The Corner


From the state that brought you the flying imams, our first Muslim congressman, Muslim cabdrivers who refuse to ferry alcohol-bearing passengers, and Muslim students who coerced a disabled student to leave school by threatening to kill his medical-aide dog (because their religion declares dogs unclean), now comes [drum-roll …] Muslim mortgages!

John Hinderaker has the details at Powerline. The most interesting detail is that they are being structured by the state government. This is another gambit from the burgeoning field known as “shariah compliant finance.” Shariah, the Muslim legal code, does not countenance interest. So the game is to structure transactions that would not occur absent interest payments without calling those payments “interest.” Here, the state buys a home and sells it to Muslim buyer at an increased up front price that factors in what the payments (plus interest) would have been on, say, a 30-year mortgage. The payments are stretched out over the usual period but, presto!, you have something you can pretend is all payments and no interest.

It’s far from the most dicey financial transaction anyone’s ever heard of — after all, no one’s getting hurt and its arm’s length . . . at least ostensibly. But on that point, what makes the state government think it has to, or should, use taxpayer funds to structure financial transactions that accord with a religious code? (Perhaps — and far be it from me to be a nag here — the ACLU might take a few moments away from worrying about poor Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the 9/11 terrorists to consider whether state-sponsored shariah is up there with creches at courthouses on the list of outrages against the Constitution to be avoided.)

And, given that shariah is anti-democracy, anti-equality, anti-freedom of conscience, and understood by a sizable number of Muslims to command jihadist attacks on the United States, is it really something we ought to be incorporating into American law?


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