Militant Islam Monitor > Weblog > Former World Bank and IMF Iqbal Asaria linked to Al Qaeda & Taliban -Did MCB finance chairman use WB/IMF funds for terror?
Former World Bank and IMF Iqbal Asaria linked to Al Qaeda & Taliban -Did MCB finance chairman use WB/IMF funds for terror?
August 4, 2005
MIM: It should come as no surprise that the knighthood of the head of the Muslim Council of Britain Iqbal Sacranie who advocated for Bin Laden's entry into the UK in 1996, the MCB finance chairman Iqbal Asaria,Al Qaeda webmaster who worked on World Bank projects, would make the Queen's list. Asaria is the webmaster of webstar and the website of the CDLR - The Commitee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights and MIRA The Movement for Islamic Reform, both of which were cited by the US Department of Treasury for ties to Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Economist Iqbal Asaria is also involved with projects funded by the World Bank which means that World Bank funding could be going to Al Qaeda. Asaria's associations include the domain registration of Yusuf Islam's terrorist 'charity' funding front Muslim Aid (which was cited by Spanish police as funding muhajideen Al Qaeda recruits in Bosnia), and his participation in World Bank funded 'poverty eradication' projects which are targetted to span the next decades. http://www.webstar.co.uk/~musnews/paper/index.php?article=1809
Which begs the question as to if the new World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz will put an end to Asaria'a association with the group and request that 'Al Haj' Mohamed IqbalAsaria be prosecuted for his ties to Bin Laden associate Saad Al Fagih,as distributor of his publications and role as ISP provider to the CDLR/MIRA and other Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.( Asaria also hosts the websites of Salaam.org.. Jihad.org., and Ummah.org.)
Iqbal Asaria has been at the forefront of getting major banks such as the HSBC to establish a shari'a financial division claiming that Muslims were having problems with their conscience regarding the Islamic prohibitions of paying interest on loans. In reality his pushing to bring shari'a banking into the UK mainstream is part of an economic Jihad - in preparation for the Islamisation of Britain, i.e. changing the United Kingdom into the United Khalifate. A recent program on the subject stated that:
'The requirements of Shariah law can also be attractive to clients, regardless of their religious background'.
Iqbal Asaria Financial Times, London December 8, 2001
"For Iqbal Asaria, a Ugandan-born economist, the fatal undermining of the west has been the betrayal of its own liberal and democratic promise: 'People everywhere want certain aspects of living better. But if you offer them despotic systems as a way of modernising then they will sooner or later rebel. Muslims are able to live with modern constitutional orders provided they have a say'."
MIM: Bio info on Asaria on the website of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister describes him as " a former advisor to the World Bank and the IMF".
"...Iqbal Asaria, Chair of the Muslim Council of Britain's Business & Economics Committee, former adviser to the IMF and World Bank, and served on the Bank of England working party which developed ways to incorporate into UK law the changes required to allow a level playing field for Shari'a compliant finance products..." -----------------------------------------------
British Muslim in Queen's honours list
M Iqbal Asaria, special adviser to the Muslim Council of Britain on Business & Economic Affairs, has been awarded a CBE in the Queen's New Year Honours List for services to International Development.
Iqbal, an economist by training, has had several years' experience in this field. For many years he was an associate of the Third World Network (TWN). In this capacity he served on the Non Aligned Movement's Expert Group on Debt. He was also the TWN's representative on the World Bank NGO Committee. He served as the chairman of the World Bank NGO Committee for three years.
As Chair of the MCB's Business and Economics Committee, Iqbal was appointed to the Department for International Development's (DFID) Development Awareness Working Group (DAWG). This initiative was responsible for initiating the DFID's "Faith & Development" programme. Iqbal drafted the MCB and Muslim Charities booklet on the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.
Presently, Iqbal is working on furthering the faith communities engagement in development and the achievement of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals. Iqbal is also a member of the Governor of Bank of England's Working Group on facilitating the introduction of Islamic Financial Products in the UK market. Following upon the initiative of the Working Group the UK market has now seen the introduction of Islamic Home Finance products and the granting of a license to the Islamic Bank of Britain. Iqbal Asaria is a committed Muslim with roots in Gujarat. http://www.milligazette.com/Archives/2005/16-31Jan05-Print-Edition/163101200557.htm
MIM: The now defunct MIRA website which 'disappeared' after the US Treasury Department head Stuart Levey declared both MIRA and CDLR a terrorist entity whose head Saud Al Fagih was directly linked to Bin Laden shows that MCB finance and economics chairman Iqbal Asaria was the distributor of MIRA's information and that his internet hosting company webstar.co.uk was behind the MIRA/CDLR website.
The Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA)
Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA), London, GB
The homepage of the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA), "MIRA seeks major reforms in Arabia; in particular, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and the abolition of the Secret Police units subverting political movements and activity." The pages contain the information about aims, objectives and history of the movement, general information about Saudi Arabia, links to Saudi Arabia related online publications and web sites.
The U.S Department of the Treasury today designated the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA), a U.K.-based Saudi oppositionist organization, for providing material support to al Qaida. MIRA is run by al Qaida-affiliated Saad al-Faqih, who was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 by the Treasury on December 21, 2004 and is named on the United Nations 1267 Committee consolidated list of terrorists tied to al Qaida, UBL and the Taliban.
