All the talk about terrorism and fighting a war on terrorism led to the biggest American deficit in the history of our country, under the direction of George W. Bush…..you remember him don’t you? Well the GOP doesn’t want you to, because they’d rather blame Obama and the Muslims. Turns out the Republicans are their own worse enemy, brilliantly executing the cutting off of their own nose to spite the face of American business and the American people, what with all their talk about “sharia” law. It’s a natural extension, “sharia” law and the Repub’s attempts to scare you about it, to the war on terror. This bit of news shouldn’t come as a surprise
Islamic finance is growing, but politics, and perhaps prejudice, might be hamstringing this business in the United States.
In the past few years bills have been introduced in at least 20 states to forbid courts from invoking foreign laws in rulings. Proponents have touted the bills as a way to prevent Sharia, a code derived from Islamic law, from becoming the law of the land — a risk that many attorneys say is nonexistent. Arizona, Louisiana and Tennessee have passed “Sharia ban” laws, which critics call a way of scoring political points by exploiting anti-Muslim sentiment.
It is unclear whether those laws would directly affect the growth of Islamic finance, which follows the tenets of Sharia law, such as a ban on paying interest. But at the very least, the political climate for Muslims is certainly not fostering a welcoming environment for what experts call an emerging market.
“The U.S. is behind. There is a strong and rapidly growing Muslim population,” said Steven Watts, a partner with KPMG’s financial services consulting practice in Toronto. “The holdup seems to be largely political, but it is to the detriment of the U.S.”
Watts said there are more opportunities, namely “ethical” investments that avoid putting money in gambling or alcohol and could appeal to Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
However, Sharia-compliant mortgages (which are permissible under Islamic law because they are structured as lease-back or co-ownership arrangements) are a great entrance to the Islamic finance world, he said.
“There’s not enough of a business to attract a major bank,” said Stephen Lange Ranzini, University’s president and chief executive officer. “It is a big enough niche for us to make a small profit.”
Ranzini said that while anti-Sharia legislation has largely been passed in states that have small Muslim populations, he sees it as harmful.
“Passing laws to ban Sharia when we have American soldiers in two Muslim countries and bases all across Europe where there are large minority Muslim populations is an ill-considered idea,” Ranzini said. “The people that are hyped up about this issue are just very uninformed.”
Ranzini said there are 300,000 Muslims in the United States who are renters, despite having the attributes of creditworthy borrowers.
“Bringing these Muslims onboard as homeowners is good public policy and would assist with solving the housing crisis,” Ranzini said.