In a motion for summary judgment filed this week, Federal District Court Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff was asked to enter a judgment against U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and the Federal Reserve Board over the federal government’s bailout of AIG. The basis for the motion is that over a billion dollars of the bailout went to fund Islamic religious activities in violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
The Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor Michigan, and attorney David Yerushalmi filed the lawsuit in December 2008, challenging the AIG bailout on behalf of Kevin Murray, a former Marine who had served in Iraq. As a taxpayer, Murray objected to being forced to support the propagation of the Islamic jihad which he fought against as a U.S. Marine.
Robert Muise, Senior Trial Lawyer with the Law Center, and David Yerushalmi prepared the motion for summary judgment. The motion is based on depositions of Treasury officials, affidavits of AIG officials (sealed per court order), answers to interrogatories, and the sworn declarations of two of the nation’s notable experts on Islamic law and terrorism, Stephen C. Coughlin and Robert Spencer. [Click here to read Summary Judgment motion]
Coughlin, a lawyer and a decorated Army Reserve officer in Military Intelligence, is often cited as the Pentagon’s leading expert on the nexus between Islamic law and jihad. He concluded that by engaging in Sharia-compliant financing, AIG and the federal government, which now owns 79.9 percent of AIG, are engaging in the religious practice of Islam.
According to Coughlin, Islam inculcates hostility and discrimination against Jews, Christians, and all others who do not accept the Koran as the “word of Allah.” It is the same law that motivated the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans. [Click here to read Stephen Coughlin’s Declaration]
Robert Spencer has studied Islamic theology and history for thirty years. He is the Director of Jihad Watch and the author of ten books dealing with Islam. He has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the U.S. Central Command, the U.S. Command and General Staff College, the Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the U.S. intelligence community.
According to Spencer, by engaging in its Sharia-compliant financing and business practices, AIG is engaging in religious behavior that inculcates hatred and discrimination against Jews, Christians, and all other non-Muslims.
Spencer states that in abetting the spread of Sharia-compliant financing, AIG and the federal government are abetting the same legal system that motivated the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans on 9/11. [Click here to read Robert Spencer’s Declaration]
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “It’s outrageous that the federal government is the owner of a corporation engaged in a business with interests adverse to the United States. We filed this lawsuit not only to defend constitutional principles, but also to defend our national security. It’s clear we can’t leave the job of protecting America to the Washington politicians.”
The federal lawsuit challenged that portion of the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” (EESA) that appropriated billions in taxpayer money to fund and financially support the federal government’s majority ownership interest in AIG, which engages in Shariah-based Islamic religious activities that are anti-American, anti-Christian, and anti-Jewish.
According to the lawsuit, AIG, which is now a government owned company, engages in Sharia-compliant financing which subjects certain financial activities, including investments, to the dictates of Islamic law and the Islamic religion. This specifically includes any profits or interest obtained through such financial activities. AIG itself describes “Sharia” as “Islamic law based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet .”
According to the lawsuit, “The use of these taxpayer funds to approve, promote, endorse, support, and fund these Sharia-based Islamic religious activities violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
Judge Zatkoff, in an earlier decision, denied the request by the Obama administration’s Department of Justice to dismiss the lawsuit. In his ruling, the judge held that the lawsuit sufficiently alleged a federal constitutional challenge to the use of taxpayer money to fund AIG’s Islamic religious activities. The court noted:
Times of crisis, however, do not justify departure from the Constitution. In this case, the United States government has a majority interest in AIG. AIG utilizes consolidated financing whereby all funds flow through a single port to support all of its activities, including Sharia-compliant financing. Pursuant to the EESA, the government has injected AIG with tens of billions of dollars, without restricting or tracking how this considerable sum of money is spent. At least two of AIG’s subsidiary companies practice Sharia-compliant financing, one of which was unveiled after the influx of government cash. After using the $40 billion from the government to pay down the $85 billion credit facility, the credit facility retained $60 billion in available credit, suggesting that AIG did not use all $40 billion consistent with its press release. Finally, after the government acquired a majority interest in AIG and contributed substantial funds to AIG for operational purposes, the government co-sponsored a forum entitled “Islamic Finance 101.” These facts, taken together, raise a question of whether the government’s involvement with AIG has created the effect of promoting religion and sufficiently raise Plaintiff’s claim beyond the speculative level, warranting dismissal inappropriate at this stage in the proceedings.
With the aid of taxpayer funds provided by Congress, AIG employs a “Shariah Supervisory Committee, ” which is comprised of the following members: Sheikh Nizam Yaquby from Bahrain, Dr. Mohammed Ali Elgari from Saudi Arabia, and Dr. Muhammed Imran Ashraf Usmani from Pakistan. Dr. Usmani is the son, student, and dedicated disciple of Mufti Taqi Usmani, who is the leading Sharia authority for Sharia-compliant finance in the world and the author of a book translated into English in 1999 that includes an entire chapter dedicated to explaining why a Western Muslim must engage in violent jihad against his own country or government.
According to AIG, the role of its Shariah authority “is to review our operations, supervise its development of Islamic products, and determine Shariah compliance of these products and our investments.”