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Posts Tagged ‘Britain’

Britain: ‘A World Capital for Islamic Finance’

Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

The London Stock Exchange will be launching a new Islamic bond index in an effort to establish the City of London as one of the world’s leading centers of Islamic finance.

Britain also plans to become the first non-Muslim country to issue sovereign Islamic bonds, known as sukuk, beginning as early as 2014.

The plans are all part of the British government’s strategy to acquire as big a slice as possible of the fast-growing global market of Islamic finance, which operates according to Islamic Sharia law and is growing 50% faster than the conventional banking sector.

Although it is still a fraction of the global investment market — Sharia-compliant assets are estimated to make up only around 1% of the world’s financial assets — Islamic finance is expected to be worth £1.3 trillion (€1.5 trillion; $2 trillion) by 2014, a 150% increase from its value in 2006, according to the World Islamic Banking Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, published in May 2013 by the consultancy Ernst & Young.

But critics say that Britain’s ambitions to attract investments from Muslim countries, companies and individuals are spurring the gradual establishment of a parallel global financial system based on Islamic Sharia law.

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced the plans during a keynote speech at the ninth World Islamic Economic Forum, which was held in London from October 29-31, the first time the event has ever been held outside the Muslim world.

“Already London is the biggest center for Islamic finance outside the Islamic world,” Cameron told the audience of more than 1,800 international political and business leaders from over 115 countries.

“And today our ambition is to go further still. Because I don’t just want London to be a great capital of Islamic finance in the Western world, I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world.”

Cameron said the new Islamic bond index on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) would help stimulate fixed-income investments from Muslim investors — especially investors from oil-rich Persian Gulf countries — by helping them identify which listed companies adhere to Islamic principles.

Investors who practice Islamic finance — which is said to be structured to conform to a strict code of ethics based on the Koran and Sharia law — refuse to invest in companies that are linked to alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco, weapons or pork. Islamic finance also forbids collecting or paying interest and requires that deals be based on tangible assets.

Unlike conventional bonds, sukuk are described as investments rather than loans, with the initial payment made from an Islamic investor in the form of a tangible asset such as land. The lender of a sukuk earns money as profit from rent, as in real estate, rather than traditional interest.

Cameron says the British Treasury will issue £200 million (€235 million; $320 million) worth of sukuk as early as 2014. The objective is to enable the government to borrow from Muslim investors. The Treasury plans to issue fixed returns based on the profit made by a given asset, thereby allowing Muslims to invest without breaking Islamic laws forbidding interest-bearing bonds.

The Treasury also said some sukuk bond issues may require the British government to restrict its dealings with Israeli-owned companies in order to attract Muslim money.

Although Britain has already established itself as the leading secondary market for sukuk — the LSE has listed 49 sukuk bonds worth $34 billion during the past five years — such bonds have rarely been issued from local firms and never from the government.

“For years people have been talking about creating an Islamic bond, or sukuk, outside the Islamic world. But it’s never quite happened,” Cameron said. “Changing that is a question of pragmatism and political will. And here in Britain we’ve got both.”

According to Cameron, this “pragmatism and political will” is being influenced by the fact that Islamic finance is “already fundamental” to the success of the British economy. Indeed, it is.

Britain is already the leading Western center for Islamic financial and related professional services. It is a leading provider of Sharia-compliant finance, with reported assets of $19 billion, according to Islamic Finance 2013, a new report published by The City UK, a financial sector lobby group.

British Soccer Team Apologizes for Nazi-Style Picture

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Britain’s Manchester United soccer club, which has a large Jewish following, has sent an e-mail apology to its fans for an “unintended” offense from a graphic of a Swastika-style image under the headline “New Order,” a phrase identified with Hitler.

The graphic included the letters MUFC, Manchester United Football Club.

The club claimed that the term “New Order” related to the club’s band that has the same name, but it could not explain why the design of the graphic was in the form of a swastika.

“While the headline was intended to reference the band of the same name, it has been pointed out that the graphic had design similarities to a swastika which, combined with other connotations of the phrase ‘new order’, has caused offense which was entirely unintended,” according to a statement from Manchester United.

Manchester United’s media director David Sternberg tweeted to angry supporters, “The creative is completely inappropriate; we apologize unreservedly and are taking appropriate internal action.”

Anti-Semitism is not new in British soccer. The Tottenham soccer team, largely backed by Jewish money, has a relatively large Jewish following and has been a favorite target of anti-Semites, complete with Nazi salutes by opposing team fans, who also like to make hissing noises to sound like the gas chambers.

The term “yid” has been used so much that Tottenham’s own Jewish following began using the term as badge of honor, sparking a debate over a proposal that anyone should be arrested for shouting the word “Yid” from the stands.

