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You already knew that FDR vanquished Nazis and Fascists

But did you know he also stopped Sharia law from infiltrating the American financial sector? True story.

By Ezra Klein  |  August 5, 2010; 2:22 PM ET
 
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Comments

I effing love this blog

Posted by: jeremy019 | August 5, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I thought for sure this was a joke.

I thought I would click on the link and get Rick Astley singing about "Never gonna let you down..."

The GOP has lost its marbles.

Posted by: nisleib | August 5, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Ezra,

Great post.

But you might have said "...Nazis and OTHER fascists..." in the headline.

The tea party is confused enough about Nazis, Socialists, etc.

Posted by: Patrick_M | August 5, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Well anyone who understands history knows that the reason that Jews went into the money-lending business is that in medieval times Christians were prohibited from charging interest. Hard to make a profit on lending if you can't charge interest. Then "usury" was defined as charging excessive interest, until credit cards caused even that proscription to go by the wayside.

But Islam still retains the original proscription against interest (as well as against excessive risk-taking), and that's the fundamental basis of sharia-compliant banking. From Adam Serwer's original interview:

"How is it [sharia-compliant finance] different from secular finance?
The difference is, for example, that they don't charge interest. They can't indulge in some particularly risky or speculative transactions. There's actually a whole long list of requirements, such as not selling debt, that are derived from these basic prohibitions against interest taking and against excessive risk. So because of those specific rulings, they have to design the transactions in slightly different ways.

For example, rather than borrowing money to buy some goods, they'll have the bank buy the goods and then resell the goods to the customer, so the bank becomes involved as an owner at one stage of the transaction. That makes it lawful, from the Islamic perspective. Whereas if the bank lent the money to the customer, that's an interest-bearing loan, and that's not allowed. So they use slightly different routes, typically involving ownership of goods at some point, to achieve finance."

Personally, I think Goldman and Chase and Citibank and BofA would be less destructive if they WERE sharia-compliant.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 5, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

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