Saturday, November 24, 2012

Conversation with Douglas



Dear Zahid.

As the United States winds down for its Thanksgiving, I thought I’d take a moment to thank you for our ongoing professional association. Our business is entirely dependent on the quality of our international relationships; we’re grateful for our personal ties.

In America, Thanksgiving has long resisted commercialization. One reason may be the ecumenical nature of the holiday. The official designation actual dates to 1863, a particularly tumultuous year in American history, starting with Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation to free all slaves in American territories and winding through the Battle of Gettysburg, considered by historians to be a key turning point in the Civil War.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

And We Sit With Rage



Assalamu ‘Alaikum,

And We Sit With Rage


We are now again at the crossroads of history, and awareness of Islamic identity
is beginning to dawn in the consciousness of emergent Muslims. Only when this awareness comes to full awakening with the sun of knowledge will there emerge from among us men and women of spiritual and intellectual maturity and integrity who will be able to play their role with wisdom and justice in upholding the truth. Such men and women will know that they must return to the early masters of the religious and intellectual tradition of Islam, which was established upon the sacred foundation of the Holy Quran and the Tradition of the Holy Prophet, in order to learn from the past and be able to acquip spiritually and intellectually for the future; they will realize that they must not simply appropriate and imitate what modern secular Western civilization has created, but must regain by exerting their own creative, knowledge, will and imagination what is lost of the Muslims’ purpose in life, their history, their values and virtues embodied in their sciences, for what is lost
can never be regained by blind imitation and the raving of slogans which deafen with the din of ‘development’; they will discern that development must not involve a correspondence of Islam with the facts of contemporary events that have strayed far from the path of truth;  and they will conceive and formulate their own definitions and conceptions of government and of the nature of development that will correspond with the purpose of Islam. Their emergence is conditional not merely upon
physical struggle, but more upon the achievement of true knowledge, confidence and boldness of vision that is able to create great changes in history.”

Preface to “Islam and Secularism” by Professor Syed Muhammad Naquib Al-Attas, a legacy he dedicated to, in his own words, “The Muslim Youth”.
(http://www.scribd.com/doc/32659313/Al-Attas-Islam-and-Secularism)

Wise words of a very wise man.

Dear Americans, the story of a brave American girl. Will you still let the Zionists control your President?


Zionists and how they control the world


Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Response to "A Dark Side to Capitalism"

  •  

     Assalamu 'Alaikum


    When the Europeans sacked the Church from government in the 16th, 17th century they created a new religion called Secularism. In this new religion introduced by the likes of European intellectuals such as John Calvin and Martin Luther life must be totally devoid of religion. Religion is something people are encouraged to do only on an individual basis every Sunday morning. This was also the period where the subjects taught at Universities today are borned. All these subjects Economics, Business Administration,Accountancy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Law, Medicine are screened meticulously to ensure that God and religion plays no part in it. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that its legacy is to have fields of subject devoid of human values. Thus it is perfectly legitimate to have a leveraged buy out exercise as you described below to be accorded accollades by the industry while at the same it delivers collateral damage to human hopes, lives and values.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Buddhism Stand Accused

Buddhism stand accused?

Burma's monks call for Muslim community to be shunned-Independent 25 July 2012

The Buddhists have reportedly tried to block humanitarian aid getting to ethnic group

Monks who played a vital role in Burma's recent struggle for democracy have been accused of fuelling ethnic tensions in the country by calling on people to shun a Muslim community that has suffered decades of abuse.

In a move that has shocked many observers, some monks' organisations have issued pamphlets telling people not to associate with the Rohingya community, and have blocked humanitarian assistance from reaching them. One leaflet described the Rohingya as "cruel by nature" and claimed it had "plans to exterminate" other ethnic groups.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Rohingya: Myanmar's outcasts

The Rohingya: Myanmar's outcasts

Millions of residents of western Myanmar have been stripped of citizenship and basic human rights. Will Suu Kyi help?



