Diane Weber Bederman

Do we really want a parallel Sharia Compliant Economic System in the West?

I discovered, quite by accident, that there is a Muslim based economy developing in Canada: Halal and Sharia Compliant Investments, with their own laws specific to Sharia law. It has been developing rather quietly for several years. I found a reference to the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and Sharia compliant laws from 2011 on Blogwrath   after I had already lodged my own complaint with CIBC regarding these investments. I never heard back from CIBC but I did get a notification from Twitter that I was now being followed by the investment broker whom I had reported.

When Pierre Trudeau declared us to be a multicultural country he wanted Canada to be a country that was inclusive, tolerant and accommodating to all. But I don’t think he anticipated that our country would welcome cultures whose practices are anathema to Canadian laws. Sharia Law, authoritarian by nature, is not compatible with Canadian culture.

We don’t condone sex-selection abortion for the purpose of preventing the birth of girls. We don’t live in a country where women are treated differently, where they are not permitted to drive or must be escorted by a male relative whenever they leave home, must be covered from head-to-toe, in black,( a sign of mourning), including their face, preventing them from participating in an open, vibrant, diverse society. Rape must be witnessed by four males-or it isn’t rape. And of course honour-killing which undoubtedly would occur after the unwitnessed rape. Then there is death to homosexuals and dissidents and those who slander Islam

What are we doing allowing Sharia Law Compliant investments into our country? First, a little history about these funds from author Tarek Fatah, a Canadian Muslim.

Sharia banking traces its roots to the 1920’s but didn’t take hold until the late 1970s. Two men in particular understood the role international financial institutions could play in carrying out Islamic political objectives: Abul Ala Maududi of the Jamaat-e-Islami who had concentrated his efforts on establishing a truly Islamic state and society in Pakistan  and in the 1940’s had already recognized “the cultural and political Westernizations of Islam as a loss of religious and national identity to the Muslim World,” and Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Banna and then Syed Qutb, who succeeded him, laid down principles of Islamic finance. Banna had been afraid of the ascendancy of the West and secularism so he pushed to condemn atheism, Christian missionaries, and colonialism.

CIBC’s Sharia Compliant Investing is being sold as a subset of Socially Responsible and Ethical Investing (think “green” investing) but is based on investments that adhere to Islamic principles (Sharia). According to the website  “the responsible investor may avoid companies which do business in countries with questionable human rights records.” That’s code word for Israel. The EU and the UN constantly accuse Israel of human rights abuses and then of course there is BDS.

These investments aren’t needed here. In countries where there are no Sharia compliant investments, Muslims invest in conventional institutions. Tarek Fatah explained:

“In the name of Islam, what amounts to deception and dishonesty are being practiced while ordinary Muslims are being made to feel that their interaction with mainstream banks is un-Islamic and sinful.”

If we make separate investments available by legitimizing and institutionalizing Sharia law side-by-side with Canadian Law, then we are encouraging the ghettoizing, the separation of Muslims from mainstream, “multicultural” Canada.

CIBC Sharia investments, like all Sharia Compliant Funds, must be approved by an independent Board of Sharia scholars. Please take the time to read about each of these men in the two links provided.

Sheikh Abdul Sattar Abu Ghuddah (Syria), Sheikh Nizam Yaquby (Bahrain), Sheikh Dr.  Mohamed A. Elgari (Saudi Arabia), Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Daud Bakar (Malaysia) and Sheikh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo (United States) who advised Pakistan’s tyrannical Zia ul-Haq from 1981 to 1984 and ran the Virginia Islamic Saudi Academy educational program cited in 2008 for using hateful Islamic texts. He trained at Karachi’s Jamia Al Alomia Al Islamia, and served the Muslim Brotherhood International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

I know this makes me feel better. Sharia scholars coming from four countries that are legally Jew free.

The CIBC is not alone in offering Sharia products. There is the Global Iman Fund offered by Global Growth Assets Inc., (“Fund Manager”), a subsidiary of a Global family of Companies, based in Toronto. They, too, rely on an independent board: The Dow Jones Islamic Market Index (DJIMI) Sharia Supervisory Board with the same Sharia scholars.

There is another concern, though. These Sharia advisors are often responsible for determining the distribution of zakat, charitable contributions, of 2.5% of income or more from Sharia Compliant Funds. There’s also an obligatory donation called “Purification” for “Tainted” revenue from investments that are discovered to have been associated with forbidden revenue, whether from interest or illicit speculation (such as trading in commodity futures)

Where does all that money go?

This money is donated to Islamic charities. The USA has shut down the three largest Sharia-compliant charities in the U.S. – the Holy Land Foundation, Benevolence International Foundation, and the Global Relief Foundation – after proving they funded terrorist organizations.

Tarek Fatah wrote, “Sharia banking fattens the bottom lines of the imams, the bank owners, and the lawyers who pull out their best to Islamicize anything.”

Timur Kuran, a senior Muslim banking expert has warned: “The real purpose of Islamic economics has not been economic improvement but cultivation of a distinct Islamic identity to resist cultural globalization. It has served the cause of global Islamism, known also as “Islamic fundamentalism,” by fueling the illusion that Muslim societies have lived, or can live, by distinct economic rules.”

Is this what we want in Canada? Two separate and distinct economic systems diametrically opposed to one another? A Sharia economy that denies freedom to choose one’s investments; that opposes all investment in the Jewish people and Israel, here in Canada?

This is not about religion. This is about a culture that wants to get its tentacles into all democracies, by any way possible and destroy them from within. Take a look at the mother of the commonwealth, Great Britain, the home of the Magna Carta, and see how Shari law has infiltrated there, socially and legally.

So why are we opening our doors to separate laws regarding investment?

Let’s begin to shut down this economic interloper. What better place than Canada whose Prime Minister has stood firmly on the side of democracy and Western culture by standing by Israel.

Contact the CIBC complaint department. Let them know that you do not want Sharia compliant funds in this country.


About the Author
Diane Weber Bederman is a multi-faith, hospital trained chaplain who lives in Ontario, Canada, just outside Toronto; She has a background in science and the humanities and writes about religion in the public square and mental illness on her blog: The Middle Ground:The Agora of the 21st Century. She is a regular contributor to Convivium: Faith in our Community. "