Muslim Love of Lying

Path of $681 Million: From Saudi Arabia to Malaysian Premier’s Personal Account

APRIL 15, 2016

The New York Times

How did $681 million end up being deposited in the personal bank account of Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, last year?

Not in any corrupt way, officials insist.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister said on Thursday that an unspecified Saudi source had given a large sum of money as a “genuine donation” with no obligations attached. He joined top Malaysian leaders in waving away any suggestion of scandal.

For those who have never had fortunes deposited into their personal bank accounts with no obligations attached, this may sound suspicious. Indeed, Mr. Najib has been subject to fierce international scrutiny, including a United States Justice Department investigation, as he continues to deny any wrongdoing.

The Investigation

In July, news reports accused Mr. Najib of putting the huge sum in his own accounts. Critics calling for him to step down charged that at least some of the money had been criminally channeled from the 1 Malaysia Development Board, a government fund set up by Mr. Najib. More recently, Swiss investigators have said it appeared that about $4 billion had been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies.

Efforts to investigate the brewing scandal were met with stiff resistance. The government halted investigators, suspended a news organization and fired a deputy prime minister who was asking questions.

In January, Malaysia’s attorney general, Mohamed Apandi Ali, who was appointed by Mr. Najib, cleared Mr. Najib of any misconduct.

“I am satisfied that there was no evidence to show that the donation was a form of gratification given corruptly,” Mr. Apandi said in a statement.

Officials eager to put the flap behind them have considered the attorney general’s investigation the final word.

“It is a genuine donation with nothing expected in return,” the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, told reporters in Istanbul on Thursday. “And we are also fully aware that the attorney general of Malaysia has thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing. So, as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed.”

The Explanation

There hasn’t been much of one. In January, the attorney general said that the money was a personal donation from the Saudi royal family and that Mr. Najib had returned $620 million “because the sum was not utilized.”

No reason has been given for why the Saudi royal family would send the prime minister $681 million, or what the prime minister did with the $61 million that was not returned.

Until Mr. Jubeir’s comments Thursday, no Saudi official had said that the entire amount was a donation from a source in Saudi Arabia. The foreign minister did not identify the donor or the purpose of the gift, or confirm that most of the money had been returned.

In an interview in February, Mr. Jubeir gave a somewhat different explanation.

“It is a private Saudi citizen, I believe, and the funds went to an investment in Malaysia,” he said then.

The Response

Mr. Najib’s office, which has tried without success to put the controversy to rest, issued a statement on Friday welcoming Mr. Jubeir’s comments.

“This confirms what the prime minister maintained all along, and what multiple lawful authorities concluded after exhaustive investigations: The funds were a donation from Saudi Arabia,” said Mr. Najib’s press secretary, Tengku Sariffuddin.

But Mr. Najib’s opponents said they had found Mr. Jubeir’s most recent statement unconvincing.

In August, thousands of demonstrators gathered in Kuala Lumpur, defying police orders, in anger at Mr. Najib. Not buying the official explanation for the large cash transfer, one held a sign that read, “You really think we are stupid?”

Islamists Respond to Terror Cases with Denial 

By Sid Shahid
American Thinker
March 14, 2010 

As homegrown terrorism grabbed headlines at the end of 2009, Islamist pressure groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim American Society (MAS), and Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) felt the need to look as if they were responding forcefully. However, all they offered was spin and denial of the very radicalism that they themselves have helped breed. 

First we witnessed the typical smokescreen that attempts to paint Muslims as victims. For example, in a November 6 press release commenting on the Fort Hood massacre, Mahdi Bray of the MAS Freedom Foundation strongly condemned the actions of Major Nidal Hasan, but quickly segued into warnings about an anti-Muslim backlash: "Let us be cautious, however, in drawing conclusions based on the ethnicity of the perpetrator of this tragic incident. ... The perpetuation of negativity in such instances often unwittingly serves as an equally unnecessary exacerbation of the atmosphere of hate, violence, and Islamophobia under which the Muslim community already exists." 

Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director of CAIR, played a victim card of his own on November 15. Participating in a discussion on TV One's "Washington Watch," Hooper asked, "Why can't the killer at Fort Hood just be a crazy guy? Don't take it out on American Muslims because you're upset about another issue." He then claimed that CAIR had received death threats since the shooting. "Are those terrorist threats or is it only a terrorist threat if a Muslim does it?" he added. 

More obfuscation followed the terror-related arrests of five Virginia Muslim men in Pakistan, as self-appointed Islamic spokesmen could not bring themselves to acknowledge fully the roots of radicalization taking place among America's Muslims. For example, at a December 9 press conference about the detentions, Nihad Awad, executive director of CAIR, did grant that a "problem" exists in the Muslim community, yet he remained in complete denial about its source: political Islam (Islamism). Particularly illuminating is Awad's statement that there are no "similarities or connection," ideological or otherwise, between the disappearance of the jihadist Somali youths from Minneapolis and the jihadist young men from Virginia. He was succeeded at the podium by MPAC's Haris Tarin, who did little more than pay lip service to the "problem" by calling for better Muslim community relations with law enforcement. 

The Islamist stage show continued two days later. Speaking to reporters at the mosque that the young men attended, Mahdi Bray proclaimed: "We are determined not to let religious extremists exploit the vulnerability of our young children through slick propaganda on the Internet. We are sending a message loud and clear that those days are over when we don't respond. We are going to be active, proactive." However, Bray's denial -- or intentional avoidance -- of Islamism was most evident when, according to AFP, he "acknowledged that the emotions of young Muslims were stirred by 'injustices' they see unfolding in places like Iraq and Afghanistan." 

Then, on December 17, barely more than a week after admitting to a vague radicalization "problem," CAIR opened up the victimology playbook once more with an e-mail blast excerpting, among other things, a article from December 14 entitled "The Allegedly Growing Domestic Muslim Threat." The piece sarcastically minimizes the danger of radical Islam to the U.S. and instead pins the blame on American foreign policy in the Middle East. 

As expected, none of these so-called leaders addressed Islamism as a real and thriving movement or recognized the fuel of anti-Americanism that perpetuates it. How could they? If they did, they would have to concede their own complicity in its spread. So they dissimulate. 

Without addressing political Islam, anti-radicalization efforts like the one announced by CAIR at the December 9 press conference are mere public relations ploys. Worse, declaring that problems within Muslim-majority countries are the sole result of American policies is not only factually inaccurate, but dangerous. It should be no surprise that when such unqualified anti-Americanism is fomented by Islamists with deep pockets, some community members like Nidal Hasan crack under the pressure. 

The contrast between the above groups and truly moderate Muslims was especially pronounced in the wake of the Fort Hood massacre. Moderates such as Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, founder and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), were out front on the fact that Hasan's actions had been motivated by his Islamist ideology. Jasser and other leading anti-Islamists consistently were featured on CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and elsewhere, calling Hasan what he is: a radical Islamist. 

Real anti-radicalization efforts from the Muslim community require a balanced perspective that integrates our faith with our American citizenship. One can debate U.S. foreign policy, human rights abuses abroad, and democracy-promotion without poisoning the minds of Muslims and creating a childish and artificial barrier that separates them from the Western world -- thus forcing men like Nidal Hasan to choose between being a proud American and a proud Muslim. 

Of course, CAIR, MAS, and MPAC are not likely to change. That is why the time has come for true American Muslims -- along with politicians and the mainstream media -- to stop promoting and legitimizing Islamist groups in the United States as "Muslim civil rights organizations." They are anything but. 

Sid Shahid is the director of research and publications for the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD). He can be reached at This article was sponsored by Islamist Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.