This article is the first in a series by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, a former Pakistani high commissioner to the UK, exploring how a litany of volatile centre/periphery conflicts with deep historical roots were interpreted after 9/11 in the new global paradigm of anti-terrorism - with profound and often violent consequences. Incorporating in-depth case studies from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, Ambassador Ahmed will ultimately argue that the inability for Muslim and non-Muslim states alike to either incorporate minority groups into a liberal and tolerant society or resolve the "centre vs periphery" conflict is emblematic of a systemic failure of the modern state - a breakdown which, more often than not, leads to widespread violence and destruction. The violence generated from these conflicts will become the focus, in the remainder of the 21st century, of all those dealing with issues of national integration, law and order, human rights and justice.

Washington, DC - The image of a smiling Daw Aung San Suu Kyi receiving flowers from her supporters is a powerful message of freedom and optimism in Myanmar, the symbol of democracy in a country which has known nothing but authoritarian oppression for decades.
Yet few ask one of the most pressing questions facing Daw Suu Kyi. How will she deal with the Rohingya?
"The Rohingya," you will ask. "Who are they?"

Friday, June 29, 2012

Spasiva mai brazia


Assalamu Alaikum

Spasiva mai brazia

It was in this beautiful Russian city sandwiched between the banks of the river Volga and the shores of the Caspian Sea that I was anointed a “scholar” by my Chechen, Tartars, Kazakhs, Dagestan and Russian Islamic Finance Course students. A reluctant ‘scholar’ I was for no less than a Mufti was amongst my participants. Fortunately the question was more finance than fiqh so I was able to satisfy the enthusiastic minds of this engaging people.

Monday, June 18, 2012

To Sir with Love


To Sir with Love

Assalamu ‘Alaikum,
                                   As I ended my second day teaching Islamic finance to a group of unemployed graduates at the Unemployed Graduates Training Programme I said to them “You may wish me happy birthday on your way out”. They spontaneously burst into a “happy birthday song” which  touched me more than I cared to show. I did say to them, “Let me teach you also about life as anything else, as you have done your studying and your motive now is to get a job.” “You mean like Sidney Poitier in “To Sir with Love” sir? said one of them. “Yes, like him” I said. My heart goes out to these individuals of whom some are hopes of parents to exit from the poverty trap. Many years of studying with the dream of getting a job dashed by the reality of life. But they were happy faces still full of the hopes of youth.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Know your enemy

