Shari’ah Banking in America!
What would you think of Islamic banks operating in America? Well it will not be that far away before they will be on a street near you. In many areas of existing banking institutions the mechanisms are already in play. What remains is the physical structure to be built in your neighborhood.
A good definition of Islamic banking I found in a Princeton University paper. The contents of this paper found its way on Wikipedia.
“Islamic banking refers to a system of banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of Islamic law (Sharia) and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. Sharia prohibits the payment or acceptance of interest fees for loans of money (Riba, usury), for specific terms, as well as investing in businesses that provide goods or services considered contrary to its principles (Haraam, forbidden). While these principles were used as the basis for a flourishing economy in earlier times, it is only in the late 20th century that a number of Islamic banks were formed to apply these principles to private or semi-private commercial institutions within the Muslim community.”
Foreign banks operating in the U.S. is nothing new. The idea of Islamic banking personally gave me the willies. We have between 3 – 8 million Islamist in America and for Islamic banking to expand to the U.S. market says to me that to expect millions more.
In a paper titled Islamic banks in the United States: Breaking through the barriers written by Abdi Sheyesda, a senior associate of King and Spalding Law firm in New York and a member of the Middle East and Islamic finance group makes an argument that the hurdles for expanding banks to America are surmountable and the banking institutions in the U.S. are interested in accommodating the directed declarations [ read Shari’ah directed ] that guide banking in the Middle East.
If you read this paper, its not lengthy at all, you like me I am sure will discern that in roads are being made. The paper contains a table of financial structures that already exist in the U.S.
In my inbox yesterday a Politico Influence email took me down the road of exploring the possibility of generic Islamic banks in America. ln the email there was a piece of information I almost overlooked the following blurb was embedded:
“BANGLADESHI BANK GETS HELP ON ANTI-LAUNDERING ISSUES: Bangladesh bank Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited has hired Dana Contratto to lobby on anti-money-laundering issues. The bank — one of the largest private banks in Bangladesh — has previously been scrutinized in terrorist-financing issues. A 2012 Senate Banking Committee report outlined global banking firm HSBC’s links to banks with a history of terrorism-financing problems. The report noted Islami Bank’s links to Al-Rajhi Bank, another entity that has been scrutinized for terrorism-financing issues as well as suspicious transactions and the fact that noted militants had opened accounts at Islami Bank. Also the Financial Action Task Force (on Money Laundering) has listed Bangladesh as a country committed to international banking standards but still deficient.”
Also the following blurb “ISLAMI BANK HIRES A SECOND FIRM: The Bangladesh bank Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited has hired former Assistant Defense Secretary Powell Moore to lobby on anti-money-laundering issues. It’s the bank’s second big hire this month, following the addition of Dana Contratto on June 14. PI reported last week that the bank is one of the largest private banks in Bangladesh and has been scrutinized in terrorist-financing issues.”
Now they have two allies registered as a lobbyist in the hall of Congress. What hurdles the lobbyist face will not be a roadblock that Congress will not, in my opinion, prevent lifting of the gates and give them a pass.
In the paper it pointed out that London “has been declared to be the ‘next global hub of Islamic banking”. Who among us would ever believe that American financial institutions would not want a piece of the pie. In fact since our ‘too big to fail’ banks being global have plenty of access to Islamic capital but surely would want more access on main street here in the good old USA.
The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has announced a new investment opportunity tailored specifically to meet the special requirements of Muslims do you think that American banks will let this slide past them? Not a chance. The RBC investment opportunities will be supervised by a Shari’ah Supervisory Committee.
Definition for a “Islamic Shari’ah Supervisory Committee is consisting of a group of prominent Islamic Scholars, Economists and Lawyers to advise the Management on Shariah matters relating to the business operations.”
It is a fact the Islamic Shari’ah backed financing exist in many countries. I suspect that many Americans investments in stock being handled by investment companies are quite possibly invested in Islamic Shari’ah blessed stock.
There exist many opportunities for people all over the globe to acquire study in Islamic Financing. This I view as a sort of backdoor for Shari’ah law to enter U.S. legislation.
So what remains as obstacles for generic Islamic banks operating in America?
Islamic banks like Islami Bank of Bangladesh, Social Islami Bank, Ltd (SIBL) or Al-Rajhi Bank the barriers to America will be systematically torn down.
For now the U.S. banking regulations are a hurdle for these banks to navigate but lobbyist are in place to assist them. Removing the stigma of laundering money to terrorist most likely not the greatest hurdle. I should think the spook agencies would find money transfers easier to track and for the U.S. gov’t an easier time at seizing assets.
Frankly the biggest hurdle for the Islamist to overcome may well be sentiments of American sovereigns. However sentiments of American sovereigns especially the conservative voice seems not to have the same it once had. The reengineering of America’s social fabric by globalist is in full swing and it may well be to late to stop its progress.
The other hurdle may be existing banking institutions viewing the Islamic bank as a nuisance of competition. The ‘too big to fail’ are eating up small banks would they takeover Islamic banks or even be allowed to? Perhaps the Islamic banks would be considered as a special class and not touchable. We have a lot of special class awards happening in America today.
The paper I mentioned above indicated American bankers were interested in accommodating Islamic banking. The paper did not go into detail about what accommodations the institutions here would make. Would the ‘too big to fail’ allow them to have market share or would the giants like BofA, Wells Fargo, Citibank or a JPMorgan simply accommodate by instating Islamic Shair’ah declarations overseen by a Shari’ah committee? Yes they would.
Big questions comes to my mind. Would Islamic banks discriminate against non-Muslims? What if you were a Jew or Christian? If you were a non-Muslim woman would you be required to wear a headscarf while in the bank? The headscarf sounds far fetched but is it really? What if you were a non-Muslim would an American woman be hired if she refused to submit to imposed attire of Islam?
American banking institutions are subject to U.S. federal agencies and Federal Reserve audit and monitoring and further monitoring would be imposed by Shari’ah law. Do you suppose then that our federal would then constitute a Shari’ah agency at the federal level? I would bet on it!
Would the ‘too big to fail’ offer product instruments based on religious preference?
Just in case you forget your prayer times the Islami Bank of Bangladesh has a webpage of Permanent Timetable of Salat.
Islami Bank of Bangladesh is also an insurance entity. Insurance companies in America operate globally now be it property & casualty, auto, life and health insurance they are penetrating markets. Will the Islamic bank be allowed to offer insurance products in America?
How receptive would insurers in the U.S. be to Islamic insurers? I do not think this would be a hurdle at all. American insurers are astute at partnering. AIG is a big insurer.
From the NY Times for example “MUMBAI, India — Cigna, the health insurance company, will enter the fast-growing Indian market in a joint venture with a consumer goods company best known for its pressure cookers and other appliances, executives said.” Do you suppose the consumer goods company’s pressure cookers were used in the Boston Massacre?
The Institute of Islamic Banking and Insurance has a FAQ web page that answers some basic questions of Murabaha on Shari’ah Ruling.
You may also be interested in reading the Daily Star article, US panel exposes governance failure at HSBC it contains striking information regarding Islami Bank of Bangladesh.
To my Patriot friends I can only say that I am glad to be up in age. The changes that are being imposed as a result of the globalist are based in greed and power. We mainstream Americans are being marginalized for having any say in what is happening. The decisions are in government and global control. The progressives will see no problem.