6 Dec 2012
If you know anyone at all who works in the 'money' area (whether they be a public service employee in, for example, the Tax Office, or a humble bank teller or suburban accountant or a journalist for a paper like the 'Financial Review', or whether they be right at the top, a stockbroker or a CEO) it would be worth your while to give them a copy of Canon Dr Patrick Sookhdeo's excellent booklet, 'Understanding Shari'a Finance: the Muslim Challenge to Western Economics'. It may keep them from being suckered as they are increasingly exposed to Muslim da'wa in the shape of the promotion of 'sharia finance'.
Likewise: every Treasurer and Shadow Treasurer or Finance Minister within the governments of our various countries, should be sent the same book, so that it is on their desk, ready to be consulted as required.
It is not intimidatingly long, and it is easy to read; it might even be comprehensible for busy executives and politicians.
And appendix 5, 'shari'a', pulls no punches. Islam is all of a piece; 'shari'a finance', deceptively presented as a branch of 'ethical investment', is anything but, as Sookhdeo explains in a section which with dry understatement is entitled 'Five main areas in which shari'a is incompatible with human rights'.
It may be time, and past time, for informed Islamosavvy customers to be pressuring banks and building societies within the Western world - and beyond it - to refrain from dabbling in shari'a finance in any way, shape or form; and if they are already ensnared, to extricate themselves or risk losing their non-Muslim customers to those institutions that are not thus ensnared.
It would be good to start compiling a list of such financial institutions - are there some? - that are NOT yet involved with 'shari'a finance', so that the Islamosavvy know where to invest their savings, super, etc; and to communicate with such, most emphatically, and encourage them to remain shari'a-free and shari'a- NON-compliant.
If one has a piggery or a winery or a brewery, one should certainly steer clear of any bank that has gotten into 'shari'a finance'; for shari'a regards a business based on pork or alcohol as immoral and illegal.
Further: things have reached such a pass that it may be necessary for NON-shari'a-compliant financial institutions (a bank, a cooperative, a building society) to be created from scratch. Question: are there Israeli Jewish banks and building societies (or the equivalent) that are shari'a-free, and would offer a refuge for those who wish to invest their money out of reach of Shari'a Creep?