"Al-Faqih uses MIRA to facilitate al Qaida's operations," said Stuart Levey, the Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI). "Designating MIRA will help stem the flow of funds to the organization and put the world on notice of its support for al Qaida."
Under his ideological and operational control, MIRA is the main vehicle al-Faqih uses to propagate support for the al Qaida network. MIRA's 1995 founding statement explicitly states that the organization is not limited to peaceful means in the pursuit of its objectives. According to information available to the U.S. Government, while head of MIRA, al-Faqih assumed the role of the al Qaida spokesperson in London following the arrest of senior Egyptian Islamic Jihad terrorist Yassir al-Sirri in 2001.
Information shows that statements on the MIRA website, including messages from Usama bin Laden and Abu Mus'ab al Zarqawi, are intended to provide ideological and operational support to al Qaida affiliated networks and potential recruits. According to recent information available to the U.S. Government, a senior al Qaida operative in Saudi Arabia sent articles to al-Faqih who then posted them to the MIRA website under the al Qaida operative's pennames.
In 2003, MIRA and Faqih received approximately $1 million in funding through Abdulrahman Alamoudi. According to information available to the U.S. Government, the September 2003 arrest of Alamoudi was a severe blow to al Qaida, as Alamoudi had a close relationship with al Qaida and had raised money for al Qaida in the United States. In a 2004 plea agreement, Alamoudi admitted to his role in an assassination plot targeting the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia and is currently serving a 23 year sentence.
Al-Faqih has maintained associations with the al Qaida network since the mid-1990s, including with Khaled al Fawwaz, who acted as UBL's de facto representative in the United Kingdom and was associated with the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings. At the U.S. trial of the East African embassy bombers, prosecutors provided evidence that MIRA and al-Faqih paid for a satellite phone that al Fawwaz passed on to UBL, who allegedly used it to help carry out the attacks.
MIRA was designated under Executive Order 13224 for providing financial and/or material support to al Qaida.
Identifying Information Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia
AKAs: Al-Harakat Al-Islamiyah lil-Islah Al Islah (Reform) Islamic Movement for Reform MIRA Movement for Reform In Arabia
Address: BM Box: MIRA London WC1N 3XX, United Kingdom
"...Now the Treasury will have to deal with Islamic mortgages Islam forbids charging or receiving interest, so many have to pay extra to own their own home, reports William Kay. Now the Government is being asked to relax rules for their religion..."
On Wednesday a deputation of leading Muslims, accompanied by Andrew Buxton, former head of Barclays Bank, will call on Ruth Kelly, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, to press the case for the rules to be relaxed so Islamic mortgages to be issued on the same basis as their western counterparts. With Mr Buxton will be Dr Pasha, head of the Union of Muslim Organisations, Iqbal Asaria of the Muslim Communities of Britain, and Iqbal Khan, head of Amanah finances at the HSBC bank.
Iqbal Asaria of the MCB's Business and Economics Committee is part of a working party convened by the Governor of the Bank of England and chaired by Andrew Buxton, former Charman of Barclays Bank. This working party is liaising with different government departments to work out ways to incorporate into UK law and procedures the changes required to allow a level playing field for Shari'a compliant finance products, including home purchase.
One of the key changes required is to the way stamp duty is levied at present. Iqbal Asaria participated in the working party's meeting on Wednesday 16 October with the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Ruth Kelly MP to discuss this issue. The Financial Secretary responded positively to the suggestions and proposals of the working party. The Treasury was favourable to receiving proposals relating to the levying of stamp duty for incorporation in the 2003 Finance Bill, parliamentary schedules permitting. In the interim, suggestions for a satisfactory arrangement for avoiding double stamp duty would also be considered.
In addition to the Treasury, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has also indicated that it will consider proposals for modifying the capital reserve ratio requirements for the treatment of Islamic financial products. Iqbal Asaria was also invited to attend the launch of the Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) in Malaysia last week.
MIM: In 1995 Asaria was part of group working with the World Bank to end poverty eradication. At the same time Asaria was working on this project he was the webmaster for Yusuf Islam's terrorist funding 'charity' front Muslim Aid which was accused by the Spanish police of funding an recruiting Al Qaeda Jihad fighters in Bosnia .
MIM: This letter from an employee at the World Bank refers to Iqbal Asaria as ' the working group chair' for the study entitled "The Challenge of Poverty".
/* Written Feb 1, 1995 by gn:ngowg in igc:reg.mexico */ /* ---------- "NGOWG Letter to WBank President" ---------- */ From: Marcos Arruda - Geneva, 27/1/95- n...@gn.apc.org
This is the cover letter to Mr. L. Preston, President of the World Bank, which presents to the Bank the publication of structural adjustment in Mexico and the Working Paper by the NGO Working Group on the World Bank, "The Challenge of Poverty Eradication". The latter text can be obtained from the NGOWG (n...@gn.apc.org).
We are happy to send you and your colleagues three copies of the publication "The Polarization of Mexican Society", A Grassroots View of World Bank Economic Adjustment Policies", produced by Equipo Pueblo/Mexico and Development Gap/USA, on behalf of the NGO Working Group on the World Bank.
