Court: Marine can't challenge Shariah
But judges admit tax funds used 'for arguably religious
The ruling came today from Alan Norris, Eric Clay and Allen Griffin, judges on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Thus, the taxpayer lacked “standing” even to complain about the issue.
And they came to their conclusion even though the court opinion admitted that shortly after the Treasury Department acquired an interest in AIG, the “department sponsored a conference entitled ‘Islamic Finance 101.’ The stated purpose of the conference 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 plaintiffs argued that Congress could or should have known its bailout money to AIG would go to Shariah “since AIG was well known as the leader in [Shariah complaint finance].”
No matter, the judges ruled, This “falls well short of supporting a reasonable inference of congressional intention that a portion of the [federal bailout money] might support [Shariah].”
The appeals judges affirmed an earlier decision from a trial court judge who concluded the $153 million of U.S. taxpayer money spent supporting Islamic Shariah really isn’t anything worth mentioning.
The case was filed against Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and others and is over the nation’s bailout with taxpayer money of AIG insurance, which operates multiple companies promoting Shariah-complaint insurance products.
The specific lawsuit was filed on behalf of taxpayer Kevin J. Murray over the bailout, which has involved billions of taxpayer dollars. It’s being handled by Robert Muise and David Yerushalmi of the American Freedom Law Center.
At the district court level, the case was dismissed by Judge Lawrence Zatkoff, who ruled that the case needed yet to prove that “the diverted funds were not de minimus in relation to the total amount…”
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines de minimus as “so minor as to merit disregard,” but the plaintiffs attorneys noted in their appeal brief that “even the district court had to concede that after cash-strapped AIG received billions of dollars in taxpayer money … it provided two of its SCF [Shariah-compliant] subsidiaries with at least $153 million.”
The lawsuit alleges that the U.S. government’s takeover and financial bailout of AIG was in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
According to American Freedom Law Center’s investigation, AIG has five subsidiaries that promote and practice Shariah in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Bahrain and the United States.
Those companies hire Muslims to tell them how to meet the demands of Shariah, and the U.S. government has placed no controls over the billions of dollars in taxpayer money delivered to AIG.
Yerushalmi and Muise said they would appeal the case alleging the U.S. government’s takeover and financial bailout of AIG was in violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.
It claims specifically, at the time of the government bailout (beginning in September 2008 and continuing to the present), AIG was (and still is) the world leader in promoting Shariah-compliant insurance products. As the Sixth Circuit acknowledged in its opinion today, “‘Shariah’ refers to Islamic law based on the teachings of the Quran. It is the Islamic code embodying the way of life for Muslims and is intended to serve as the civic law in Muslim countries.”
As argued by AFLC, by propping up AIG with taxpayer funds, the U.S. government is directly and indirectly promoting Islam and, more troubling, Shariah. And as the Sixth Circuit noted in its opinion, Murray objects to his tax money being used to support Shariah because it “forms the basis for the global jihadist war against the West and the United States.”
Muise said, “This decision by the Sixth Circuit is troubling on many levels. First, it is contrary to controlling U.S. Supreme Court precedent, which allows a taxpayer to challenge a congressional spending program that violates the Establishment Clause. And second, this decision permits the federal government to continue its practice of promoting and supporting Shariah through the use of taxpayer funds. We intend to request a rehearing by the full court, and if that does not succeed, we will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.”
The court ruling admitted, “AIG subsidiaries ensure the Shariah-compliance of its SCF products by obtaining consultation from ‘Shariah Supervisory Committees.’ The members of these committees are authorities in Shariah law and oversee the implementation of SCF products by reviewing AIG’s operations, supervising the development of SCF products, and evaluating the compliance of these products with Shariah law.”
The court acknowledged that “AIG’s subsidiaries received a significant portion of the funds AIG received from the federal government” and that “[s]ix AIG subsidiaries have marketed and sold SCF products since AIG began receiving capital injections from the federal government.”
Yerushalmi said, “It is one thing that our government felt compelled to bail out AIG after its fortunes were destroyed due to the company’s own recklessness and bad acts. It is quite another thing to use U.S. taxpayer dollars to promote and support AIG’s Shariah businesses.”