University Bank now has an entire subsidiary devoted to financial products that comply with Muslim religious law, or Shariah. It has done nearly $80 million in Islamically approvable “mortgage-alternative” financing for residential and commercial real estate in 15 states.It goes on to say that while next-door neighbor GM approaches belly-up status the University Shariah Bank closed on 11 homes using their Islamic special formula.
It seems to work like this: since Muslims are forbidden from agreements involving interest or finance charges the bank is simply buying the home from an infidel, jacking up the purchase price to what it would have been over time including the interest, then re-selling it to Muslims for the total price, who pay it down in a sort of "rent to own" fashion. But it's not interest!
The customer can then stand and face Allah at the end with a clean heart while the banker and real estate folks get their greedy western share. In other words, a rose (or something) by another name and very similar to the creative ways that some Muslims have developed to avoid adultery.
Oh, and what's a NYT article without a reference to Rush Limbaugh? And without telling us what Rush said about this story. Well, here's what he said: shazzam!
Here's a story about the expansion of the program in the state of Minnesota as analyzed by Cap'n Ed. Among my questions--if Muslims aren't allowed to use credit how do they have a FICO score going in? And if they don't, is the state depending on Islamic faith and dedication alone to insure these long-term loans will be paid back or are they requiring more than normal collateral? What could trigger a foreclosure? If one occurs will it lead to potential mayhem? And of course...
Is it a legitimate function of American government, at the state or federal level, to set itself up as a lender just to help a religious sect get around its own set of beliefs?