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April 16, 2008



Like for any elite, money is used as the vehicle to influence, but what makes you so considerably sure that the financing of projects in the US buy money given an Islamic mandate will lead to the destruction of our culture?

If you look at global trends in finance, it's not destruction that is the end result of financing, it's growth. Be that growth that sustains social responsibility, as is the main mandate of Shariah, or growth given by credit and debt financing of interest-bearing terms, I see no difference.

You know, I feel that the real issue is that America is no longer a hegemonical power. it is second best to the eventual rise to power of the rest of the world in a more leveled out finance industry.

You don't have to blame Shariah for that.

miss kelly

No, Shariah Sender, I think you're mistaken. True, the US is no longer the superpower it once was, largely because of the spread of capitalism, democracy and "free" markets, which have brought greater prosperity to other countries. India, China, Brazil, there are a lot more economic powerhouses today than there were even 10-15 years ago. And a number of Middle Eastern countries are also doing quite well, although many are still plagued with widespread illiteracy and poverty.

I think Gaffney spelled out the problems of shariah financing pretty well. Much like the mix of religion and givernment, the mix of mix of religion and financing is a disaster in the making. What else is being financed? Who are the clerics making the determination that something meets or does not meet shariah law? And who's choosing the clerics that define whether something is allowed or not allowed under shariah law?

The so-called shariah financing has its loan interest built-in, the loans are basically front-loaded. It's pure BS to say that shariah financing doesn't charge interest.


I am not saying it does not charge interest. I am saying that the fact that it says it does not and it does does not equally mean that it out to destroy America.

This is -- and I find it hilarious that I even have to argue this point -- a ridiculous notion.

Are you implying that interest is the all-American way and that interest bearing accounts are the bread and butter of America's identity?

miss kelly

"Are you implying that interest is the all-American way and that interest bearing accounts are the bread and butter of America's identity?"

No, I don't think I implied that at all, and I don't know how you constructed such a statement. Whether shariah financing is "out to get America," I don't know. It likely is true, as Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi refers to shariah financing as part of an economic jihad against the West. (That sounds like he's out to get us.) Only the shariah backers and the imams who will make decisions about whether a project is shariah complaint or not know for sure.

Our government and civil institutions - including financial institutions - are based on a separation of church and state. Allowing shariah financing in the U.S. (or anywhere in the West), which is explicitly based on a religious system, is contrary to our society. It's an enormous mistake, and it will be a very costly one.


But jihad is not necessarily violent.

Here's what's happening: A lot of muslims and what they call "socially responsible investors" believe that interest-bearing loans are anti-social, and community damaging.

Muslims often use the term Jihad in the same way you might use the term "crusade" against something bad. They think that interest is bad. And I would think that a lot of people caught up in the subprime problem think interest is bad, too.

they've lost houses, they can't pay mortgages, etc.

Jihad doesn't mean, "out to get you." Jihad, in the term most commonly used by most people, means a crusade, or a journey, or a fight / struggle against things that are wrong.

The Good Sheikh is perhaps being a little large in his wording, but I think the gist is pretty clear: more should be done to fight the greed and the harm that banks have caused in trying to peddle costly and wrong credit agreements and loans.

In that sense, the banks are partly to blame then, for the attractiveness of Shariah finance.

All banking and finance is in a sense a use of the mind and the imagination to create structures that create profit and interest. Otherwise, how would we "make" money? We wouldn't.

I think the culture ignorance we all suffer from is also partially to blame.

And to answer your question, how did I derive that statement?

I thought you were making illogical leaps in faith and in reasoning when you were saying that Shariah disguises itself as non-interest and etc. In fact, that's not the problem.

It's whether anyone is smart enough, on the whole, to understand anything they get into in terms of financing, etc.

Caveat emptor, buyer beware.

miss kelly

Dear Shariah Sender, I'm not terribly interested in a point by point debate with you. However, I will say that there's nothing inherently "bad" about interest, and our capitalistic economic system has brought greater prosperity to more people around the world than any other economic system. You seem to be unduly negative about capitalism (and interest), and positively utopian when it comes to shariah financing.

What's so "Good" about a Sheikh who promotes suicide bombing and throwing gays off tall buildings, and routinely calls for the downfall of the West? It's suicidal madness for British and American firms would do business with these regressive, barbaric people.

Funny, even lots of Muslims recognize that so-called "interest-free" arrangements touted by Islamic banks are just usury under another name.


I never denied what you are saying about interest.

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