The intellectual level of the anti-Semitic hobby of British soccer fans can be measured by last year’s statement by Brian Laws, the manager of the Scunthorpe United club, who described his team’s loss on the field “as bad as the Holocaust.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews has denounced the anti-Semitism, saying that it “has no place in football or society in general.” It added, “For football fans to use Holocaust imagery and chants glorifying Adolf Hitler is grossly offensive to the Jewish community and is a stain upon the character of British football.”

The Board also has condemned the use of the word “Yid,” whether by Jewish or non-Jewish Tottenham fans.

La Pen’s Right-Wing Party Makes Strong Gains in EU Election Poll

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

France’s right-wing National Front party headed by Marine Le Pen is leading the country’s two major parties in the polls for May’s elections to the European Parliament.

The Le Nouvel Observateur weekly reported that the party has the support of 24 percent of French voters, compared with only 22 and 19 percent respectively for the center-right UMP and Socialist parties.

The latest poll came as Alain Delon, one of France’s most celebrated actors, expressed his sympathy for the National Front and said he “approved” of the party’s rise, the European Jewish Press reported.

Other right-wing parties in other countries, such as Holland’s Freedom party headed by anti-Islamist Geert Wilder also might win more support. In Britain, the anti-immigration Independence also has won increasing popularity in polls.

Syrian Chutzpa: ‘Foreign Terrorists’ Invasion is Our 9/11’

Monday, September 30th, 2013

The “foreign terrorists’ invasion” of Syria, supposedly financed and armed by the United States and its allies, have brought on Syria its own 9/11,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told the United Nations Monday.

“The people of New York have witnessed the devastations of terrorism, and were burned with the fire of extremism and bloodshed, the same way we are suffering now in Syria,” Moallem said. “How can some countries, hit by the same terrorism we are suffering now in Syria, claim to fight terrorism in all parts of the world, while supporting it in my country?”

The report of his speech in Turkey’s Hurriyet News did not note whether U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice was in the hall at the time, but its amazing that there has been no storm of protest from the United States.

Perhaps it is not amazing. The U.N. has become so anti-American and anti-anything that represents normal civilization that the very fact that the United States continues to finance it, let alone suffers the insults spouted from the podium, says a lot about America’s loss of intellectual honesty and integrity.

Moallem, perhaps Syrian President Bassar al-Assad’s closest loyal aide who has not defected, represents a country that by all accounts – except  in Iran – has committed atrocities beyond belief and has gone unpunished.

Using the tactic of turning the accused into the victim, a twisted method perfected by the Palestinian Authority and Iran, he told the United Nations, “Terrorists from more than 83 countries are engaged in the killing of our people and our army under the appeal of global Takfiri jihad.”

It’s all Turkey’s fault, he declared, And Saudi Arabia’s. And Qatar’s. And Britain’s. And, of course, it is the United States’ fault.

All of these evil countries armed, financed and trained the “terrorists,” according to Moallem, whose speech was duly recorded without a peep of protest.

The equation of 9/11 attacks with the rebellion is sicker than sick but is par for the course in the United Nations, which has succeeded in making the old League of Nations a collection of angels.

As for the chemical warfare in Syria, it was “terrorists who used poisonous gases in my country [and] have received chemical agents from regional and Western countries that are well known to all of us,” he said.

The hijacking of the United Nations by the Axis of Evil and its radical Islamic sympathizers is all but complete.

The United Nations is the perfect stage for Moallem to denounce the international body, where the West still has influence through the Security Council, for its handling of the Syrian crisis. It should be condemned for its mis-handling the crisis.

“There is no civil war in Syria, but it is a war against terror that recognizes no values, nor justice, nor equality, and disregards any rights or laws,” according to Moallem.

In that case, the question is, “Why isn’t the United Nations fighting a war against Syria?”

Kenya, Unlike Israel, ‘Does not Negotiate with Terrorists’ (Video)

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Loud explosions pouring black smoke into the skies of Nairobi Monday afternoon signaled a hoped for conclusion of the bloody military-style terrorist attack on the partly-Israeli owned Westgate Mall in Nairobi, where the death toll is feared to rise to nearly 70 or more.

Authorities, who promised on Sunday that the three-day siege would end by nightfall, said they are in the final stages of killing or arresting all of the terrorists after having “smoked them out” with an assault at dawn.

Security forces said that they have taken control of the entire mall, but gunfights and explosions continued after the announcement. Despite claims that no hostages remain, it is feared that several still remain trapped by the terrorists.

Nearly 200 people already have been counted as wounded, and 62 have been confirmed as murdered, including the wife of a U.S. AID worker.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose nephew and his fiancé were among the victims, maintained a policy that Israel introduced to the world in the Entebbe raid and then abandoned in recent years – no negotiations with terrorists. “We will not negotiate with terrorists,” said Colonel Cyrus Oguna, a Kenyan military spokesman.

