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December 15, 2008

Are You Comfortable Living over a Ticking Time-Bomb?

According to one report, the U.S. Treasury Department may be exploring a new cure for America's crisis: Islamic Banking, better known as "Shariah-Compliant Finance (SFC)." The Washington Times states, "At the very least, the U.S. government evidently hopes to emulate Harvard's success in securing immense amounts of Wahhabi money in exchange for conforming to the Islamists' agenda."

At the same time, Risk Specialists Companies, Inc. (RSC), a subsidiary of AIG, has just introduced what it is calling the first U.S. "homeowners insurance product that is compliant with key Islamic finance tenets and based on the concept of mutual insurance." Associate Vice President Jim Crain thinks that this introduction of "Shari'ah-compliant" finance "represents an important and emerging growth industry" for AIG. But this is not the type of growth we want or need.

In a video at Act! for America, investment professor Joy Brighton focuses on the newest and fastest-growing financial market in the world and one that brings much to fear: Shariah Islamic finance. Wall Street is focusing on the financial aspect, not realizing that this market exists because of Shariah, also known as "Islamic law."

Many Muslims across the world are warning against SCF, established by Sheiks wishing to impose Islamic law in western nations. After all, the object of Shariah is the supplanting of our government and the Constitution through violent or stealthy means. Sheik Yousuf Al-Qaradawi calls it "Jihad with money," saying that "God has ordered us to fight our enemies with our lives and our money." Furthermore, new evidence shows that Al Qaida financed 9-11 with funds received from Shariah Banking. Anyone listening??

Concerns are only heightened by the prominent role Assistant Treasury Secretary Neel Kashkari will be playing. (You may recognize him as the person Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson designated to manage the government purchase of distressed assets for the $700 billion "bailout plan"). Wall Street is currently promoting this new financial system as a "hot new product" and placing Sheiks in places of power on financial advising boards. We are welcoming Shariah law with open arms.

This may sound crazy, but it is no crazier than September 11th sounded on September 10th. No more crazy than our government bailing out the economy at the price of $700 billion and counting. 

I am reminded of the words of warning from the head of the Church of England, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who made a controversial speech last year announcing that Shariah law was "unavoidable" in Britain. Largely unrecognized was his reason: The U.K. had already accommodated itself to Shariah-Compliant Finance. America would be wise to start listening to her neighbors.

Lebanese-born terror analyst, journalist, best-selling author, and president and founder of American Congress for Truth Brigitte Gabriel, who has experienced firsthand the brutality of jihadists' treatment of non-Muslims, warns that the "Trojan horse" is now within our gates: "How we as the 'grassroots' of America respond to this threat over the next year will greatly determine whether we begin to expel this threat or go the way of Britain and Europe." (Learn more here.)

Will America hear the call and wake up? This is a living time bomb ticking beneath our very feet. We are in danger of selling our soul and security for money!

Read more at Act! for America.

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It depends what they mean. There are significant overlaps with God's Law as well, such as banning interest that could be very helpful and God-pleasing. Of course the requirement that we'd have to end the pork industry that Shariah throws in is something we mustn't go along with, and I doubt that is the only such issue.


There seem to be a whole lot of different issues thrown in here and the organization might be more effective if they were more clear. From watching the video and reading the links above, Islamic finance might mean:

1. "socially conscious" investment funds like those that CREF and others have run for years, but tailored to Muslim biases.

2. Islamic run investment companies operating at a profit and channeling the profits into jihad.

3. Insurance pools, that seem to differ little from existing methods of operation.

4. Selling your soul, like institutions of higher education that accept large contributions from Wahhabis to establish Wahhabi-friendly departments

5. Sharia-based financing, that presumably means no charging of interest.

6. Islamic financiers loaning money with Sharia-based strings attached.

This is probably not even a complete list.

So I'm confused exactly which of these issues are at stake, or maybe all.

I feel obliged to point out, however, that Scripture never absolutely forbade the charging of interest. The Israelites were specifically allowed to charge reasonable interest to foreigners (Deuteronomy 23:20). The prohibitions were 1) against excessive interest, and 2) charging interest of one's fellow countrymen.