This is a popular version of the NGOWG study on structural adjustment in Mexico, discussed with the World Bank in the October 1993 meeting of the NGO-World Bank Committee. It is a timely publication, considering the recent events related to increasing social unrest and the exchange rate crisis in Mexico.
We believe that the Mexican financial crisis is a timely opportunity for the Bank to rethink its structural adjustment policies. In the October 1993 meeting, NGOs and consultants argued, among other things, that the path followed by the Mexican economy was largely financially unsustainable (at least without external backing such as the USA, the $ 6 billion swap loan facility, its collateral in Treasury bonds, and now its $ 40 billion financial aid package). Again, an intervention completely outside the realm of the market. An intervention that, in our view, may rescue the Mexican economy and the NAFTA in the short run, but that will not guarantee the survival of the Mexican model in the longer run, in case its basic policies remain unchanged. Year 1994 has shown that the model is socially dangerous, and the current crisis may indicate that soon it may also prove politically unsustainable. There is still some time to change course. Will the Mexican government have the courage to do so? The Bank can certainly help. And it can also help other countries also to change their course, especially if we take into account that the USA or any other country in the North probably will not be in a position to rescue any other Southern country which may undergo a similar crisis.
In the light of these events, we believe that it is proper for us to point out once more the value for the Bank of its interaction with NGOs in the context of the NGO-World Bank Committee.
We are also taking the opportunity to send you the final version of the Working Group's Working Paper "The Challenge of Poverty Eradication". The official Working Group paper, "The World Bank - The Next Fifty Years: an NGO Perspective", will soon be sent to you by the Working Group Chair Iqbal Asaria.
Warm regards and best wishes for the new year,
. Equipo Pueblo/DGap/NGOWG - "The Polarization of Mexican Society" - 3 copies
. NGOWG - "The Challenge of Poverty Eradication".
MIM: Shortly after 9/11 Iqbal Asaria met with World Bank President Wolfensohn at Downing Street. Al Qaeda operative Asaria cynically voiced the concern that 'eradicating poverty was contigent on good government- which might be over ridden by security concerns' as a result of the terrorist attacks in the US.
Reports and Committee Updates
Meeting at HM Treasury
Iqbal Asaria, Chair of the Business and Economics Committee attended a Breakfast Seminar at 11 Downing Street on Tuesday November 13th. Other parties invited to the seminar were non-governmental organisations, faith groups, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr George Carey and the President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn.
The seminar, called by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown and Secretary of State for International Development, Rt. Hon. Clare Short, was organised to discuss the need to revive 2015 targets of reducing world poverty and the need to increase aid budgets with a renewal of the commitment of 0.7% of GDP. The participation of faith and other groups in the developmental process was also discussed and approved
Iqbal Asaria raised his concerns over the credibility of achieving the 2015 targets given current practices. He argued that reducing poverty was contingent on good governance a factor that may be overridden by security concerns in an anxious post-September 11th world.
Other matters discussed included Chancellor Gordon Brown raising the possibility of the MCB Business and Economics committee taking some initiative on social exclusion and the postponed launch of the MCB/ DFID booklet being reinvigorated; tentative date is after Ramadhan. http://www.mcb.org.uk/mcbnewsletter3.html
MIM: Asaria compares global anarchist and animal rights terrorism to Muslim investors who want shari'a lending provisions.
What have Islamic economics, animal rights protesters, social justice activists and ethical investors got in common? M Iqbal Asaria highlights the links.
The social justice protesters who disrupted gatherings of leaders of the industrial world in Seattle, Genoa and Quebec have highlighted on the international stage a growing unease with the operations of unfettered markets. For protesters the present arrangement perpetuates gross global inequity, made worse by rampant globalization.
In Britain, and on a somewhat smaller scale, the drama of Huntingdon Life Sciences was unfolding. As a leading user of live animals for experiments, this scientific research company fell foul of animal rights activists. During a sustained campaign, protesters were able to cut off all sources of bank finance to the company. Huntingdon Life Sciences had to move its operational headquarters from Britain to the US and rely on funding from non-banking sources.
This was a dramatic illustration of banks bowing to pressure from the providers of their funds – the general public. Similarly, the Bank of Scotland was forced to withdraw from a deal with the US televangelist Pat Robertson because of his extreme right-wing views. The embarrassing about-turn was forced on the bank by its shareholders and depositors.
These developments, illustrating shifts in public perception about how economies and businesses operate, provide parallels with the ideals of Islamic economics and finance. Like the social justice protesters, Muslim economists see the dominant economic structure as intrinsically unjust and biased towards the industrialized countries of the North. Islamic economics challenges the prevailing dogma of free markets and seeks to introduce regulatory regimes to safeguard public interest. Moreover, it questions the absolute freedom of financial intermediaries to provide funding for operations with no regard for moral and ethical criteria and without taking into account the wishes of the providers of the funds.
The basic ideas of Islamic economics have emerged since its academic and intellectual foundations were developed in the 1970s and 1980s. Today, it is a global movement aiming to provide Muslims with alternative banking and financial arrangements where ethical considerations are paramount.
