When Umar Pasha saw the program of the 7th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) just a week before the event, he told me: "We must be there, we can't allow this cohort of bankers and modernists to promote submission to Kufr in the land of great sufis and warriors".
Initiated by the Malaysian government 7 years ago WIEF is an annual event rotating the host country every year. Dubbed by the media as Islamic Davos the 7th WIEF was scheduled to take place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on 8-9 June 2011.
The format of the forum and the list of speakers were prerogative of the Malaysian side and of course the Islamic Banking session was a major feature of the event along with 20 other sessions. And the fact that in such a huge Islamic event, held in the country which had a special place in the heart of Umar Pasha, there was no intention to speak about Riba, Muamalat or Gold Dinar, had sparked the determination of Umar Pasha that instantly travelled in the Unseen Reality around the world. That our journey started before we moved I would understand later when I witnessed the string of events that unfolded right from the moment when Pasha said "we must be there" up until we touched Kuala Lumpur on our way home.
Despite a few days notice the Kazak government squeezed Umar Pasha to speak on the second day of the forum, 9th June, in a session "Harvesting Alternative Energy"; the Kazak officials said to me: "We could only put Umar Pasha in this session in which we had left one reservation for ourselves, the format of the forum is in the hands of malaysian side and they don't want any changes, tell Umar Pasha to choose a topic for his presentation related to the theme of the session but he can say whatever he has to say once he is on the stage; the kazak media will pick it up". Pasha quickly chose a topic: Oil for Gold - Restoring Ecological Balance. How and what will he speak in such a specific session knew only him.
From the outset of our journey, in Kuala Lumpur International Airport, we began meeting various WIEF delegates, not just malaysians but other countries' representatives heading to Astana via Kuala Lumpur. While waiting for boarding Pasha spoke about Gold Dinar showing the coins. None of them knew about Gold Dinar. Then in Bangkok International Airport where we changed planes we met another group of WIEF delegates who too were introduced to Shariah Currency. The Parallel WIEF Forum had begun.
Upon arrival to Astana our Parallel Forum continued. The friends we made while travelling to Astana quickly spread the news to the rest of their delegations whom they joined in Astana and a combined group of Bangladeshi and Pakistani WIEF delegates hosted a dinner in their hotel for Umar Pasha the night before the forum. They were so moved by Umar Pasha's presentation that the dinner lasted from 8pm till mid-night.
The first day of the Forum started with the opening speeches of several state leaders: Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Djibouti, Tajikistan. With the exception of Kazak statesman all other speeches were so identically bland and secular as if the same person had written all the scripts. The speech of the Kazak leader was centered around Islamic identity of Kazakhstan expressing concern for the state of the Ummah and its future development. He said that Islam, when properly understood and practiced, is the highest form of existence as it was in the past when sciences, arts and economy of Muslims were the vanguard of human achievements. "Islam is never in crisis. There are some regions in the Muslim world today that are in crisis. We have to modernize our societies but without distorting the fundamentals of the Deen of Islam ... without mechanic copying of alien models. ... We also have to start working in earnest on common media projects of Islamic countries in order to oppose on global and regional levels the efforrts to discredit our great religion" - said the Kazak President.
During coffee and lunch break Umar Pasha's parallel forum went on. Like a tank Pasha bulldozed through the crowd looking in the eyes of people and seizing every opportunity to mention the name of Allah and His Messenger. Pasha presented Gold Dinar project to Finance Minister of UAE, Advisor of PM of Bahrain, officials from the Administration of the Malaysian state of Penang, representatives of the Kazakhstan government and of course ordinary participants. Throughout the first day of the forum Pasha was in the coffee break lounge speaking to one group of people after the other, non-stop. Like a magnet he was always surrounded by people, and our job was to invite all these people to come to his presentation on the following day. There was only one session on the first day of the forum that Pasha went to attend: Islamic Banking.
The session on Islamic Banking was opened with keynote adress by the Prince of Malaysian State of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah. To his credit he was rather reserved and sober in his overview of the "achievements" of Islamic Banking. There was another sane voice in the panel, Dr Adalet Djabiev, founder of the first Islamic bank in Russia, who admitted that Islamic Banking needs a paradigm shift and re-thinking of its existing model. But the rest of the panel were hard-core banksters who without blinking an eye promoted Riba to Muslim public. The moderator, a Malaysian Dato and CEO of Asian Finance Bank, couldn't wait until the end of the last presentation and after the last speaker delivered his paper he immediately announced the end of the session. The audience was surprised that one of the most central session didn't have Q&A. There was a total silence in the audience as the panel of speakers started to rise from their seats. And suddenly a strong voice thundered in the vast hall making all remain in their seats: I have a question!
It was a friend of Umar Pasha, descendant of Chengis Khan, Serik Toreh ("toreh" is the title of all male descendants of Chengis Khan carefully passed from generation to generation). Serik Toreh is a great-great-great grandson of Sultan Barak, the last Kazak ruler who opposed the Russian expansion at the end of the 18th century. While the moderator was thinking what to say (or probably he got startled from a powerful masculine voice) Serik Toreh stood up, grabbed the mike and asked: "1 US dollar of 50 years ago is equal today in terms of buying power to 100 dollars, it means the dollar got devaluated 100 times in the last 50 years. This is because the banks create money out of nothing. This is robbery. Islamic banks too enjoy creating money out of nothing. So how can you call yourself Halal or Islamic ?"
Then there were a few more questions from the audience. The panel replied to some questions but Serik Toreh's one was not answered and everybody with a bit brain knew there was no answer. Then the moderator finally closed the session by saying (looking more at Raja Nazrin than public): "Ok, thank you for all the questions, of course there are issues to be resolved but we must understand Islamic Banking is the only way forward because we have no other choice".