May God be with Egypt
[ 16/06/2012 - 09:57 PM ]
By Khalid Amayreh


Employing legalistic chicanery, blatant deceit and contemptible conspiracies, the remnants of the Mubarak regime seem hell-bent on aborting the Egyptian revolution.
On Thursday, 14 June, the so-called Constitutional Court, an entity that was utterly silent during 30 years of corruption, tyranny and repression under the previous regime, issued a hasty decision, dissolving the People's Assembly or Parliament.
This parliament was elected only three months ago in perfectly transparent elections observed by the entire world and supervised by the Egyptian judicial system. None of the judges then questioned the legality and transparency of the elections. They all boasted about the democratic credentials of the ruling junta, saying that Egypt was entering a new era of human rights, political freedoms and civil liberties.
With the last round of parliamentary polls, it became clear that the Islamists were the winners. This infuriated the "Mubarak party" which began ranting and raving about "an Islamist takeover of Egypt" and the "monopoly of the Ikhwan" over the Egyptian scene.
Such disgusting canards and vociferous accusations were repeated so often that one would get the impression that the Islamist arrogated, not earned, their electoral victories.
Some of the small leftist and Nasserist parties went beyond the pale of decency and common sense in vilifying the Islamists for winning "more seats than they should" as if the Islamists were supposed to ask the voters to vote for them sparingly or parsimoniously.!!!
The discourse employed by the leftists and pseudo liberals in the aftermath of the parliamentary elections was so mendacious, so malicious, so repulsive and above all markedly preposterous that it portrayed the Islamists as "hijackers or stealers of the people's will." The utter depravity of these so-called "democratic forces" reached such a point that a casual listener to these hypocrites' lies and vindictive falsification of the facts would think that the real problem lies with the Ikhwan, not with Zionist Mubarak regime.
More to the point, the de facto rejection of the democratic process by these pseudo liberals and pseudo-democrats underscore their hypocrisy and despotic impulses. In the final analysis, feeling gleeful and going into a state of ecstasy over the dissolution of a democratically-elected parliament, which exhausted the poor country and cost her hundreds of millions of dollars, shows the utter falsehood of their democratic claims.
I can't understand what could justify the dissolution of a democratically-elected parliament only a few weeks after was elected? Indeed, if there were true legal gaps rendering the parliament unconstitutional as the mouthpieces of the regime keep parroting, such gaps should have been determined and tackled from the very inception, given the fact that the elections were held under the supervision of the justice system from A to Z.
However, the fact that the court said nothing and did nothing until the eve of the presidential elections suggests more than a foul play.
More to the point, one would wonder if the Constitutional court would have dissolved the parliament had secularist and liberal forces won the elections. The answer is left to each and everyone of us according to his or her honesty.
In every democratic country under the sun, the elected representatives of the people have the right to write the constitution or select a body of experts to do the job. However, according to Mubarak's shipyard dogs, this right must be withdrawn from the elected representatives and given to losers that were ejected by the masses.
There is no doubt that the dissolution of the parliament represents a blatant rape of the will the Egyptian people by the military establishment along with the remnants of the judicial establishment, a body that was always at Mubarak's beck and call.
Hence, it is imperative that the current judicial establishment be subjected to a process of thorough purification lest that establishment continues conniving and colluding with the tyrannical military establishment in order to reproduce the Mubarak regime and take Egypt back to American-Zionist bondage.
To put it simply and straightforwardly, the current judicial establishment can't be entrusted or relied upon to uphold justice in Egypt.
Two weeks ago, the Egyptian justice system acquitted nearly all the pillars of the previous regime, including hundreds of murderers, thieves, and conspirers.
True, Mubarak and his interior minister Habib al-Adly were sentenced to life imprisonment, probably under public pressure.
But what is the fate of the murderers of more than 850 Egyptian protesters? Who killed them? Did the killers come from Mars or another galaxy? And why is it that the burden of proof lies with the victims' families and lawyers, not the state.
Indeed, what is the state’s raison d'ĂȘtre if not to protect the lives of its citizens and uphold justice? The state can't just tell the families of the victims, "sorry, we don't know who killed your loved ones, and may God's mercy be bestowed on them." The state is guilty of breach of trust.
I don't know how the Egyptian scene will evolve following the presidential elections now underway. Will the notorious Constitutional Court declare these elections null and void if the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate Muhammed Mursi wins the polls?
Everything is possible and nothing can be taken for granted, because the orphans of Mubarak are alive and kicking and will not cease their treacherous and treasonous acts unless they are eliminated. But nothing other than the continuation and intensification of the revolution will guarantee their elimination.
Egypt is going through a crucial and difficult period. May God help Egypt

Saturday, May 19, 2012

How the US Dollar Will Be Replaced


May 17, 2012

How the U.S. Dollar Will Be Replaced

By Brandon Smith

After being immersed in the world of alternative economic analysis for several years, it sometimes becomes easy to forget that most people do not track forex markets, or debt to GDP ratio, or true unemployment, or hunch over IMF white-papers highlighting subsections which expose the trappings of the globalist ideology. Sometimes, you just assume the average person knows what the heck you are talking about. This is, of course, a mistake. However, it is a mistake that is borne from the inadequacy of our age and our culture, and is not necessarily a product of weak character, either of the analyst, or the casual reader.

Of Money Lending Risks vs Business Risks

Assalamu 'Alaikum

Commenting on the article by Salman Sheikh below Islamic banks should also learn to differentiate money lending from business risks. Islamic bank leases assets and sells assets; they should manage business risks not money lending risks which is the realm of conventional banking.

Take a cold hard look at term sheets and legal documents, an intelligent Islamic banker will be able to identify the money lending risk management clauses in there which should be remove if one does not want to be labelled a money lender 

The operative legal maxim in Muamalat is Alghunm bi Alghurm. One is not entitled to reward unless one is willing to expose oneself to risk. The Muamalat practitioner who understands this Shariah injunction seeks risk to justify his rewards 

Risk is only ugly to riba bankers; Islamic bankers who wants to be Islamic Muamalat practitioners are required to seek risks as a matter of Shariah injunction.

