Thursday, July 23, 2015

Seattle seeks Sharia law for Muslim homebuyers: Mayor vows 'new tools' to accommodate Islam beliefs

Seattle's local governing authorities are pressing forward with a plan to give Muslims with Sharia-compliant beliefs a financial option to buy homes.

The idea comes in recognition of the current purchasing and financing laws that Muslims say lock them out of home buying, due to their Sharia principles.

"We will work to develop new tools for Muslims who are prevents from using conventional mortgage products due to their religious beliefs," said Seattle Mayor Ed Murry, at a recent press conference, Fox News reported.

The facet of home financing that Sharia-compliant Muslims can't abide? The payment of interest, FOx News said. And that means about 30,000 Muslims in the Seattle area who follow what the Koran calls "the right way" aren't able to participate in the banking loan process – because interest is the primary way lenders earn money.

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.

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 financial outlets 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.

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