Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Renewable energy financing made Shari'ah-compliant and other news

Doha Bank in Qatar is planning a $1 billion sukuk to finance renewable energy. The is one of the first cases I have seen where Shari'ah-compliant financing has been used for the finance of renewable energy, but an area that has great potential for Islamic finance.

A Medill Reports story about Islamic finance and the above average performance by Islamic mutual funds today. One paragraph was unusual and I think missed something in the ellipsis used in the quoted text:
"Murabaha, an Islamic money market instrument, allows Islamic investors to participate in a wider range of funds because rather than using interest, it sets an agreed-upon value. 'Say I hand you a dollar,' [Shari'ah Capital Managing Director and Treasurer William] Redman explains, 'Let’s agree that in a year’s time, my dollar will be repaid to me as $1.05. That’s perfectly legal… because we agreed on the value.'"

The murabaha contract is not a loan of money with deferred repayment of an amount greater than the principal amount, it is a sale with markup, a subtle difference which is pivotal for the contract's Shari'ah-compliance.

Islamic investment funds are mostly headquartered in the GCC countries with only 5% in the U.S. and 2% in the U.K.

Pervez Said, Head of Islamic Banking at the State Bank of Pakistan, the country's central bank, believes that Islamic banks must work with the central bank to develop Baitul Maal certificates (Islamic Treasury bills) in order to help Islamic banks manage liquidity needs.

Delegates at the World Islamic Infrastructure Finance Conference (WIIFC) predict larger transaction sizes of sukuk in the future following strong growth in sukuk issuance since 2006. 54 percent of sukuk issued in the third quarter of 2007 were denominated in Malaysian ringgit.

Kuwait Finance House (Malaysia) will expand treasury management products into Brunei.

More development of Shari'ah-compliant structured products. Meanwhile, Islamic investing is still taking its first steps in India.

Al Salam Bank-Bahrain CEO Yousif Taqi believes Islamic finance has done well coping with current developments in the financial markets.


Anonymous said...

here we go, giving in the enemy and becoming Dhimmi's. Your blog will be axed under Sharia law.

Anonymous said...

Counterterrorismblog: Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal, and Islamist Financing
November 15, 2007 by Christine | 910 Group | 02:09:52 | |
From the Counterterrorismblog, a comprehensive look at the rapid infiltration of shariah finance into the United States financial systems:

Dow Jones, Wall Street Journal, and Islamist Financing
By Jeffrey Imm

On November 18, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), published by Dow Jones, is sponsoring a conference in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on “Islamic and Ethical Finance” to “examine the huge opportunities presented by this high-growth sector”. The Wall Street Journal’s “Chief Shariah Officer” for this November 18 conference is Shaykh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo, who has worked for the pro-Wahhabist International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) organization and who was secretary of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) beginning in 1989. IIIT was named in a May 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum as one of the Muslim Brotherhood’s like-minded “organizations of our friends.” The Investigative Project has linked members of the FCNA to Islamist extremism and terrorism.

The Dow Jones Company provides a Dow Jones Islamic Market and a Dow Jones Islamic Fund (IMANX). The Dow Jones Islamic Fund is managed by Allied Asset Advisors, a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). NAIT is a venture of HLF trial unindicted co-conspirator Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Regarding NAIT, Newsweek has reported that “authorities say NAIT has long been a funnel for Saudi and other gulf money seeking to spread an often anti-American brand of Islamic fundamentalism in American mosques from southern California to South Carolina — a little-noted movement financed by Saudi billions over the past 40 years.”

Among the Dow Jones’ “Shari’ah Supervisory Board” is Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, who has been recently reported in the London Times as supporting aggressive Jihad against non-Muslim nations, where the London Times summarized his views as “[o]ur followers ‘must live in peace until strong enough to wage jihad’”. Dow Jones’ advisor Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani’s support of Jihad is not new. His book “Islam aur Jidat Pasandi (Islam and Modernism)” has been widely read among Islamists for years, and Chapter 11 of this book, “Aggressive and Defensive Jehad”, clearly demonstrates this Dow Jones’ advisor’s support for aggressive Jihad. Per the London Times, Dow Jones’ advisor Mufti Usmani is a Deobandi cleric and a former shariah judge from Pakistan. The Wall Street Journal’s Chief Shariah Advisor Yusuf Talal Delorenzo also has experience with the Pakistan government, and was former Advisor on Islamic Affairs to the Government of Pakistan.

While the Wall Street Journal has recently published articles with criticism of politicians who link Islam to terrorism, the Wall Street Journal’s financial reporting on Shariah finance seems to show no understanding of the political ideology of Islamism. An August 9, 2007 Wall Street Journal article clearly states WSJ’s view of Shariah as “Islamic law” which “stems from the Quran and subsequent interpretations by scholars”. Neither the Wall Street Journal nor Dow Jones addresses the role of Shariah as part of the Islamist political ideology, or the role of Islamist political ideology in promoting Jihad. The WSJ and Dow Jones efforts are effectively legitimizing the political Islamist ideology by defining Shariah as “Islamic law” and developing financial vehicles based on that ideology — one that is not shared by Muslims that view Shariah law as neither “Islamic” nor compatible with the norms of modern society.

Alex Alexiev, Vice President of Research at the Center for Security Policy, points out that Shariah law is not “Islamic law”, except as interpreted by Islamists. In his article “Islamic Finance or Financing Islam?”, Alex Alexiev states “shariah is mostly a post-Quranic, man-made medieval doctrine that is almost completely at odds with modern norms of human rights, political freedoms and international relations… and [s]hariah doctrine, though claiming to be derived from the Quran, is thus a politicized interpretation of the Muslim scriptures and other non-revealed sources” [Alexiev article, page