Darrell Issa Shows Ignorance of Islam in Donnelly-Kashkari Spat over Shariah

California State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who is running for governor, recently pointed out that his rival Neel Kashkari “supported the United States submitting to the Islamic, Shariah banking code in 2008 when he ran TARP.” 

The charge was true, but that didn’t stop the influential Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair, from furiously denouncing not Kashkari, but Donnelly – illustrating again what’s wrong with the right.

Issa raged: “There is no place in any public discussion for this type of hateful and ignorant garbage. As far as I’m concerned, this type of stupidity disqualifies Donnelly from being fit to hold any office, anywhere. Donnelly is no longer a viable option for California voters… There is no place in the Republican Party or in this race for someone like Tim Donnelly.”

Donnelly duly apologized. But he shouldn’t have. He was right. Did Darryll Issa even look into the charge? Or did he knee-jerk smear Donnelly? And who died and made Issa king of the Republican Party? Who is this uninformed loudmouth to say who is or isn’t welcomed into the Republican Party? Like Brody said in Jaws, we need a bigger boat. If every time someone touches the third rail – jihad and sharia – they get burned and turned on, then the Republicans are going the way of the Whigs.

It’s Issa who should be taken to the woodshed, not Donnelly. What was hateful wasn’t Donnelly’s statement but Issa’s response. What is ignorant is Issa’s complete lack of knowledge of sharia, TARP, and the taxpayer-funded sharia programs. Why should the American taxpayer legitimize and institutionalize the Sharia? Sharia finance is the pernicious effort to force the banking industry to conform to Islamic law. Sharia banking finances Islamic terror through zakat (Islamic almsgiving) and would destroy whole sectors of the American economy, as it prohibits investment in whole industries, including pork, alcohol, tobacco, and some forms of entertainment.

Shariah Finance Watch explains that sharia-compliant finance “as monitored by paid Shariah law advisors to U.S. banking institutions must ‘purify’ certain return on investment (ROI) dollars that do not meet Shariah law standards. This money must be donated to Islamic charities – including some that promote Jihad and support suicide bombing. Investment disclosures state that these profits can be as high as 6% of profits of investments.”

That’s what Kashkari was selling when he spoke at a Treasury Department conference in 2008 that was intended to “inform the policy community about Islamic financial services, which are an increasingly important part of the global financial industry.” The conference’s stated purpose was to “provide government policymakers information about Islamic finance. The presentation materials from the conference discussed topics such as the source of Islamic finance, how Islamic finance works, and the market factors that caused its growth.”

The introduction of sharia finance in the U.S. has support at the highest levels. A recent lawsuit brought to light the fact that $153 million in taxpayer money has been spent on sharia-compliant finance. David Yerushalmi of the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC), who represented the anti-sharia plaintiff in that lawsuit, told me:

I take no position about what kind of governor Mr. Kashkari would make or indeed what kind of conservative bona fides he has in his brief. What I can say is that the U.S. Treasury under President Bush, during Mr. Kashkari’s deep involvement in TARP, actively promoted Sharia-compliant finance when it knew very well that this vehicle was being used not only to promote jihad, but also to effectively defraud Western investors by failing to disclose the Black Box that is Sharia. Mr. Kashkari might claim he was simply naive about the insidious and invidious nature of Sharia. That naiveté, though, becomes part of his resume for governor. But one thing I can say with absolute certainty: the Treasury Department he served knew exactly what it was doing. We uncovered documents during discovery where we learned that the Treasury was not merely promoting Sharia-compliant finance through its acquisition of AIG, but that it had been promoting Sharia as an international financing model leading up to the government’s takeover of AIG.

Confirming that is a statement from Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robert Kimmitt, who said around the same time that this conference was held that “the U.S. government is currently studying the salient features of Islamic banking to ascertain how far it could be useful in fighting the ongoing world economic crisis.”

Nevertheless, Kashkari downplayed his involvement in the conference: “They were looking for a senior Treasury official to give the opening remarks at this conference, and I happened to be scheduled to be in the office that day.” He did acknowledge, however, that “these sorts of conferences were put on to help promote an understanding of how you can still have free market principles and open economics even in Islamic countries.” Really? Where? In which Islamic countries? His claim is false on its face.

Issa’s savage attack on Donnelly is yet another indication of how naïve and complacent establishment Republicans are about the threat of jihad and Islamic supremacism. Issa said this on Bill Maher’s show back in 2007:

One of the problems that we have as Americans in my opinion having traveled the region a little bit, is that we try to say Muslims as though it was one place. If you go to the Palestinian territories the one thing you’ll see is that for over 1000 years, Christians and Muslims have lived side-by-side... So we can talk about radical Islam, but we see no evidence out of it there. You go to Ethiopia, [where] you have some of the oldest Christians in the world and Muslims. They have a lot of problems in Ethiopia, we'll endless[ly talk] about the problems in Ethiopia, except they look down on Somalia for their problems, but there is no question that religious tolerance of the two living side by side has not been about extremism, ‘convert or you'll die.’

“No evidence” of “radical Islam” in the Palestinian territories? What is he smoking? There are churches in those areas because under Muslim rule the Christians were subjugated dhimmis, denied basic rights and paying jizya (poll tax) to the Islamic state. The Muslims let them live because they constituted their source of revenue for the state. That’s tolerance?

Clearly Darrell Issa knows nothing about Islam, sharia, or Islamic history.

In 2011, Issa co-sponsored the Hezbollah Anti-Terrorism Act (HATA), a bill to cut aid to the Hezbollah-led Lebanese government. However, he has also denounced “Israel’s wanton violation of Lebanese territory and its somewhat failed attempt to defeat Hezbollah.” He has even said, “You can’t end an idea or a terrorist organization by guns alone.” So does Issa suggest we roast marshmallows with Boko Haram? Al-Shabaab? Hamas?

Darrell Issa is the latest illustration of what’s wrong with the Republican Party and of our increasingly serious need for a genuine opposition party in Washington.

Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here. Like her on Facebook here.


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