Al Shabaab has been airing propaganda, claiming that its terrorists on Monday repulsed “Israelis and Kenyan forces” that tried to enter the mall. Kenyan officials said clashes erupted inside the building early Monday morning, when approximately a dozen terrorists or believed to be holed up in a supermarket.

Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage said in an online audio statement, “The mujahedeen will kill the hostages if the enemies use force.”

At least five Americans have been injured and at least four Britons have been killed.

Among the dead are the wife a foreign worker for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Nairobi, a dentist, a widely-known Ghanan professor and poet, a British-Australian architect and his pregnant girlfriend, a Canadian diplomat who was a liaison officer with the Canada Border Services Agency, an 8-year-old child from India, two French women, a woman form China who worked in real estate, and a retired UNICEF worker from Peru.

BBC Claimed Egyptian Yom Kippur War Was ‘Pre-Emptive Arab Attack’

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

The BBC has backed down from its characterization of Syria and Egypt’s 1973 attack against Israel as being “preemptive.”

The adjective appeared on the British Broadcasting Corp.’s Learning Zone, a platform designed to offer historical information to students, and was removed Tuesday following questions by JTA.

“During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Egypt and Syria acted preemptively against Israel at the Suez Canal,” the website read.

BBC’s ethics guide defines a preemptive strike as “military action taken by a country in response to a threat from another country — the purpose of it is to stop the threatening country from carrying out its threat.”

Asked by JTA whether BBC had indications that Israel had threatened or planned to attack its Arab neighbors 40 years ago, BBC’s head of communications, Claire Rainford, wrote  in an email on Monday that the producers of Learning Zone “have reviewed the copy and decided to remove the word preemptive.”

The false characterization was featured in an article by the critical website BBC Watch.

According to Learning Zone, the information on the website was provided by the Israeli historian Benny Morris, who has written extensively about Israel’s culpability in the creation of the Palestinian refugee problem, as well as British journalist Robert Fisk and linguist Noam Chomsky — both harsh critics of Israel who have likened the country’s practices to apartheid in South Africa.

The text on Learning Zone now reads: “During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Egypt and Syria acted against Israel at the Suez Canal.”

Rainford did not reply to  JTA’s question on whether the BBC had indications that Syria, which mounted a surprise attack in the Golan timed to coincide with the Egyptian advance, also acted against Israel at the Suez.

For the record, following is a very short section of a much longer account of events leading up to the war, as published by Wikipedia:

“In an interview published in Newsweek (April 9, 1973), President Sadat…threatened war with Israel. Several times during 1973, Arab forces conducted large-scale exercises that put the Israeli military on the highest level of alert, only to be recalled a few days later. The Israeli leadership already believed that if an attack took place, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) could repel it.

“Almost a full year before the war, in an October 24, 1972, meeting with his Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Sadat declared his intention to go to war with Israel even without proper Soviet support. Planning had begun in 1971 and was conducted in absolute secrecy—even the upper-echelon commanders were not told of war plans until less than a week prior to the attack, and the soldiers were not told until a few hours beforehand. The plan to attack Israel in concert with Syria was code-named Operation Badr (Arabic for “full moon”), after the Battle of Badr, in which Muslims under Muhammad defeated the Quraish tribe of Mecca.”

British PM: Holocaust Teaches not to Ignore Syria Crimes

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

British David Cameron said that the horrors of the Holocaust should bring out outrage in people who are against facing the reality that the Assad regime is using chemical weapons in Syria.

He told the Holocaust Education Trust’s annual dinner in London on Monday, “The evidence [is] before our eyes,” the London Jewish Chronicle reported. He referred to “the flagrant breach of an international taboo against the use of chemical weapons, the refugee crisis of our time, and a man-made humanitarian catastrophe where 6.8 million in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance.”

The House of Commons dealt Cameron a several political blow three weeks ago when it narrowly rejected his requests for agreeing to military intervention in Syria to stop the use of chemical weapons.

Speaking of his reaction to watching videos of the victims after the poison gas attack last month that killed more than 1,000 people,, he stated, “I saw children’s bodies stored in ice. Young men and women gasping for air and suffering the most agonizing deaths — all inflicted by weapons that have been outlawed for nearly a century. I saw young people suffering agonizing deaths

“And let’s not forget, these chemical weapons also pose a massive potential threat to Israel….

“Let me assure you that the safety of Israel will always be a fundamental concern for me. With me as Prime Minister, Britain will never stand by. We will not stand by when people talk with genocidal intent about the Jewish people — as the Iranian regime has done. We will not stand by as the Iranians continue their path to nuclear weapons.

“And we will back Israel’s right to defend itself, when rockets from terrorists… are fired into Israeli homes.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/british-pm-holocaust-teaches-not-to-ignore-syria-crimes/2013/09/17/

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