Islamic Shari’ah Banking, Is It Invading America?


By: Warner Todd Huston

Paper Throws Race Card, Misses Bigger Picture

The Daily Record in Baltimore, Maryland recently published a story by Brendan Kearney that oddly seems to present a conflict between a bank employing Islamic Shari’ah law with its American investments and some black American borrowers and painting it as a racist issue. Sadly, the real story, that of Islamic law being imposed on American investors, is sidelined in order to pursue the race card. (Full story reprinted at BlackEnterprise.com)

As The Record reports, a black couple in Baltimore — I identify their race because it is pivotal to how The Daily Record reports the story — had contracted with the Church’s Chicken restaurant chain to open a new outlet in Baltimore. Unfortunately for the entrepreneurial couple, as they were investing in their chicken outlet, Church’s Chicken was purchased by Crescent Capital Investments Inc., the US affiliate of the Bahrain-based First Islamic Investment Bank BSC. And, upon the restaurant chain’s purchase, these new Islamic corporate owners decided to institute Shari’ah laws upon their investments.

This caught the Beasleys new restaurant in a tough spot because pork products were on the morning breakfast menu for the Church’s Chicken chain. Because Shari’ah law principles had been imposed on the Beasleys’ new restaurant, they would be barred from serving their breakfast menu items, their corporate owners informed them. This barring from being able to serve their breakfast items, the couple maintains, contributed to the restaurant’s failure and their eventual bankruptcy.

Where the racism charge comes in is that older Church’s Chicken establishments, stores already open and operating, were grandfathered in and allowed to continue serving the pork food products. The new corporate masters decided that only new establishments would be barred from serving pork. As it happens, all the previous chicken restaurants in the area were owned by white people or people of other ethnicities besides black. As a result, the Beasleys imagined that the reason they were being prevented from selling the pork items on their menu was because of their race.

This race focus, however, completely misses the real issue here. The real issue is that a Muslim owned investment banking concern unfairly instituted Shari’ah laws on its American borrowers without due consideration. I should point out here, that I am on record as saying that Shari’ah based investing in the U.S. is not necessarily a bad thing. As long as the lender and borrower both agree to the terms of Shari’ah based investing and money lending, then what is the harm? If this new style of lending and banking operates in accordance with the religious tenets of both parties and both parties are in full agreement, we have no need to become alarmed. But, when an investment bank that takes possession of American companies begins to impose Shari’ah laws on its American customers, then we have a major problem.

And, if an investment bank cannot allow its customers to operate under normal American custom, then they should not be lending money and doing business with American customers who are not interested in submitting to Shari’ah laws.

The Beasleys did get a raw deal. But it isn’t because they are black and for the paper to report it as a black issue is a misreporting of the crux of this story. The real issue here is that an Islamic bank is forcing Americans to submit to religious tenets against their will. This is completely unAmerican and marks a dangerous movement toward the destruction of American principles.

To illustrate, imagine buying a car from Ford and opening a Ford Credit loan account. Imagine then that a Muslim corporation buys Ford Credit and institutes Shari’ah lending laws upon that purchase. And then suppose that your newly Shari’ah-ized car loan owner gives you a call and tells you that your wife can no longer drive your car because your car loan is now Shari’ah centric and such a thing violates Shari’ah law? This, of course, would be an outrage against your freedom and liberty. This is a scenario that could possibly happen should Shari’ah law become pervasive in American investments and credit systems because of the infiltration of Islamic centric investment companies and banks.

After all, many Islamic nations are awash in petro dollars. It is not beyond imagining that they might use those powerful petro dollars to buy out US companies after which they could begin to force American companies to observe Shari-ah lending laws. Under this scenario we have a dangerous situation for American liberty and freedom. This could easily act as a Trojan Horse for implementing Shari’ah laws in the USA against American investors’ and borrower’s will.

Too bad the Daily Record pushed the pointless race issue and missed the bigger story.

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