Best regards and Salam
Zahid

Reflections on One Decade Operations of Islamic Banking in Pakistan


Salman Ahmed Shaikh

Islamic banking in Pakistan roughly started one decade ago and now there are 5 full-fledged Islamic banks in Pakistan and more than 15 conventional banks that have Islamic banking branches.

The industry has grown by more than 10 percent consistently during the last five years and despite the economic slump after 2007 in economy, the growth in Islamic banking had remained consistent and even gained more steam at least in Pakistan and that has been roughly the case elsewhere too.


However, any meaningful assessment and reflection on the performance of Islamic banking must take into account much more than the growth, market share, size of balance sheet and profits.


Islamic financial institutions built their reputation and gained acceptance from masses having promised socio-economic benefits of an egalitarian financial system based on Islamic principles. Hence, this merits a careful analysis of performance on these and similar parameters.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Do you know how big is Australia?

Do You Know How Big is Australia?
... and they don't even have a place for LYNAS!
"No matter how noble the objectives of a government, if it blurs decency and kindness, cheapens human life and breeds ill will and suspicion – it is an evil government".
- Eric Hoffer,
The Passionate State of Mind 1954

Monday, March 26, 2012

Post Script : Looking at Islamic Banking in its Proper Context

 Questions and Answers Pursuant to the Article

To mcoba google
Subject : Re Looking at Islamic Banking in its Proper Context
 From:
zahid aziz (zaziz@hotmail.com)
Sent:
Sunday, March 25, 2012 3:58:06 PM
To:
mcoba google (mcoba-mail@googlegroups.com)
Aswt,

Bro,
Such insightful questions! We cannot understand where we are today without understanding history. History will tell us there was a time when the world lives without riba. In the 15th century the Church was the government in Europe and the forbidden of usury in the Bible was implemented strictly. Then came the rise of the intellectuals in the likes of Martin Luther of Germany and John Calvin of England who led the movement to sack the Church and created the new religion called Secularism. In the wake, John Calvin wrote a treatise to justify riba and Christians no longer questions its practise. In the meantime rich families in the likes of Lombardy's came into being in Italy, and Jews they employ to conduct riba banking had their workbench called 'banco' giving birth to the name banks we know of today. In then Malaya this twin evil of riba and secularism was brought to our shores by the British so much so we embraced them as our own values. The fall of the Uthmaniah Caliphate or the Ottomans as the west are fond of referring to them, was the direct result of the last Caliph taking great debts from the Europeans. If you read John Perkins, Confessions of an Economic Hitman you will understand why the Quran says Allah and His Rasul will declare war on the practitioners of riba. Today there are over 30 countries who are debt slaves of America via the evil door of riba. The Islamic Empire during the rule of the Rightful Caliphs prospered without riba; the Caliphs that expanded the Islamic Empire later on also ruled Caliphates that prospered without riba. Our misery began with the collapse of the last Caliphate; we then became nation states and Muslims no longer have a Khalifah. We then began the journey to become the foams of the waves of oceans as described by the Prophet saw; plentiful in numbers but weak.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Looking at Islamic Banking in its Proper Context

Assalamu 'Alaikum,

LOOKING AT ISLAMIC BANKING IN ITS PROPER CONTEXT

This article appeared in Forum page of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 902, Mar 19-25, 2012
My Say: Looking at Islamic Banking in its Proper Context
Written by Zahid Aziz March 19 2012

The Muslims Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) in a press statement dated 12 February 2012 criticized banks “who use the name ‘Islam’ in efforts to promote and sell their respective products when in reality they still oppress and use methods contrary to Islamic law.”

The Association of Islamic Banks in Malaysia (AIBIM) countered “All Islamic banking institutions in Malaysia operates in accordance with Syariah values and are well regulated in compliance with high standards…”

I believe that we are today actually guilty of failing to see Islamic banking in its proper context. To put it simply, the true environment of Islamic banking as expected by the Shariah is that it should be operating in a riba free environment, in a riba free economy. In other words it should be a sole single system operating in an Islamic economy, putting aside the wider environment of Islamic law for the moment.

