While some cities in Texas and other Southern states have been adopting ordinances that protect their citizenry from creeping Shariah-compliant practices, cities such as Seattle are taking the opposite approach.
Seattle’s Democrat Mayor Ed Murray was so concerned that Muslims and other residents weren’t buying enough homes in his city that he had a committee investigate how that could be rectified.
One of the committee’s recommendations: Banks need to offer “Shariah-compliant” mortgage loans for Seattle’s growing Muslim community.
Muslims are forbidden by their religious law, Shariah, from paying interest on loans so they must be offered loans structured in such a way that interest is not part of the package.
The 28-member committee recommended the city convene lenders and community leaders to explore options for increasing access to Shariah-compliant loans, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported.
“We will work to develop new tools for Muslims who are prevented from using conventional mortgage products due to their religious beliefs,” said Murray, at a recent press conference.
“More and more lenders are offering Shariah-compliant financing, according to a USA Today report,” the Journal reports. “The sector has grown to more than $1.6 trillion in assets worldwide over the past three decades, and analysts see potential for continued growth as the number of Muslims in the United States and Europe grows.”
The Obama administration, with the full support of Congress, is following an immigration policy that allows at least 100,000 Muslims into the country every year, according to U.S. Census data.
So financial-service companies see that as a business opportunity.
But those who see Shariah law as anti-Western and anti-American see the trend differently than banks and corporations.
“Such dangerously misguided efforts kowtow to, and abet, Islamic supremacism,” said Dr. Andrew Bostom, author of “Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims” and several other books about the history of Islam.
In his 1947 book, “The Economic Problem of Man and its Islamic Solution,” the great 20th century Islamic revivalist thinker Mawdudi conceived of the notion of Shariah-compliant finance as an innovative way to enforce the global supremacy of Islam and Islamic law, Bostom said.
“Mawdudi, who died in 1979, affirmed that the entire economic system had a ‘deep relationship with the political, judicial, legal, cultural and social system of Islam,'” Bostom said. “He further claimed, ‘all these are fundamentally based on the moral system of Islam.'”
Shariah thus applies the tenets of Islam to every area of life, not just religious life.
“Mawdudi concluded with an admonition that demanded Muslim acceptance, and global application of ‘this creed (Islam), this moral system and the whole of this code of life, completely as it is,’ because, he added, ‘the economic system of Islam, divorced from its source, cannot be maintained or administered in its purity for even a single day, nor will any appreciable advantage accrue from it if you take it out of its wider context and then seek to apply [it] to your life.’
“Shariah-compliant mortgages, and all aspects of so-called Shariah-compliant finance, should be rejected because they are vehicles for the promulgation of Islamic law, an integrated religio-political system antithetical to our most fundamental Western freedoms,” Bostom said.
Mayor opening the door to Shariah
Pamela Geller, author of “Stop the Islamization of America,” also said most Americans are not aware that Shariah applies to all of life. She said the mayor of Seattle, like other mayors who kowtow to Shariah, are doing long-term damage to their cities and their country.
“Shariah is a unified whole – a guide to every aspect of human behavior. It doesn’t just involve interest and loans,” Geller said. “The teachings of Islam regarding war against and subjugation of unbelievers is part of Shariah as well. The mayor of Seattle is opening the door to Shariah, and because he has already shown himself to be compliant, he will receive more demands for accommodation of Shariah in the future.
“This is a radical, intolerant, violent, misogynistic, antisemitic ideology, and he should not be kowtowing to it.”
Ed Murray kowtowing to Muslims in Seattle’s housing market is no different than Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges donning a hijab when she met with Somali leaders in her city last year, critics said.
No criticism from establishment media
In contrast to Hodges, mayor Beth Van Duyne of Irving, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, has advocated for a new state law that would ban courts from meting out decisions based on any foreign legal system, WND reported in March.
For her efforts, Van Duyne was roundly criticized and mocked by the establishment media. Murray and Hodges, on the other hand, have come under no condemnation in the establishment media for their support of Shariah law.
It’s not clear how many Muslims in Seattle would benefit from Murray’s plan, the journal reported. The Washington state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) estimates more than 30,000 Muslims live in the greater Seattle area, and chapter Executive Director Arsalan Bukhari said it’s “fairly common” for some not to seek loans.
In “Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance,” renowned activist Pamela Geller provides the answer, offering proven, practical guidance on how freedom lovers can stop jihadist initiatives in local communities.
Many Muslims work in Seattle’s tech industry, such as the 1,000 Muslims who work for Microsoft and another 500 employed with Amazon. They often enter the U.S. on the H1-B temporary guest-worker visa for skilled workers. The H1-B lasts for three years and can be renewed once for a total of six years, but after that many are eligible for permanent green cards.
They could easily qualify for home loans but opt not to apply “simply because they don’t want to pay interest,” Bukhari told the Journal.
Seattle in a sanctuary county
Seattle is in King County, which is one of more than 200 sanctuary cities and counties in the U.S.
The mayor, Murray, said he will send legislation to the Seattle City Council for consideration. During a press conference, he said he wants to help Muslims.
United Nations floods Seattle area with refugees
Another portion of Seattle’s Muslims has been brought into the nation compliments of the U.S. taxpayer, which foots the bill for the U.S. State Department’s refugee resettlement program. The program costs more than $1 billion a year, not including the cost of welfare benefits that refugees are immediately signed up for upon arrival in American cities and towns.
According to State Department data, about 5,500 “refugees” from Muslim countries have been permanently resettled in the Seattle area since 2002. State Department data prior to 2002 has not been placed online.
More than 95 percent of the refugees sent to the United States are selected by the United Nations high commissioner for refugees. Many of them come from countries hostile to the United States, such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
About 70,000 refugees enter the U.S. every year, about half of them from countries where Islam dominates.
Muslims also enter the U.S. through the skilled guest-worker visa program, the student visa program, the annual visa lottery program, a visa program for entrepreneurs, and other programs.
Chicago also on board toward Shariah loans
Chicago already offers some options for Sharia-compliant Muslims, as well as the Bank of America. But the special treatment in Seattle isn’t sitting well with everyone. Critics say the idea opens the door to financing for Islamic radicals and even terror-tied groups, via money laundering. Critics also say the plan, which could extend to small business owners, is discriminatory against those who aren’t Muslim.
In 2008, some in Congress opposed the American International Group’s provision of special insurance programs for Sharia-compliant Muslims.
In a letter dated Dec. 18, Rep. Frank Wolf and then-Rep. Sue Myrick wrote: “You may defend your decision to offer Sharia products and will probably state that they have no real ties to Sharia law, and therefore pose no threat. You are wrong, Like Britain, the way to America’s legal code is through its wallet, and if Sharia law gains a strong footing in the United States, it will be through Sharia finance and Sharia products.”
Fox News reported Seattle’s plan to help Muslims could lead to banks outright buying the home and holding the title. The bank would then contract with the buyer to purchase the home at marked-up price. The buyer could then pay in a lump sum or in payments over time. Some financers in Seattle are already offering such options.
Halal Inc. has a website ad that says “instead of starting with a flawed system and trying to ‘make a fit,’ we took the perfect system ordained by Allah and created a legal framework for it,” Fox News found.