The EU must do more to fight the funding of Islamism across the continent

I wrote this piece for the European Parliament Magazine on Qatari-controlled, UK-based Al Rayan Bank, which continues to provide financial services to a series of Islamist and extremist groups blacklisted by other institutions, and the dangers of lax financial oversight by the EU and its Member State.



via  NurPhoto 

For millions of ordinary Muslims, Al-Rayan is a beautiful Arabic word that means “luxuriant” or “plentiful”. For many Egyptians, however, Al-Rayan is a word that is linked to bitter memories of financial scams associated with the rise of social Islamism in the country.

A young Islamist businessman known as Ahmed Al-Rayan set up what he claimed to be a strictly Sharia-compliant investment scheme.

He succeeded in convincing Egyptian depositors to withdraw their money from state banks and invest it in his own company, which later proved to be a ponzi scheme built on the exploitation of religious piety.

Eventually, his company went bankrupt and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1988.

My mother was a victim of a similar scheme, “al-Sherif”, after she succumbed to social pressure and fatwas that claimed state banks were un-Islamic. She eventually lost most of her inheritance.

Now Britain has its own Al-Rayan moment. Although it is not a Ponzi scheme, it is still a questionable business.


Continue reading here





About nervana111

Doctor, blogger and Commentator on Middle East issues. The only practising doctor who write in Middle Eastern politics in UK.
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