Economic teachings of Islam are simple but profound. Islam regards usury of all kind as anathema and thus forbids all transactions involving interest payments. Making money out of money is prohibited; as are monopoly and raising prices by artificial means such as hoarding. While ownership of private property is allowed, the accumulation of wealth in fewer and fewer hands is strictly forbidden. This is why the Islamic inheritance laws are designed to redistribute wealth; and ownership of land beyond an individual's or family's capacity to handle is discouraged.
In Muslim societies the injunction of Zakat provides a vital mechanism for addressing social welfare issues. Zakat is normally translated as ‘poor tax' – but it is not charity that the rich give to the poor. It is the right of the poor and a duty of the rich. Thus, all Muslims are required to give away at least 2.5 per cent of their total annual income to the poor and the needy as Zakat. As the principle is well established, contemporary Muslim economists have argued for it to be institutionalized, with even higher rates of giving. A social welfare state is therefore not alien to Muslim economic thinking.
So Muslim societies should have a much more equitable ethos than they actually do. There are a number of reasons why they fall short. One reason is that Islamic economic injunctions have only existed in theory and have never actually been put into practice. Instead, Muslim countries have tended to embrace Western development policies uncritically. However, there are signs that the Islamic ethos is slowly gaining ground. We can see that most clearly in the area of banking and finance.
Ways of lending Islamic banks can be compared with ethical investments which incorporate the desire of the providers of the funds to have a say in how their money is used. Some funds do not invest in companies which deal in tobacco or military hardware or which exploit their workforce. Others only invest in corporations that meet certain environmental criteria.
Islamic finance has a similar rationale. Indeed, in some respects it goes further, being concerned not just with what kind of activities are being financed but also with the way in which they are funded. Muslims are encouraged to invest in ‘permissible' (Halal) activities via ‘permissible' means. This means that not only will they avoid corporations connected with, say, alcohol or gambling or exploitation, but they also will not deal with those involved in usury – which obviously includes conventional banks.
In practice this is less dramatic than it sounds. Muslims still make everyday transactions like investing their surplus funds, house-buying, and taking out loans and working capital for their businesses. And for investment purposes Islamic financial institutions employ criteria similar to those used by the ethical investment funds. The big difference comes in the way they lend, both for personal finance and business purposes. In simple terms, lenders enter into risk-sharing contracts with borrowers; return is based on the outcome of the venture or investment, rather than a predetermined rate.
The principle of risk sharing can have far-reaching implications. For risks to be shared borrowers have to be willing to provide much more information about their situation than conventional banks would normally seek. It will include confirmation that the funds are to be deployed in permissible activities, as well as transparency in reporting financial information about the progress of the business or project for which the money has been borrowed.
Equity and inequity To ensure that their principles are not compromised many Islamic financial institutions have a Shari'ah (Islamic Law) Supervisory Board of Advisors. This is usually a body of qualified Muslim jurists well versed in commerce who vet all new transactions and structuring of deals.
Over the last three decades Islamic banking and finance has grown manifold in Muslim communities. In Malaysia, for example, about five per cent of all banking transactions are conducted by Islamic Financial Institutions. This is set to rise to 10 per cent by 2005. A full range of banking products are available to customers from Bank Islam Malaysia or the ‘Islamic Banking' counters of all the major banks. The set-up is fully regulated by the Central Bank of Malaysia and Islamic financial products seem to exist side by side with more conventional ones, without problems. Similar moves are afoot in countries such as Pakistan, Egypt and the Gulf States. Malaysian and Middle Eastern corporations have also begun to raise long- and medium-term finance by issuing shari'ah-compliant bonds.
In other parts of the Muslim world, Islamic equity investment funds have mushroomed. Very much like ethical funds, these restrict their portfolios to approved corporations, based on criteria devised by their Shari'ah Supervisory Boards. An increasing number of Muslim investors are channelling their savings through these funds. There is even a Dow Jones Islamic Index measuring their performance.
In Britain and the US, Muslim communities have started to experiment with saving and mortgage products which meet the stipulations of the shari'ah. In the US, the Islamic housing finance company Lariba has had its funding augmented by Freddy Mac, the leading mainstream provider of housing funds. In Britain, I-Hilal and Parsoli have started to market shari'ah-compliant Individual Savings Accounts or ISAs.
Indeed, as a recent survey by business information company Datamonitor concludes: ‘The market for Islamic (shari'ah-compliant) finance in Britain is set to grow hugely. A huge gap exists for shari'ah-compliant equity and mortgage products. Muslims have historically been underserved by financial institutions, but this is set to change.'
Like the ethical investment movement, Islamic economics will in time help ‘persuade' the big financial players to pay far more heed to their customers' views and it will become easier to incorporate social and ethical criteria.
Admittedly, there are a host of external and internal realities which impinge upon the way Islamic financial bodies are organized. But as the move towards more representative societies gathers pace, principles and instruments of Islamic economics will spread far and wide.
In this endeavour Muslims will be in good company. The escalation of protest against global inequity and the growth of the ethical investment movement will provide platforms for like-minded players from across faith and ideological boundaries to come together.
M Iqbal Asaria is an economist, writer and internet service provider.
