By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, April 18, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Islamofascism: Separate gym hours for Muslim coeds. Calls to prayer. Lectures on Shariah finance. A campus in the Mideast? Nope. It’s all happening at America’s pre-eminent college.
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Over the past few years, Harvard University has received millions in endowments from rich Saudi and Emirate sheiks. Now it’s returning the favor by Islamizing its campus and promoting the Shariah agenda of its new Arab masters.
Recently, the Ivy League school has made special accommodations for the religious needs of Muslim students, including, and rescheduling of exams to observe Islamic holidays.
And this weekend it hosted a $400-per-person conference on Shariah finance led by officials from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The goal of the forum — sponsored by Harvard’s Islamic Finance Project — is to “integrate” Islamic finance into the mainstream economy.
That’s a tough fit, because Islamic, or Shariah, finance forbids investment in major Western industries, including those that derive substantial income from interest.
Banking and insurance, as well as alcohol, tobacco or pork-related industries, are not considered “halal,” or allowable, under Islam. Entertainment is also unlawful.
Shariah-compliant investments are monitored by paid Shariah law advisers who must “purify” certain returns by donating them to Islamic charities — including some that promote jihad and support suicide bombings.
With $800 billion already in Shariah assets — and $1 trillion to $2 trillion in Arab petrodollars annually looking for an investment home — the potential for billions being siphoned off for terrorism is real.
This, of course, would be a serious criminal violation of U.S. law. Yet Western bankers, including many on Wall Street who are jumping into the Shariah finance market, don’t know this.
One prominent Shariah adviser is Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi. He’s a paid adviser to Arcapita (formerly Crescent Capital), which happens to sponsor Harvard’s Islamic Finance Project along with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank.
Al-Qaradawi is an Egyptian who has advocated suicide bombings and described Shariah finance as nothing less than “jihad with money.”
He heads the Islamic American University and is a proposed trustee of the Islamic Society of Boston. The director of Harvard’s Islamic Finance Project, S. Nazim Ali, is active in both the university and the Islamic Society. Ali is neither an economist nor a scholar. His background is in computers.
Another paid Shariah adviser is Sheik Muhammad Usmani, a Pakistani cleric who ran a madrassa that trained thousands of Taliban and who recently wrote a book supporting jihad and Islamic domination. He, too, has links to Harvard, according to the Center for Security Policy, a vanguard against so-called Shariah creep.
Roger Ferguson, president-elect of the university’s board of overseers, joined Swiss RE in August 2006. Two months later, Usmani was named chairman of Swiss RE’s Shariah advisory board.
Until recently, Usmani was listed as chief adviser to the Dow Jones Islamic Fund, which is run by the North American Islamic Trust, a recently named co-conspirator in a federal terror-financing case.
Usmani’s name — along with the entire section covering the fund’s “Shariah supervisory board” — mysteriously disappeared from the Islamic Trust’s Web site after we exposed the fund’s extremist ties in a Feb. 28 editorial (“The Risky Business of Islamic Finance”). Other key information on Shariah also has been purged. In addition, the Islamic Trust renamed its Dow fund the “Iman Fund” and amended several paragraphs in its prospectus.
It appears Islamists are trying to use such Shariah-compliant financial products as tools to get Islamic law through the back door into Western countries, including the U.S. They’re enlisting our finest colleges in the project.
If Arab sheiks think they can buy American colleges and use our campuses to spread Wahhabism, Harvard only has encouraged them.