On the second day WIEF continued in the same spirit: secular speeches, secular speakers, secular moderators, secular topics, no direction, no strategy. It was so bad that it was almost funny. For instance there was one speaker (from the West) apparently not a Muslim, "veteran in the area of Shariah finance with over 30 years experience" was written underneath his anglo-saxon name in the forum's brochure. Well, this is not a mistake, these are the people behind Islamic banking.
Many participants were upset with the format and content of the forum. One of the delegates from Bangladesh, a prominent businessman and investor, said: We came here to learn about the Deen of Allah but all we heard were secular Muslims intentionally avoiding any Islamic discourse on the economic problems looming over our heads.
But then the session on Alternative Energy came in and suddenly everything changed. One man came forward and cried: This is treason! This is failure! Come back to Allah! Success is with Allah! There is no power but Allah! He brought the light into the huge building, his free voice filled the vast hall and echoed into the steppes, travelling from the Mountains of Altai to the shores of Caspian Sea, from the Desert of Kyzyl Kum to Ural River. There was standing ovation at the end of the speech. All people that we met earlier were there and many others. The moderator was lost, Pasha took over the show. Seeing the reaction of the audience the moderator was smart enough to say: "Yes, the economy and environment are indeed interrelated". During Q&A all forgot about alternative energy, everybody was interested in alternative money.
After the session Pasha was in total blockade, people just didn't want to let him go. I saw even some islamic bankers among the crowd. After an hour we managed to release Pasha and took him to the common lounge where media were waiting for him. National newspapers and the main state TV channel interviewed Umar Pasha, the interest of the media was the implementation of Shariah Currency in Kelantan, problems of conventional and Islamic banking, and proposal of Umar Pasha for Kazakhstan. Pasha said that the Ummah needed a strong leader and the Kazak statesman was the right person, and the most urgent matter today in the Muslim world to be led was the Gold Dinar. Those who can read in Russian click here for an article titled "Umar Ibrahim Vadillo: Islamic Banking is a Marketing Trick to Get Muslim Clients" published in a popular nation-wide newspaper "MEGAPOLIS".
After interviews we went to WIEF Expo, a parallel event that took place on the second floor of the same building, Palace of Independence. Umar Pasha took Serik Toreh (Chengis Khan's descendant) by hand and said: I want you to see the state of arabs, come with me. Then Pasha approached the IDB booth, most prominent in the Expo. Pasha took out from his pocket a gold dinar coin and asked the Arab man in charge of the booth in arabic: What is it? The man looked at the coin, smiled and shook off his head. "This is dinar, the one mentioned in the Koran and Hadith. You forgot your language. And this coin is of the same standard as was established by Umar ibn al-Khattab" - said Umar Pasha. The man giggled. He didn't know Gold Dinar but he knew well Islamic Banking. "Now you know the Arabs cannot teach you Islam" - said Umar Pasha to Serik Toreh.
In the evening the forum's resolution and the speech of its chairman at the closing ceremony logically ended the Islamic Davos. The resolution was read by someone called Ian Buchanan, who - as we would know a moment later from the speech of the chairman, Tun Musa Hitam - was also the author of the resolution. Of course there wasn't a word about Gold Dinar, nor a word about continuous plunder of the Muslim nations by the usurious monetary and financial system, in the resolution of Ian Buchanan. Incidentally, Mr. Buchanan sat in the front row at Umar Pasha's speech in Alternative Energy session moments ago, petrified in disbelief from what he heard.
Umar Pasha's input to the WIEF resolution that was given to the forum's board was ignored. His suggestions were as follows:
To ogranize and hold in Astana at the end of 2011-beginning 2012 an international conference entitled "Muamalat Forum". The main objective of the conference will be to establish a common Halal currency of the Muslim Ummah based on Shariah law, in line with the vision of the Kazakhstan's president Nurslutan Nazarbayev who officially called for creation of a "just, civilized and democratic" supra-national currency.
After Ian Buchanan read his resolution, on the stage was called the Chairman of WIEF, Tun Musa Hitam. He gave a long empty speech and said at the end that WIEF was successful because it didn't have religion and politics in it. Well, what everybody felt throughout the forum was publicly confirmed by the chairman: WIEF has nothing to do with Islam. But then why call it Islamic?? Call it World Economic Forum or World Capitalist Forum, anything but not Islamic!! No, they want both, Kufr and Islam. How sad that at a time when the whole mankind is dying under the chains of Riba, when people in Spain, Greece, USA are on the streets protesting against global economic tyranny, here we are at the World Islamic Economic Forum saying to the Muslims and the world: Islam has no solution.
But the Kazak Government albeit still confused between the Deen of Islam and Islamic Capitalism nevertheless is getting the picture: the Muslim world doesn't need consensus, it needs leadership. Will the descendants of Atillah, Chengis Khan and Tamerlane realize the time has come to say once again: "WE ARE IN CHARGE".
Below is the short-hand summary of that memorable speech of Umar Pasha at the 7th WIEF. Much thanks to Aisha Yacob, special rapporteur of WIEF, for sharing this transcript.
I felt it is worth to put it entirely. But before you read it switch on your imagination: big forum; the main sponsor is Coca-Cola (strategic partner of WIEF), nobody mentions the name of Allah; everybody wants to look modern and practical; Umar Pasha is put into a session of no relation to Gold Dinar; the session is moderated by the US Bureau Chief in Washington.
Venue: Small Hall 2, Palace of Independence, Astana, Kazakhstan
9 June 2011
Session 6: Harvesting Alternative Energy: Cleaner, Greener, Safer
Speaker: Prof. Umar Ibrahim Vadillo, Economic Advisor, Kelantan State Administration, Malaysia
Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullah