Thanks to the alertness of James Lileks, we now know that Sharia finance — loans made without interest, as prescribed by Islamic law — is being officially promoted by the mayor of Minneapolis.
Here’s the relevant section excerpted from the mayor’s speech, followed by Mr. Lileks’ commentary:
“Beyond connecting people to jobs and preparing future workers, we need to continue creating more jobs by also supporting our entrepreneurs and small business owners, who are responsible for half of all new jobs created. We’ll support these small businesses with more than $4.7 million dollars of business financing tools that provide:
- market-rate loans for job creation,
- low-interest loans to purchase equipment or make building improvements,
- loans to purchase and rehabilitate small commercial and industrial properties, and
- alternative financing loans with no interest to business owners whose religious beliefs restrict them from receiving traditional interest-based financing.” (Emphasis added.)
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Unless no-interest business loans are available to religious believers whose doctrines do not forbid interest — not to mention anarchists — this would seem to be Flamingly Unconstitutional, to use the legal term. Does one have to prove one holds this particular religious belief? Would they bring in someone to test you? It seems absurd to expect the government to validate your piety to make sure you qualify for benefits.
Sharia-based finance is rapidly gaining ground in the United States. The most effective means to combat it is to denounce it vigorously, loudly, and repeatedly as blatantly unconstitutional.
Hat tip: Wally Ballou.