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It's much easier to act as if critics of Islam have a problem with Muslims as people than it is to accept the uncomfortable truth that Islam is different


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What can we learn about
Islam from this woman?

Games Muslims Play

 Sharia and the
"Interest-Free" Loan

The Game:

"You'll know when you're living under Sharia Law if suddenly all your loans & credit cards become interest free.  Sound nice, doesn't it?"

Linda Sarsour, Twitter (May 12, 2015)

The Truth:

Sharia proponents in the West paint their critics as religious bigots and assure their audience that they have nothing to fear from Islamic law.  Although this should be a hard sell, given that Sharia is openly discriminatory, bigoted and sexist, it is often opponents who are slurred as 'fascists.'  Some gays even disparage other gays for speaking out against a theocratic code that plainly calls for their execution, even as their peers are being thrown from buildings and stoned by Sharia courts. 

This bizarre situation owes much to the fact that Sharia advocates in the West have learned to cloak themselves in the mantle of progressivism to peddle what they know is a lie (to people who seem completely uninterested in fact-checking).

One of the more well-known advocates of Sharia in America is Linda Sarsour, a self-described "progressive" (and faux feminist), who assures eager ears that liberal views of dignity and human rights are upheld and even exceeded by Islamic law.  Given Sarsour's rock-star status, it is unlikely that she doesn't know what Sharia really is: meaning that she is actively misleading her audience.

In 2015, Sarsour began advertising the Sharia rule of "not paying interest" on Twitter.  One of her tweets reads as follows: "If you're still paying interest then Sharia hasn't taken over America" (May 12, 2015).  A separate tweet on the same day explained that credit cards and loans would be "interest free" under Sharia: 
"You'll know when you're living under Sharia Law if suddenly all your loans & credit cards become interest free.  Sound nice, doesn't it?" 
According to Sarsour, if Islamic law was adopted, money would effectively be lent free of charge.  As she puts it, "Sounds nice, doesn't it?"

Actually, it sounds like BS.  If money were lent free of charge, then it would obviously not be lent at all, since there is no incentive for the lender to take the risk.  Pure Sharia does not work in the real world of capital and trade.  Islamic finance thus involves creating incentives for lending, but calling it something other than "interest" or "usury."

This pretend game is known as murabaha.  In simplistic terms, murabaha means inflating the purchase price to assure that the lender gets a return on their investment.  While it may not be called "interest," the effect is generally the same for the borrower.

For example, let's say that you take out a normal $100,000 mortgage on a house.  At 5% interest, your payment is $537/mo for 360 months.  Your total cost is about $193,000.  

Under Sharia finance, your contract with the lender technically charges 0% interest... but the purchase amount is $193,000!  In other words, you still pay the same by the end of the term.  The only difference is that it isn't called "interest" (and your ability to pay down early or realize equity is more complicated, meaning that the lender probably enjoys the arrangement more than you do).

Linda Sarsour is not a moron.  She knows that there is no real financial benefit to Sharia.  Her gullible audience does not.  They believe what she says.  Thus, she is blatantly misleading them into thinking that they will not pay to borrow money under Sharia when it simply isn't true.  

This is an example of taqiyya, the Islamic principle of deception for the advancement of Islam.   While, in the case of finance, the consequences are relatively benign once the truth is discovered, the same cannot be said of the fate of religious minorities, atheists, women and homosexuals, who would (and do) suffer greatly under Islamic law.

Further Reading

Games Muslims Play Index

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