This differs from Islam, which completely prohibits interest, and the beliefs of the early church, which thought likewise. That is one reason why Jews were so financially successful in the middle ages - because there was a demand for capital which only they could provide with a free conscience. Without the ability to charge interest, there is no general means to spread around capital regardless of demand. The Jews were able to fill that demand.

An adequate definition of capitalism is a system where there is private ownership of the means of production. In an agrarian society, the principle means of production is land. The Israelites actually were able to lease land for limited periods of time. In a modern capitalist society, money makes all means of production fungible. It is a minor step to proceed from direct leasing of the means of production (land) to "leasing" money that can be used to obtain the means of production.

In any case, the Christian church as a whole reached the conclusion centuries ago that the specific ban against charging *reasonable* interest was a regulation specific to the Israelite community and not a general moral principle. Islam failed to reach that point, as have a few Christians even to this day.


Several years ago when the AIDS virus started showing itself, largely in the homosexual community, instead of trying to curb that life style it seemed that our country embraced it. Now we have a real threat from extremist Muslims and instead of trying to discourage it we are placating them where ever we can. I don't get it!


Actually Scripture condemned charging 1% interest as usuary. 1% is excessive in God's eyes. As Christians, after Christ taught us the parable of the good samaritan, who is the foreigner when it comes to such matters?

In the middle ages, the Church got the bright idea that they could technically follow the law by forcing the Jews in the European diaspora to leave the crafts, which they had been involved in, to become bankers, because -they- could charge interest to Christians, and Christians to Jews. But that is just pharisaical/jesuitical dodging around what God has clearly said. We don't get to try to explain away the things we don't like. In fact that was Eve's sin - the choice to choose for herself what to call 'good' and what to call 'evil'. Now, in the New Covenant, we aren't under the laws of the Mosaic Covenant, but God hasn't changed, what He likes and what He hates hasn't changed. And He hates charging as much as 1% interest. Nor is it true that the Jews in Jerusalem who were charging their fellow urban Jews in a monetized society 1% interest, agrarians dealing with the land.

Becky, G. K. Chesterton has much to say about the sorts of insanity that grip a society that insists on rejecting God and His ways. And he's a fun read, too. You might enjoy him.


There is no passage in Old or New Testaments that defines any specific rate of interest as exorbitant; nor would it be possible. In an economic climate of 20% inflation, a 21% interest rate still yields only a 1% return.

There is no mainstream Christian theological tradition today that considers interest contrary to God's law; the ones that did long ago abandoned it for good, sound, theological, Biblical, and practical economic reasons. And the world has been blessed immeasurably as a result. Without the ability to borrow money at interest there would be no new corporations, no research and development, no investment in factories and machines of production, few would be able to buy and own homes, the list is practically endless. Without the ability to borrow money, predicated on a willingness to pay interest, we'd still be a British colony, or much, much worse.

I won't debate this further, though. The fraction of individuals believing in the immorality of charging interest is so minuscule that they are no threat to the Church so far as I can perceive.


Steve, it is easy for you to type that no one believes the Bible anymore and that the slipping away from God's authority is somehow sound. I am by no means the only one to disagree with that perspective. G. K. Chesterton, for instance. But you can simply dismiss those who believe the Bible and orthodox theology in favor of compromise with the world, and speak of those who think we should follow God even when it hurts money-making schemes as being a 'threat to the Church' if there were more of us. What can I say but 'good luck with that on Judgment Day'.


"In fact that was Eve's sin - the choice to choose for herself what to call 'good' and what to call 'evil'."

Labrialumn, that cuts both ways. Legalism - pronouncing as evil what God allows - is every bit as much a sin as antinomianism and springs from the same root of pride. It was, in fact, one of the more egregious sins of the Pharisees singled out by our Saviour. (Judgmentalism was another that you might flag for further study).

I stand opposed to both errors and will be provoked or dissuaded by neither personal attacks nor angry and ill-conceived misrepresentations of my statements and beliefs. I guess, though, you concede that the "1%" threshold appears nowhere in Scripture.

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