Many jihadists use pseudo-charitable organizations as fundraising vehicles to bankroll terrorist activities. This tactic is sometimes referred to as "financial jihad." Shari'a (Islamic Law) and the Muslim Brotherhood have played a major role in developing a global ideological and political movement supported by a parallel "Islamic" financial system to exploit and undermine Western economies and markets. This movement is the foundation and the major funding source for the political, economic, and military initiatives of the global Islamic movement.
The perpetrators of Shari'a finance include both states and organizations, advancing a global totalitarian ideology disguised as a religion. The end goal is to impose that ideology worldwide, making the Islamic "nation," or ummah, supreme.
Rising oil prices and the West's dependency on Middle East oil, combined with willful blindness and political correctness, provide a surge of petrodollars, making financial and economic jihad much easier to carry out. Moreover, according to Shari'a, Muslims hold all property in trust for Allah -- meaning that all current and historic Muslim acquisitions everywhere, including the United States, belong to the ummah, in trust for Allah.
Shari'a is the set of Islamic laws established by Muslim jurists, based on the Qur'an and the deeds of the prophet Muhammad, as recorded beginning more than 1,200 years ago. Its end goal, for all time, is establishing a world ruled entirely by Islam and the harsh Shari'a laws. These laws govern every aspect of daily life and prohibit individual, political, and religious freedoms.
Many verses of the Qur'an command Muslims to fund the financial jihad, or Al Jihad bi-al-Mal. For example, chapter 61, verses 10.11, says: “you . . . should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives.” According to chapter 49, verse 15: “The [true] believers are only those who . . . strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah.” This has been reiterated throughout Islamic history and in recent times. “Financial Jihad [is] . . . more important . . . than self-sacrificing,” says the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader Hamud bin Uqla al-Shuaibi.
The Qatar-based spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi -- one of the most prominent Sunni scholars in the world today -- reiterated the legal justification for financial jihad in a lecture he gave on May 4, 2002 in the United Arab Emirates, where he said that “collecting money for the mujahideen [jihad fighters] was not a donation or a gift but a duty necessitated by the sacrifices they made for the Muslim nation.”
The origins of the modern financial jihad infrastructure, including all Islamic economic and financial regulatory organizations like the 1991-Bahrain-registered and-based Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), date back to the 1920s and were an invention of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna. He designed political, economic, and financial foundations to enable Muslims to fulfill a key form of jihad mandated by the Qur'an -- financial jihad.
Al-Banna viewed finance as a critical weapon to undermine the infidels -- and to “work towards establishing an Islamic rule on earth.” He was first to understand that to achieve world domination, Muslims needed an independent Islamic financial system to parallel and later supersede the Western economy. Al-Banna's contemporaries and successors (such as the late Sayed Qutb and current Yusuf al-Qaradawi) set his theories and practices into motion, developing shari'a-based terminology and mechanisms to advance the financial jihad -- “Islamic economics,” finance, and banking.
In the early 1930s, attempts by the Muslim Brotherhood to establish Islamic banking in India failed. Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser shut down the second attempt, in 1964, after only one year, later arresting and expelling the Muslim Brotherhood for its attempts to kill him.
But Saudi Arabia welcomed this new wave of Egyptian dissidents, as King Saud bin Abdel Aziz had accepted earlier waves in 1954 and 1961. Their ideas so appealed to Saud and his clerics that in 1961, Saud funded the Muslim Brotherhood's establishment of the Islamic University in Medina to proselytize its fundamentalist Islamic ideology, especially to foreign students. In 1962, the Muslim Brotherhood convinced the king to launch a global financial joint venture, which became the cornerstone and engine for the spread of Islam worldwide. This venture created charitable foundations, which the Muslim Brotherhood oversees and from which most Islamic terrorist groups benefit.
The first such charitable foundations were the Muslim World League (MWL) and Rabita al-Alam al-Islami, uniting Islamic radicals from 22 nations and spinning a web of many other charities with hundreds of offices worldwide. In 1978, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia backed another Muslim Brotherhood initiative, the International Islamic Relief Organization, which, like many of the other "charities," is implicated for funding al Qaeda, the 9/11 attacks, Hamas, and others. These "charities" are used to advance the Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi political agenda, namely empowering the ummah and imposing worldwide shari'a. “I don't like this word 'donations',” al-Qaradawi told BBC Panorama on 30 July 2006. “I like to call it Jihad with money, because God has ordered us to fight enemies with our lives and our money.”
Adapted from "Jihad Economics and Islamic Banking" (Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa Lappen, JUly 28, 2008).