MIM: Iqbal Asaria was also the publisher and distributor of two Islamist magazines Inquiry and The Crescent .
"...The Canadian Islamic Congress is the same organization that was linked to the Islamist publication Crescent International in the National Post article, "Call to Jihad from a Markham strip mall" (April 6, 2002). The Crescent glorifies Hezbollah and Hamas, two of the most murderous terrorist organizations active today, promotes present-day Iran as the ideal society and calls for the destruction of Israel and the expulsion of its Jewish population..." http://www.cjc.ca/template.php?action=news&story=14
"..The English-language publication fawns over Iran's fundamentalist regime, reprints verbatim the communiques of Palestinian terrorists and describes Osama bin Laden in terms that are, to put it mildly, understanding. Its founder Dr. Kalim Siddiqui "saw through the West's self-image to understand its true nature at a time when many Muslims were still besotted with the ideas of democracy, universal values and the possibilities offered by working within western systems...." http://www.windsofchange.net/archives/it_cant_happen_here_department-print.php
16th October 1999
Freedom versus interests
By Mohammad Iqbal Asaria
I would like to point out that I have a big issue with the use of this world "Islamist" for ourselves. I find this is a very negative and defensive term which we should not use. We should probably find another term to describe ourselves.
Now regarding the issue of freedom of expression, we have here two submissions which say on the one hand that we are actually reacting to an external kind of complex which has been imposed on us. What do we say about this? We are reacting and saying we never had this problem before and we do not know why it has come up now. On the other hand we find that there are issues which come up in our societies which are not related to this. Some of the issues which have been raised by Dr. Ahmed Al-Baghdadi (of Kuwait) include a comment that the Prophet's mission in Mecca was a failure. This is not related to any external, colonial or intelligence threat. It is a pure and simple debate within Muslim societies. This kind of instances can be duplicated and multiplied many times if you just read the newspapers in Iran today. Somebody questions "hudud" and somebody else questions something else. There is a reaction and debate goes on. Newspapers shut down and open.
This has nothing to do with these programmes of freedom we have here or in the West. These are internal problems. So we have to look at that as separate category.
Secondly the appearance of freedom is not necessarily the existence of freedom. For example in the days when I used to publish the "Inquiry" magazine we used to send it to all the countries. We did an issue on Pakistan and the cover of that issue was a big question mark over a flag of Pakistan. We questioned in detail the whole concept of the existence of Pakistan. We sent the magazine out. At that time General Zia Al Haq was in power. The magazine entered Pakistan and was distributed. After that issue I went to Pakistan and there was no problem. Nobody asked what have you done, what have you said. Some people said you are not right to discuss it like that. That is fine. We never had any problem in distributing any issue of "Inquiry" in Pakistan even though the country was under military rule.
The same magazine always had a few articles on different aspects of Muslims existence. At the time there were communal riots in India and every issue was held up in India. On two occasions we had to go the Higher Courts to get it released. But when the magazine was released three months after its publication date it was dead, gone. So a subterfuge was used to prevent the magazine going into India even though it is a small circulation magazine which was not posing any threat to anything. The same thing happened in Malaysia. It never entered Malaysia on time. Whenever there was an article on Malaysia it would be stopped. So the appearance of freedom and democracy in Malaysia and India and military rule in Pakistan clearly was no a factor in determining what people could or could not see.
When I was working with "The Crescent" magazine we took copies of the magazine from Canada and traveled to the United States. We were stopped at the border and all the copies were confiscated. So the appearance is not necessarily what exists inside. It is very different.
The third point to look at is the question of the modern state. Under the modern state or under modern ways of organisation, individual rights have taken precedence over societal rights and in law individual rights are now protected by libel. Therefore, if you are powerful enough and wealthy enough to issue libel suits nobody will say anything against you. If you couple this with the growth in media power you can see for example that the break-up of the degeneration of morality in the White House was paraded all across the world. The same problem which hit Murdoch himself as a person has not been reported anywhere because 80 percent of the media is owned by him. The same problem which hit somebody like Maxwell who was a complete fraudster was no reported any where because he controlled the media and he had a very quick predilection to libel suits so everybody just shut up.
That is one way in which an individual protects his/her freedom of expression. But this is completely aligned to power and wealth. So if you take that route you will have power and wealth determining the question of freedom. What happens here is that there is a balancing between different people's power and wealth and sooner or later with every political dispensation it settles down. That is shaken and other people may come out.
For example, Oscar de Fontaine who was the finance minister of Germany before he resigned published his memoirs and started to sling mud at all kinds of people. But he is not in power. If he were in power it would be something else. So you could arbitrate freely in that way if you wanted to. This is a model you could select and it is a model which is working here. It is not a simple game to play. You need several things in place before you can do that.
Now we come back to our societies and the question I raised before is that outside of this there are a number of issues which have come up. We need to think seriously about what our own question, our own perception of freedom is. This has to deal specifically with the area we consider to be sacred space. Why don't we want that to be violated and what we propose to do if it is violated. Who is going to decide what the sacred space is? I have analysed several of the issues which have been flagged-up and behind every one of them you find that the religious agenda is not paramount. There are either internal political factors or factors of legitimacy of people who are questioning which are important.
