Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Sharia banking in the UK, do any of them have the slightest understanding of what they are doing?"

Melanie Phillips: "As Britain’s government and banks congratulate themselves on the stunning growth of sharia banking in the UK, do any of them have the slightest understanding of what they are doing?"

Original article
"Cheer up – we’re about to be bought up by the Islamic world."

"Britain's a world-leader in sharia banking - but we haven't grasped the sinister and dangerous implications," by Melanie Phillips for the Mail Online, February 10:

Worried that Britain is going bankrupt? Cheer up – we’re about to be bought up by the Islamic world.

A report by International Financial Services London reveals that Britain’s Islamic banking sector is now bigger than that of Pakistan.

The study says that the UK has by far the largest number of banks for Muslims of any western country.

The UK now has five fully ‘sharia-compliant’ banks – providing products which prohibit interest payments and investment in alcohol or gambling firms in accordance with Islamic sharia law – while another 17 leading institutions including Barclays, RBS and Lloyds Banking Group have set up special branches or subsidiary firms for Muslim clients.

The $18billion (£12bn) in assets of Britain’s Islamic banks are said to dwarf those of Muslim states such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and Egypt. And there are also 55 colleges and professional institutions offering education in Islamic finance in Britain – more than anywhere else in the world.

This development has been actively pushed by the government. When he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown declared that he wanted London to become the global centre of Islamic banking. You can obviously see the attraction, especially in these straightened times. But the only thing our politicians and bankers appear to see is the seductive prospect of trillions of pound and dollar signs dancing before their bedazzled eyes.

What they refuse to acknowledge is the real price that is to be paid for this. They don’t understand that the spread of sharia banking in Britain and America is a significant part of the attempt to Islamise Britain and America. Acceptance of sharia finance furthers the Islamist objective of gradually legitimising Islamic sharia law more generally in the west.

The point which is being missed is that all who use it must conform to the dictates of sharia law. Sharia financial institutions may not be making this clear now – they don’t want to frighten people away – but at some point that IOU of sharia-compliance will be called in. This is how sharia-compliance will be spread to both the Muslim and non-Muslim population.

Any Western institution that endorses sharia-compliant products therefore effectively endorses the extremist ideology behind it of conquering the west for Islam, whether it knows it or not.

The most important point to grasp is that Islam recognises no authority superior to sharia. Sharia banks will therefore not recognise the superior authority of the law of the land. When trillions of pounds and dollars are locked into them, who will argue with them?

Even more troubling is the potential cover provided by sharia finance for the financing of terrorism. Sharia requires Muslims to tithe a percentage of their money to charity, called ‘zakat’.

But charity in Islam is more like solidarity. So some of this money donated to Islamic charities may well find its way to organisations promoting jihad and supporting suicide bombing including Hamas, Hezbollah, the families of Palestinian suicide bombers and Islamist madrassas in places like Pakistan. [...]

As Britain’s government and banks congratulate themselves on the stunning growth of sharia banking in the UK, do any of them have the slightest understanding of what they are doing?

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