The State of Minnesota is providing Sharia compliant mortgages for Muslim immigrants:
For many Minnesota Muslims, it’s been virtually impossible to buy a home, because Islamic law forbids the paying or charging of interest. To help close the home ownership gap among Muslim immigrants, the state’s housing agency is launching a new program offering Islamic mortgages. …
The goal is to help Muslim home buyers build wealth and reap the benefits of home ownership.
Response: The Sharia mortgage program can be viewed as both bad and good.
First the good: Muslim immigrants that achieve home ownership will be more likely to assimilate if they have a stake in their new country. One of the major problems that European nations are facing with their Muslim Immigrants is the total lack of assimilation, identity, in their new country. European Muslims are ghettoized and remain strangers in the dominant culture. It is hoped that home ownership will go a long way towards making Muslim Immigrants begin to feel like they are really a part of America.
Now the bad: It sets a bad precedent. It is actually the beginning and first step towards the recognition of Sharia law in this country. What provisions of Sharia will be next?
There are already reports across this country that Muslims that have more than one wife are being ignored by the authorities and their families are even being provided for through government assistance programs. Will these family arrangements receive some sort of legal compromise like Canada has extended to plural marriages performed outside of the country?
If private banks were providing for these Sharia mortgages than there would be no problem at all. There are already banks that do just that. It would even be less of a problem if the state merely encouraged banks with some sort of incentives. But for the state to take direct action in this regard and officially put up money and arrange for Sharia mortgages through their housing agency does seem to be favoritism and an accommodation that is not extended to other religions in the state.
If this policy favored Christians, the ACLU and ‘Americans for the What Ever’ would be up in arms proclaiming that it was a violation of the so-called “Separation of Church and State”.