I find it very difficult for a whole Muslim establishment to react to something like the Prophet's mission in Mecca. It does not disturb me. We can discuss what failure is and what success is. This is only rhetoric and semantics but when it assumes a bigger dimension and you go behind it and ask does this mean religion to destabilise him or his position.
So we have to answer the question about who is going to question. Here we come up against our standard programme which also impinges on other areas. If some people are going to claim a link with divinity for their actions it is impossible to question them. If you imply a link as soon as you question them, divinity itself is questioned. This is how mass mobilisation can take place on these issues.
So we have to find ways of decoupling this. These are not easy issues but they are long term issues. Both parts of society, religious and secular unfortunately for us, are using their own agendas to suppress any kind of freedom of expression. We need to study each one in detail and see that underlying it is either a proxy battle for other things or a false implied link with divinity - trying to protect something which is not protectable.
Thirdly the important thing is that freedom as a neutral factor is useless. The treat here from Muslims is not that they are going to say something. But if something they are going to say is part of dynamic plan to change things it poses a danger. Freedom has to be linked with dynamic action.
Therefore, even in our societies we are really looking at the proxy issues which are small. You can come to bigger issues as in Pakistan, for example, if people are going to question over the past 20 years the presence of two dynasties trying to rule, the amount of wealth they have accumulated and what has happened to this wealth, their freedom will be curtailed. You can question Pakistan and nothing will happen.
That is where we have to decide what is the proper place for a freedom struggle? How does society go about protecting a freedom struggle or creating space for struggle and dynamism within the framework of freedom? That is where we should lead into the debate on representative societies, transparency and legitimacy. http://www.islam21.net/pages/confrences/october99-2.htm
MIM: Further proof of how the British are bending over forwards to accomodate Muslims is this show which was meant to explain to the British why Muslims need special banking privledges. Iqbal Asaria was the guest speaker who made a point of saying that Muslims who were born in Britain were interested in long term investments, which was a veiled reference to the Islamist intention of turning the UK into the United Khalifate and making shari'a bank rules the norm for everyone. http://www.bsn.org.uk/bsn/bsnenscripts.nsf/(httpPrintScripts)/0E1EDF7841060F7480257027002D8708
LORD MAYOR HIGHLIGHTS ISLAMIC BANKING NEEDS
Category: Business Location: LONDON Date Of Shoot: No Information Available
STORY: ISLAMIC BANKING IN LONDON LOCATION: LONDON & VARIOUS, UK DATE SHOT: JUNE 13, 2005 & FILE TXN DATE: JUNE 21, 2005 AUDIO: NATURAL SOUND AND ENGLISH SPEECH DURATION: 2.17
SHOT LIST: (The Mansion House, London, UK, June 13, 2005) 1. Pull down from flag of City of London on top of Mansion House 2. Gv Michael Savery, Lord Mayor of London, speaking during meeting 3. Pull down as participants take notes 4. C/u Lord Mayor speaking 5. C/u Iqbal Asaria, Muslim Council of Great Britain 6. SOT (English speech) super : Rt. Hon. Michael Savery, Lord Mayor of London "In the United.. (File ? UK) 7. Pan to Muslims at prayer 8. Gv Muslim women in discussion with financial adviser 9. Var trading floor of city investment bank (The Mansion House, London, UK, June 13, 2005) 10. SOT (English speech) super : Iqbal Asaria, Muslim Council of Great Britain "You must remember.. (File ? UK) 11. Banker and Muslim client in discussion 12. C/u brochures under discussion (The Mansion House, London, UK, June 13, 2005) 13. SOT (English speech) super : Stella Cox, managing director, Dawney Day bank, London "When we've looked.. (File ? UK) 14. Pull out to show bank staff and customers 15. Worshippers leaving East London mosque
SUGGESTED INTRO: The City of London has a reputation as a financial hub of world markets that goes back centuries. It also has a growing appreciation of the needs of Muslim customers. Traditionally its dealings with the Islamic world was focused on overseas but that perspective is widening, as a meeting hosted by the City's Lord Mayor this week showed.
SCRIPT: The Lord Mayor of the City brought together representatives from banking, the media and Britain's Muslim community.
There are around two million Muslims in Britain. Shariah law has required British banking to adapt to a growing customer base.
SOT (English speech) super: Rt. Hon. Michael Savery, Lord Mayor of London "In the United Kingdom it grew out of the need for provision for housing and the concept of mortgages which is familiar to us, (but) is not one that's acceptable to the Islamic sect and to that extent, the banks had to develop new services, to make them available across a wide range of products as well."
Receiving interest on funds held by a bank is not permitted under Shariah law. The Muslim community in Britain includes some of the country's poorest but also wealthiest citizens. Banking is having to adapt.
SOT (English speech) super: Iqbal Asaria, Muslim Council of Great Britain "You must remember now that this is probably the first generation of Muslims, that about 50% of Muslims are born here so they are looking at a long term future and that brings in different investment psychology, you have your pensions and your school fees and your insurance needs; all kinds of things, so yes, there is a need for a full range of products."
