Sunday, June 03, 2007

Iran's Big Moneymaking Shrine

Apparently obscene wealth is Islamic as long as the authorities and the jihadists are the ones enjoying it...
h/t: Fausta
The dual role of the Imam Reza Shrine helps explain how the power of Iran's aging clerical elite endures, nearly three decades after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. "Money is power, and the mullahs...dominate some important parts of the Iranian economy," says Thierry Coville, a French expert on Iran's economy and author of a recent book on Iran.

The Imam Reza Shrine is part of a cluster of bonyads, nominally charitable foundations with huge holdings acquired through generations of donations or confiscated after the revolution. They publish no accounts and, in most cases, answer only to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

This status gives bonyads an independent authority outside Iran's formal state bureaucracy and checks the power of elected officials, whether Western-minded reformers or populist zealots like the current president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
(Hey! That reminds me of what happened under the Liberal regime in Canada! All those secretive, untouchable "foundations" which sucked billions out of taxpayers' wallets... and the Crown Corporations which were off-limits to the Auditor General... Thankfully, however, we now have a Conservative government who brought in the Federal Accountability Act, which was stalled for a long time by unelected, unaccountable Liberal Senators, so now the Auditor General will be looking into these massive cash sinkholes to find out where all those billions of taxpayers' dollars really went! Yeah... sweat, all ye Librano$... sweat!!!)
Now here's where it's all connected to terrorism:
The Mashhad shrine's ambiguous relationship to state power was highlighted after the war in Lebanon last year, during which Israel waged a failed campaign to destroy the Shiite militia Hezbollah. After the conflict, scores of millions of dollars appeared mysteriously to fund home reconstruction and relief work by Hezbollah. In an interview in Beirut last year, Hezbollah's senior financial adviser, Hussein al-Shami, said the Imam Reza Shrine provided the cash.
Well, read it all!
Hmm... so if there's so much money available for use for the good of Islam and Muslims, then why doesn't the Shrine give money for the purpose of improving the standard of living of the Muslims currently occupying Israeli land, such Muslims commonly being dubbed by the MSM and the left as "Palestinians"? Indeed, why not use the money to help "Palestinians" move to Iran, where they'll be (relatively speaking) better off and not have to worry about being told to go and blow themselves up in pizza parlors, school buses and so on?