In exchange, Abu Dhabi will receive a guaranteed, whopping 11 percent return on its investment, which analysts flag as an indicator of Citigroup's desperation. But there's something else about the deal, something few consider: The deal necessarily accelerates the Islamization of Western finance. The Abu Dhabi government is now Citigroup's largest stockholder. The second-largest stockholder is a Saudi prince -- Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the one whose millions then-Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani turned down, Harvard and Georgetown snapped up, and who also owns 5.5 percent of Fox News.
Is this a great thing for America? Or is the Islamization of American banking a concern? All Western financial institutions are increasingly accommodating Islamic finance, with its adherence to Sharia (Islamic law) and the collection of zakat (charitable tax), which analysts such as Rachel Ehrenfeld and Jeffrey Imm tell us help finance jihadist indoctrination and terror groups. Do the financial mechanisms to support these anti-Western practices belong at the center of American finance?
Stunningly, the question doesn't seem to occur to the powers that be -- including Congress, where hearings on Sharia finance would well serve the nation. In a paper called "Islamic Finance or Financing Islamism?" Alex Alexiev of the Center for Security Policy outlines the threat this way: "To put it simply, any Western institution that endorses Shariah-compliant products, ipso facto endorses the hateful Islamist ideology behind it, whether they know it or not. Shariah is an integral doctrine and there is no such thing as selecting just a few convenient Shariah tenets and rejecting the rest. By endorsing Shariah, Western banks end up becoming what Lenin called useful idiots or worse to the Islamists. And it is a very thin line between that and outright complicity in the Islamist agenda."
Something else for our leaders to become, er, perplexed about.