities are often fronts for terrorist organisations and that Islamic finance prohibits investment in anything Western, Christian or Jewish, not just the pork or alcohol industries.
3. Islamic Finance has little to do with the consciences of ordinary Muslims and everything to do with the political ambitions of domination of Islamists; Islam does not oblige Muslims to tell the truth when the cause of Islam is at stake, nor does it oblige Muslims to show any loyalty to non-Muslims. Instead it teaches that the whole world and everything in it belongs to Allah.
4. SCF products cannot be designed or managed by a non-Muslim; instead, each company or Government that wishes to provide Islamic financial products must comply with the directives of a board of Shari'ah scholars known as a Shari'ah Supervisory Board or Committee (hereinafter 'SSB'), thus submitting to the supposedly superior authority and jurisdiction of a group of (usually Islamist) clerics whose extramural activities have often included advocating or sponsoring terrorism.
5. The Government seems unaware of the impossibility of adequately regulating SCF given the lack of standardisation in the industry and the necessity of relying on rulings by religious scholars who are accountable to no-one and who are likely to be hostile to democracy and to transparency.
6. The Government should pay no attention to the advocates of Islamic finance who responded to the previous consultation on sukuk given their financial track record.
7. SCF is a risky form of finance, given that Shariah scholars disagree on which financial instruments are Shari'ah compliant and which are not. Additionally, SCF investments are linked to underlying assets or businesses, whose returns cannot be guaranteed, whilst the capital invested in them remains illiquid (locked up). Further, the capital adequacy weighting required for sukuk is said to be zero. These factors can lead to sudden devaluations in investments and may pose a greater systemic risk than conventional products.
8. Sukuk are a costly form of finance to issue, given that the Treasury will be responsible for the increased costs of regulation and that Government agencies will need to maintain the assets that back these 'bonds' at their own expense.
9. By exempting SCF products from various regulations and taxes, the Government is exercising positive discrimination in favour of Islamic investors and creating loopholes that may be exploited by others.
10. The ownership of Governmental assets will need to be transferred to investors, with all the risks that being indebted to hard-line Muslims might involve.
About CCFON & CLC:
Christian Concern for our Nation (CCFON) is a policy and legal resource centre that identifies changes in policy and law that may affect the Judeo-Christian heritage of this nation. The team of lawyers and advisers at CCFON conduct research into, and campaign on, legislation and policy changes that may affect Christian Freedoms or the moral values of the UK. CCFON serves a mailing list of 25,000 supporters. http://www.ccfon.org
CCFON is linked to a sister and separate organisation, the Christian Legal Centre, which takes up cases affecting Christian freedoms. http://www.christianlegalcentre.com
Websites: www.ccfon.org and www.christianlegalcentre.com
Contact: Andrea Minichiello Williams,
Director, Christian Legal Centre