The Treasury Department has announced it will teach "Islamic finance" to U.S. banking regulatory agencies, Congress and other parts of the executive branch today in Washington, D.C. – but critics say it is opening a door to American funding of Islamic extremism.
'Islamic Finance 101'
According to its announcement, the "Islamic Finance 101" forum is "designed to help inform the policy community about Islamic financial services, which are an increasingly important part of the global financial industry."
The Treasury Department has collaborated with Harvard University's Islamic Finance Project to coordinate the event. The department says it expects about 100 people will attend the seminar.
Some speakers include Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Neel Kashkari, senior adviser to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, Jr.; Harvard Business School professor Samuel Hayes; Mahmoud El-Gamal, chair of Islamic economics, finance and management at Rice University and Islamic finance adviser to the Treasury Department; Sarah Bell of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo, Shariah adviser and Islamic scholar; Michael McMillan, chair of the Islamic Legal Forum at the American Bar Association and professor of Islamic finance; and Rushdi Siddiqui, global director for the Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes and vigorous advocate for Islamic finance.