Monday, August 08, 2005
Backward Islam: This is old news, you might have seen it before, but amid the homebuying frenzy Muslims in America are sometimes left out. Why? Because Islam forbids paying interest.
Of course, that's nothing American ingenuity can't solve, so banks have come up with "Islamic mortgages." This allows Muslims to buy homes without paying interest. What it really is is a game of semantics. They're paying interest, but it's not labeled as such.
They obtained an Islamic mortgage that was in Sharia -- or compliance with Islamic law. In Islamic mortgages, an intermediary such as a bank buys the property, and the homeowner eventually obtains the home through a lease-to-own arrangement.
There's interest in there, but it's more convenient not to look at it too closely. It's just a little hypocritical.