The Passionate Attachment

America's entanglement with Israel

Who’s Behind the Arab Revolutions?

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The Privatization of Political Protest: Western Banks Against the New Islamic Banking Movement

By Matthew Raphael Johnson, Ph.D.
The Barnes Review
August 22, 2011

While major media speak of the recent spate of riots throughout the Islamic world as “spontaneous,” the financing of these “opposition” movements by major banks over the last decade says otherwise. But why? The rise of Islamic banking as a challenge to the Rothschild empire serves as a clear financial reason why the present governments in the Islamic world must go.

The fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s saw a fairly new phenomenon: the rise of privately funded opposition groups around the world. The financiers of these groups are, speaking generally, the Western banking community, seeking “democratic freedoms.” Usually, the remainder of the agenda is vague. It began in Serbia in the early 1990s, and continues in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011. However, a new player has emerged in the Islamic world that has got Western banks squirming, and that is the independent Islamic finance movement.

The groups involved in financing the opposition in Egypt and elsewhere include, most commonly, the George Soros’ Open Society Institute, the International Crisis Group (ICG) of the Rothschild family and their many offshoots. Major figures sitting on ICG’s board include George Soros, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Senator George Mitchell, Morton Abramowitz, Gen. Wesley Clark and Samuel Berger. They have donated millions of dollars to liberal groups operating against governments in strategic areas. The agenda is identical in each case: liberal democracy, secularism, feminism, and private banking. The mobilization of urban youth has long been an important aspect of Soros/ICG operations from Belarus to Bahrain.

More recently, the riots in Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain and Egypt are the result of many years of mobilization and funding of leftist organizations in urban areas since the late 1990s. In Tunisia, for example, the ICG has helped create and finance such organizations as Radio Kalima, the Andalus Institute for Tolerance and the Al-Jahedh Forum for Free Thought. The agenda of these groups is identical to that of the ICG and the Soros empire. Since 2000, the total amount of money funneled to “opposition” groups has topped $10 million.

The creation of political opposition is only part of the story. These organizations, according to news sources such as the British Daily Telegraph and the Global Islamic Finance News, have been involved in training teachers, judges, police officers and bureaucrats in North Africa and elsewhere. The ICG and others are attempting to create a society that is no longer Islamic, no longer religious or traditional, but liberal, urban and open to foreign investment and banking. Given the interests of the players involved, the central concept is to ensure the presence of Rothschild banking in areas where it is being challenged both by the state and independent Islamic banking.

The European Union is in a slow state of decomposition. Riots from Greece to Iceland have shown the bankruptcy of major European banks. On the other hand, Islamic banking operates with a total deposit base of over $1.5 trillion. In 2010, the British Daily Telegraph reported that the Islamic finance movement was challenging London for financial dominance through their investments in Bahrain, Egypt and Tunisia, using Tunis specifically as its new base. Back in 2008, the Washington Post wrote, “As big Western financial institutions have teetered one after the other in the crisis of recent weeks, another financial sector is gaining new confidence: Islamic banking.” The thrust of the article is that Islamic banks are more stable than Western banks, partially because of the refusal to charge interest or take excessive risks. This Post article sent warning signs to London, and the ICG stepped up its financing efforts in Islamic states in response.

The Telegraph admitted that the new Islamic banks were doing some damage to London’s banking profits. At a time when the banking industry struggles with debt, a major challenger such as the Tunis movement could do some grave harm.

The Financial Times reported in 2011 that Islamic banks are in the process of taking over Pakistan’s financial sector and are slowly replacing the IMF as that country’s economic aid partner. This newspaper wrote, “In the past decade, Pakistan’s central bank has encouraged the growth of Islamic banks, as well as Islamic investment windows offered by conventional banks, in response to growing calls from Muslims seeking to deposit in and borrow from Islamic institutions.” Identical policies were in place in Cairo, Tunis and Manama, and was very bad news for the London financial community.

The removal of non-liberal states means the ability for Western banks to more easily penetrate places like Libya, that has a government controlled central bank. Strong states in this strategic part of the world make it far more difficult for Rothschild banks to control finance in these states, and as a result, the “opposition” is created as a financial investment.


Written by Maidhc Ó Cathail

September 1, 2011 at 11:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses

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  1. Dr. Johnson’s point that “the ‘opposition’ is created as a financial investment” reminds me of the following comment on the revolutionary investment strategy of Soros et al. from a brilliant 2004 article in the Guardian by Mark Almond entitled “The Price of People Power“:

    Engels remarked that he saw no contradiction between making a million on the stock market in the morning and spending it on the revolution in the afternoon. Our modern market revolutionaries are now inverting that process. People beholden to them come to office with the power to privatise.

