From ABC News via the AP, who seem to be almost defending AIG and Islam in this article – US Urges Judge to Bar Geithner Role in AIG Lawsuit:
The federal government is opposing a Michigan man’s request to take the deposition of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in a lawsuit that challenges the bailout of American International Group Inc.
A lawsuit was filed in 2008 on religious grounds, claiming the government should not have bailed out AIG because the insurance giant sold financial products specifically tailored to Islamic principles.
It’s tailored alright. Tailored to comply with Islamic sharia law.
The plaintiff, Kevin Murray of Ypsilanti, is being represented by an Ann Arbor firm that takes cases on behalf of Christian causes.
Nevermind that this is a Constitutional issue.
In a court filing last week, government attorneys called the deposition a “fishing expedition,” and said there are no extraordinary circumstances that would require Murray’s lawyers to interview Geithner for three hours.
“High-level government officials would be paralyzed from carrying out their extensive duties if they were subject to deposition in every civil action against their agency,” the Justice Department said.
The government said there are limits to unwinding the decision-making process of the executive branch.
“Secretary Geithner is uniquely situated to testify as to the mechanics and rationale of the government’s bailout of AIG, including decisions related to the expenditure of federal funds,” wrote the plaintiff’s lawyer, David Yerushalmi.
The lawsuit says AIG sells Takaful insurance, which is based on communal assistance that has been accepted by some Islamist religious officials.
Again, AP tries to minimize sharia-compliance and who determines compliance. More below.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona Majzoub is scheduled to hear arguments Feb. 8.
AP felt the need to mention the law firm takes on Christian causes, but not to mention the judge is an Arab Muslim.
In May, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff denied a request to dismiss the lawsuit at an early stage, saying the case raises questions about whether the government is promoting religion.
Other details conveniently left out of the Associated (w/t) Press article:
In his ruling, the judge [Zatkoff] held that the lawsuit sufficiently alleged a federal constitutional challenge to the use of taxpayer money to fund AIG’s Islamic religious activities.
AIG itself describes “Sharia” as “Islamic law based on the Quran and the teachings of the Prophet [Mohammed].”
With the aid of taxpayer funds provided by Congress, AIG employs a “Shariah Supervisory Committee,” which is comprised of the following members: Sheikh Nizam Yaquby from Bahrain, Dr. Mohammed Ali Elgari from Saudi Arabia, and Dr. Muhammed Imran Ashraf Usmani from Pakistan. Dr. Usmani is the son, student, and dedicated disciple of Mufti Taqi Usmani, who is the leading Shariah authority for Shariah-compliant finance in the world and the author of a book translated into English in 1999 that includes an entire chapter dedicated to explaining why a Western Muslim must engage in violent jihad against his own country or government. According to AIG, the role of its Shariah authority “is to review our operations, supervise its development of Islamic products, and determine Shariah compliance of these products and our investments.”
An important element of Shariah-compliant financing is a form of obligatory charitable contribution called zakat, which is a religious tax for assisting those that “struggle [jihad] for Allah.”
Update: Federal court rules: There will be no interlocutory appeal and Plaintiff’s discovery into the government’s fraudulent takeover of AIG will continue
February 2, 2009 – Port Huron, Michigan: Federal district court judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff rejected today the Treasury Department’s and the Fed’s effort to prevent any further discovery while the government attempts to convince the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to overrule Judge Zatkoff’s earlier ruling rejecting the government’s motion to dismiss the federal lawsuit challenging the government’s takeover of AIG on First Amendment-Establishment Clause grounds.
In what is an extremely well-written opinion, Judge Zatkoff scolded the government lawyers for filing the wrong motion at the wrong time and then proceeded to tell them they would have lost in any event because his earlier denial of their motion to dismiss was proper and well-considered.