Financial products that meet ethical standards are a growing market. The requirements of Shariah law can also be attractive to clients, regardless of their religious background.
SOT (English speech) super: Stella Cox, banker "When we've looked at various investment products in the past, perhaps equity funds, global equity funds, there's been a big demand for ethical investment products and many of the managers and service providers have felt that in Islamic product, by nature of its stipulations, would fit very nicely into that segment of product." Only a few years ago, there was little awareness among high street banks. Since then, the needs of their Muslim customers has widened their horizons.
MIM: Now terrorists will also have their own Islamically correct banking system with the help of Al Qaeda operatives like economist Iqbal Asaria. In 2005 Asaria delivered a talk entitled " Islam - A European future". Support was shown for Turkey's entry into the EU and it was pointed out that 'all of Europe' bordered on Islamic countries..." Asaria was billed as "asking what Muslims were going to do to grasp these emerging opportunities".
Turkey's membership into the European Union came a step closer in December 2004 when agreement was reached to open formal talks with Ankara in a deal described by Tony Blair as proof that the 'clash of civilisations' idea was "wrong". Whilst it could take up to 15 years before Turkey is able to join (and entry is not guaranteed) it would make Turkey the second largest country in Europe with its population of 72 million.
Muslims currently form a significant minority community within Europe. Europe continues to require further immigration to support its ageing population. Should Turkey join the EU, one in five Europeans will be a Muslim. The bulk of Europe's energy needs come from the Muslim world. Other than Russia, all of Europe borders the Muslim world. For all the above reasons, Europe needs good relations with its Muslim citizens and the Muslim world. Much of the debate over how close Europe should be with the United States to the detriment of its Muslim neighbours and citizens is driven by these realities.
Iqbal Asaria will explore these unfolding realties and ask whether Muslims are ready to grasp these emerging opportunities and what they must do to capitalise on then.
Iqbal is a regular lecturer at the Islamic Foundation in Leicester. He is also active in the Muslim Council of Britain and has presented at their leadership development seminars. Iqbal is a member of the working party set up by the Governor of the Bank of England to look into issues relating to Islamic housing and finance products in the UK.
Iqbal is the founder and chairman of Webstar Plc and founder of the Salaam Portal, a leading on-line information resource for UK Muslims. He was also recipient of a CBE in this year's Queen's honours list.
FSA gives approval for launch of first Islamic British bank
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has given the go-ahead for the launch of the first totally Islamic British bank. It will be the first time that Britain's 1.8 million Muslims will have access to banking facilities from a British bank which is wholly operated in accordance with Islamic Sharia'a principles. It will be called the Islamic Bank of Britain and will start operating in September this year.
The Islamic Bank of Britain will be regulated by the FSA and will meet UK banking regulations and safeguards for the customer.
While there are other banks in the UK which offer products that follow Islamic principles (Sharia'a) all have their origins within non-Sharia'a conventional banks.
The Islamic Bank of Britain's headquarters and central operations are based in central Birmingham. The bank will open its first branch in Edgware Road, London, in September this year and will offer a broad range of Sharia'a compliant savings products. Within the next month there will be further branches in Birmingham and Leicester with other branches to follow.
By November this year, the bank will operate nationally via telephone and postal banking and will also offer Sharia'a compliant current accounts with debit cards and consumer financing agreements. Subject to regulatory approval, the bank plans to introduce a mortgage product by the end of the year and an internet banking service in the early part of 2005.
Sharia'a Compliant Banking - Background Under Islamic principles:
All money must be invested in purely ethical industries – so Islamic Bank of Britain will not invest in businesses dealing with interest, tobacco, alcohol, pornography etc.
The giving or receiving of interest is forbidden.
Money cannot be simply traded for money.
Money can be used to buy goods or services, which can then be sold for a profit.
Iqbal Asaria, chair of the Muslim Council of Britain Business & Economics Committee, added: "The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes the Islamic Bank of Britain, the first fully Islamic Bank to be set up in the UK. Its founding comes at the end of a unique partnership between the Muslim community and the regulatory authorities in the UK which has seen the overcoming of many misconceptions about Islamic Banking and finance.
"The granting of a banking licence to the Islamic Bank of Britain by the Financial Services Authority is a watershed event in the history of Islamic Finance in the UK as it marks the beginning of the launch of fully regulated Sharia'a compliant products for the Muslim community.
"We are confident that this will open up channels for the launch of the full range of Islamic financial instruments in the UK to service the needs of the two million strong Muslim community. We also hope that eventually, pioneering UK institutions like the Islamic Bank of Britain will be able to provide their services to the fifteen million strong Muslim community in the European Union."
Those wishing to receive information on the Islamic Bank of Britain can telephone 0845 6060 786 or log onto www.islamic-bank.com.
Company Background The Bank is a UK registered company sponsored by a group of prominent Gulf and UK investors, including major Islamic financial institutions.
It is an independent Islamic Bank and not part of a larger conventional banking group. This means that the Bank does not compromise on its principles or practices and does not mix its funds in such a way as to compromise Sharia'a.
Key Personnel The Bank is being headed by a team of highly experienced banking professionals:
Chairman - Abdul Rahman Abdul Malik. Also the Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. He has over 22 years banking experience covering wholesale, retail, investment, corporate and Islamic banking.
