Former President Bill Clinton received $5.6 million in fees from a Dubai-based firm that teaches Sharia law through a network of more than 100 schools worldwide.
Clinton served as the honorary chairman of the company GEMS Education from 2011 to 2014, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported this week, citing Clinton’s federal tax returns.
GEMS Education teaches Sharia law in over 100 schools around the world, including in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. One of the company’s schools, located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, taught 1,600 students in 2013. Saudi Arabia is known for enforcing Wahhabism, a fundamentalist view of Islam that strictly adheres to Sharia law.
Sharia law is an Islamic legal system that many in the West believe violates human rights and represses women and various minority groups.
Clinton’s biggest single paycheck from GEMS Education was a $2.1 million sum from 2014.
The Clinton Foundation also received millions of dollars from the company, accumulating between $1 million and $5 million total. The parent company of GEMS Education, the Varkey Foundation, contributed between $250,000 and $500,000. In 2013 and 2014, GEMS Education was an official sponsor of the Clinton Global Initiative, a part of the Clinton Foundation.
The Daily Caller News Foundation detailed how GEMS Education follows Sharia finance laws.
The company has raised funds through bonds and has openly broadcast its commitment to Sharia finance. In 2013, the company issued a $200 million bond prospectus and assured potential investors it relied on "Fatwa and Sharia" advisers to assure it was "compliant" with Sharia finance.
[Counterterrorism analyst Stephen] Coughlin said Sharia law on finance also includes money for "zakat," a religious tax. "And if you read the law of zakat, one-eighth of that money goes to fund Jihad," he says. "There are eight categories of zakat you must pay every year. And one of them is Jihad."
"Why would Bill Clinton be participating in programs that teach Sharia in foreign countries where that is the specific objective of the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS and al Qaeda?" Coughlin asked the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.
Note: This story has been updated to show that the source was the Daily Caller News Foundation.