    Maidhc Ó Cathail

    September 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm

  2. There is much in this article that has real value for understanding Western motives behind current foreign policy in the Islamic world. However there are some basic problems in Matthew’s thesis.

    While it may be true that Soros has funded uprisings, this is not convincingly shown to be due to

    “the rise of Islamic banking as a challenge to the Rothschild empire”.

    First of all, Islamic banking has only superficial or symbolic differences with western banking, at the end of the term the provider of capital does have a return on his investment.

    Secondly, a brief look at the Islamic banking industry shows Singapore and Malaysia as the areas of major presence. Most Islamic banking establishments are highly connected with Western banks especially those in London and New York.

    Third, Goldman Sachs is a major Islamic banking services provider.

    Nonetheless, I strongly concur with the following:

    “The removal of non-liberal states means the ability for Western banks to more easily penetrate places like Libya, that has a government controlled central bank.”

    The article is actually self-contradictory in that it notes:

    “Identical policies were in place in Cairo, Tunis and Manama”

    Yet, the West has not fomented upheaval in Manama and the “revolutions” in Tunis and Cairo have not resulted in economic overhaul. Only Libya and Syria seem to be targeted for real regime change.


    September 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm

  3. Thanks, the criticism here is intelligent and well thought out. There is some evidence that GS is involved with assisting Islamic banks, though they are not “major.” They have come under attack for their work with these banks. The motivation of GS in assisting certain Islamic banking establishments is still an open question. The entire point of this banking system is to challenge the west. It, naturally, is moving to neutralize it.

    The distinctions are not trivial — they revolve around the inability to charge interest (instead, they take profits from enterprise) and the requirement for alms to the poor. They are partners, not lenders. To me, at least, these are important.

    The places where “revolution” has occurred are still in a process of adjustment. I don’t know where they are leading. In Libya, the “rebels” have promised US oil firms first choice in future contracts. In the other states, western firms are, as of now, lining up to invest. We’ll see what happens in the future.

    Matthew Raphael Johnson

    September 2, 2011 at 7:56 pm

  4. I must apologize. It has been two or three years since I looked into this question and I believe that I should have cited Barclays Bank rather than Goldman Sachs. Either one could be equally associated with the Rothschilds in one way or another.

    The take away from my admittedly limited research was that through the use of various derivative products virtually any investment can be repackaged as “Islamic”.

    With any type of earnings a portion can be assigned to tithing or zakhat or what have you.

    Every owner of stocks is a “partner” not a lender.

    Perhaps rebels in Libya have promised US oil firms “first choice” in future contracts. They have also promised the Russians and Chinese that they will honor all Gaddafi era agreements as well:

    I do not challenge the fact that privatization of basic industries is an aim and have even written an article to that effect:

    From my extensive reading on the subjects of finance and economics in regard to MENA nations I remain convinced that a focus on “Islamic” banking would be highly misplaced.


    September 2, 2011 at 8:49 pm

  5. I don’t mean to suggest that there are no good or honorable precepts associated with Islamic banking on a conceptual level. The claim that it poses a threat to Western banking, and as such is a motive for aggression against nations that have the practice, seems lacking in support.


    September 2, 2011 at 11:08 pm

  6. I tend to agree. For one thing, the people backing the Arab uprisings are the very same people who were behind the “People Power” coups in the former Soviet bloc. Those “colour revolutions” were primarily driven by a desire to “privatise” i.e. loot the region’s natural resources.

    Maidhc Ó Cathail

    September 2, 2011 at 11:34 pm

  7. So far we are only seeing real regime change in Libya and Syria (now demanded by Obama and Sarkozi). These are both enemies of Israel and were named in 2002 to Wesley Clark as nations that would be overturned. If other regimes are overturned with Western support then we would need to find an explanation other than “wars for Israel”.

    At this point, it all seems to fall in line with the regional domination by Israel paradigm called for by the PNAC since the 90’s. Economic and financial dominance is one aspect of hegemony while military and technological supremacy is a more central requirement.

    Another way to view the Western meddling could be the standard “keeping the ni___ers down”. We will have to see if states are dismembered, if the scientific and intellectual element is destroyed, if endless chaos is to be sown.


    September 3, 2011 at 12:31 am

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