What we find today is an Islamic banking system enveloped and impacted by the riba banking system operating within a riba driven economy. Practitioners of Islamic banking understand these daily pressures imposed on them by riba banking, but often, they are not able to articulate the issues to the general public. Incidentally, this is the voice I tried to give them in a thesis entitled “The negative impact of riba banking on the performance of Islamic banking in a dual system like Malaysia” that I recently submitted to a local university.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Response to Conversation with a Journalist

Date: Fri, 24 Feb 2012 00:27:25 +0800
Subject: Re: [MCOBA:109091] Conversation with a Journalist
From:
To: zaziz@hotmail.com
Salam, Bro Zahid, can you elaborate on what the journalist asked you to elaborate?

A clash between Muslim Consumer's Association and AIBIM, the Association of Islamic Banks. AIBIM Press Statement attached. The excessive profits charge by the Muslim Consumers Association here  http://mynewshub.my/eng/2012/02/15509/

 My comments is to a London based Islamic Finance publication. Coming out next week I believe.

The key issue I see in a dual banking system, is that Islamic banking benchmarks returns on investment based on the returns of a conventional banking system.

I agree that Islamic financial institutions are businesses, and that profit making is necessary. But benchmarking what 'poor' or 'good' returns are, both from the consumers and bankers point of views, based on the conventional system surely defeats the purpose of Islamic financing? On what basis, for example, does xxx bank Islamic financing justifies a premium of RM1million on a RM400,000 house loan that I'm taking now? Yes, the tenure is for 30 years, but still, that looks far too excessive to me. Will the value of my house really reach that price?

Yes I see your point Islamic banks should earn less profit being Islamic in nature. Issue here is the KPI set by the owners of Islamic banks. We need to tackle the owners before the operatives can change.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Conversation with a Journalist




Assalamu ‘Alaikum,
Thank you Emmy. I am delighted you asked me to elaborate.
My views are that of a practitioner cum consultant who recently turned academician doing post graduate studies in Islamic Finance.
Actually the entire issue could be summarised by my recent thesis submitted to the International Islamic University Malaysia, entitled “The Negative Impact of Riba Banking on the Performance of Islamic Banking in a Dual Banking System like Malaysia.”


I am not sure whether the University can release the thesis yet but allow me to summarise as follows:
We are today actually guilty of failing to see Islamic banking in its proper context. To put it simply I posed that the true environment of Islamic banking as expected by the Shariah is that it should be operating in a riba free environment, in a riba free economy. In other words it should be a sole single system operating in an Islamic economy. I put aside the wider environment of Islamic law for the moment.

What we find today is an Islamic banking system enveloped and impacted by the riba banking system operating within a riba driven economy. Practitioners of Islamic banking understand these daily pressures imposed on them by riba banking but often they are not able to articulate the issues to the general public. This is the voice I tried to give them in my thesis.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Singapored

Assalamu ‘Alaikum

Singapored

This city state seems to be coming up often in my life now, bidding me to come and teach today, and to speak also on Islamic finance, mid March God willing. Andrew and the software company for whom I will be teaching tomorrow have put me in this hotel in Marina Bay which is not too far from the Singapore Management University which will be the location of the class. I told Andrew I want to fly kelip-kelip* airways as the airport they operate from in KL is not too far from my home. Uneventful flight except to ponder how come the bag we buy to take into the cabin is always bigger than the permitted size. This seems a collective wishful thinking of all air travellers though the girl selling the cabin bag almost always never tell you that it will never be allowed on board, does she?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

India to pay gold instead of dollars for Iranian oil


 Aswt,
           Let the fun begin. And China and UAE have ditched US Dollar and will use Yuan for oil trades.
Best regards and salam,
Zahid

Source: Commodity Online
24 January 2012 
India to pay gold instead of dollars for Iranian oil


MUMBAI (Commodity Online): India is the first buyer of Iranian oil to agree to pay for its purchases in Gold instead of the US dollar, reported DEBKAfile's intelligence and Iranian. Those sources expect China to follow suit. India and China take about one million barrels per day, or 40 percent of Iran's total exports of 2.5 million bpd. Both are superpowers in terms of gold assets.


By trading in gold, New Delhi and Beijing enable Tehran to bypass the upcoming freeze on its central bank's assets and the oil embargo which the European Union's foreign ministers agreed to impose Monday, Jan. 23. The EU currently buys around 20 percent of Iran's oil exports.