Managing Director – Michael Hanlon. 38 years commercial banking experience, mostly in the retail area. He spent 34 years with Barclays Bank Plc in the UK, where he held a number of senior management and senior executive appointments, including regional director for the Bank's retail banking in central London. He subsequently joined the Raiffesen Banking Group in Austria as managing director of retail banking of the group's Polish subsidiary, Bank Polska SA.
Executive Director – David Gates. In addition to being a Board Director of Islamic Bank of Britain, he is also a director of Jordan International Bank Plc. More than 40 years banking experience.
Assistant General Manager, Operations – Stephen Hinds. Responsible for the Bank's central delivery and IT functions. 35 years experience, specializing in the operations and internal audit business functions. Previously Group Head of Compliance at ABC International Bank, London.
Assistant General Manager, Retail Banking – Waheed Qaiser. Responsible for retail banking and customer services. Held various management positions for last 27 years in Islamic banking, retail banking, operations and private banking unit at Citibank NA, HSBC, Islamic Investment Banking and UBS AG. A founding member of Bank of England working party on Islamic mortgages. He was the course director at the Executive Development Program at the Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance and lectures frequently on Islamic banking.
Assistant General Manager, Credit Risk – Paul Schafer. An experienced credit risk professional, having previously worked in banking at Alliance and Leicester, Egg and Provident Financial. He has also worked with many other financial organisations during his time as a consultant with Experian, the UK's largest Credit Reference Agency, and Fair Isaac, one of the world's largest suppliers of business intelligence software. He was appointed as an assistant general manager in April 2004 and is responsible for all aspects of credit risk management.
Internal/Sharia'a Auditor - Mannan Mansur. A Chartered Accountant by profession with some 20 years experience at Deloitte and Touche both in the UK and the Middle East. For the past nine years he was Head of Internal Audit Function at Shamil Bank of Bahrain, part of a Global Islamic Financial Group and a leading Islamic Institution in the Gulf States. At the Bank of Bahrain he was responsible for Internal Audit and Sharia'a compliance
The Sharia'a Supervisory Committee of Islamic Bank of Britain comprises Justice (R) Muhammad Taqi Usmani (chairman), Sheikh Nizam Yaqouby (member), and Dr Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah (vice-chairman).
The associations, domains and web sites of the designated Terrorist Sa'ad Rashed Mohammad Al-Fagih.
Society for Internet Research - SoFIR Report No. 3 28 May 2005
Identifier Information SAAD RASHED MOHAMMAD AL-FAQIH AKAs: Sa'd AL-FAQIH Sa'ad AL-FAQIH Saad ALFAGIH Sa'd AL-FAQI Saad AL FAQIH Saad AL-FAGIH Saad AL-FAKIH Abu Uthman
DOB: February 1, 1957 POB: Zubair, Iraq Nationality: Saudi Arabian Address: London, UK
Sa'ad Rashed Mohammad Al-Fagih has been associated with Al Qaida and the global jihad since the mid-1990's. On 21 December, 2004, Al-Fagih was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the United States.
Al-Fagih provided logistical support for the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa. In addition, and in particular since September 11, 2001, Al-Fagih has been at the forefront of efforts to promote the global jihad by maintaining online communities of Islamic extremists and facilitating communications among Islamic extremists around the globe. He does this both under the cover of his MIRA organization aka Al-Islah, and through a separate online entity known commonly as 'The Castle' or Al-Qal3ah.
Registrant: Islah 21 Blackstone Road London, London NW2 6DA UK Domain name: MYISLAH.NET Administrative Contact: Fagih, Saad firstname.lastname@example.org 21 Blackstone Road London, London NW2 6DA UK +44.0208 4520303 Technical Contact: Technical, Host Europe email@example.com Portland Street Beeston Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NG9 2LP UK +44 115 9170000 Fax: +44 115 8770213 Registration Service Provider: PIPEX Communications Hosting Ltd, firstname.lastname@example.org +44.115-917-0000 http://www.123-reg.co.uk/ This company may be contacted for domain login/passwords, DNS/Nameserver changes, and general domain support questions. Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC. Record last updated on 24-Nov-2003. Record expires on 30-Aug-2005. Record created on 30-Aug-2003. Domain servers in listed order: NS1.YAISLAH.ORG NS2.YAISLAH.ORG Domain status: ACTIVE (back)
 interpal.org - islah.org connection
- From a cached of domain name whois record dated 01 July 2004 Domain Name:INTERPAL.ORG Admin ID:10686778190620 Admin Name:Iqbal Asaria (19178824I) Admin Street1:Firdaus Nagree Admin Street2:336 Pinner Rd Admin City:Harrow Admin State/Province:Middlesex Admin Postal Code:HA1 4LB Admin Country:GB
- From a cached of domain name whois record dated 07 July 2004 Domain Name:ISLAH.ORG Admin ID:10686778209250 Admin Name:Iqbal Asaria (19178824I) Admin Street1:Firdaus Nagree Admin Street2:336 Pinner Rd Admin City:Harrow Admin State/Province:Middlesex Admin Postal Code:HA1 4LB Admin Country:GB (back)