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Fact Check: Is Seattle’s mayor kowtowing to Sharia law?

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray admitted that city leaders don't have a concrete plan in place to deal with homelessness. (AP)

Is Sharia law creeping into Seattle rule of law? Is it taking over the city of Seattle?

I got an email from a listener asking me to take a look and I thought it would be a perfect issue to put through the Jason Rantz Show fact checker.

So I received an email from someone sending me to an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal asking me to check it out and see if there’s anything fishy going on.

The article is titled “Seattle mayor offers plan to help followers of Sharia law buy houses.”

Is this a case of Sharia law creeping into our lives?

No, it’s not. Just because it says Sharia law and just because it accommodates Sharia law, it doesn’t automatically mean it’s a bad thing we need to be scared of.

So this week we saw the affordable housing committee in Seattle release recommendations on how to bring to the city cheaper housing. Most of the suggestions are pretty awful, counterproductive, and fueled only by ideology and nothing more.

But one suggestion would allow Muslims in the area to buy homes following the principles of Sharia law.

What’s Sharia law have to do with buying homes? Well, it doesn’t allow payment of interest on loans. So unless you’re buying the house with an interest-free loan or paying for the whole thing at once, obviously, if you adhere to Sharia law, you’re out of luck.

The city and Mayor Ed Murray are trying to come up with Sharia-compliant loans and it’s not a new idea. In fact, you’ve got about $1.4 trillion in assets worldwide in Sharia complaint finances. A lot of it is being done via certificates called “sukuk.”

And it works like this, according to USA Today: Sukuk act much like traditional bonds, delivering payments to investors until maturity. To comply with Sharia, the bonds have to be tied to some sort of physical asset. Instead of interest, investors are being rewarded with a share of the profit derived from the asset.

Now some of you might think we shouldn’t accommodate Sharia law. Some people think that because it’s indicative of political correctness; some don’t know why it’s necessary at all; and some think that because of bigotry, frankly.

But this is great. We’re selling homes. We’re bringing money into the economy. We’re putting people to work (remember, every home bought has a direct impact on jobs, from the real estate broker to the movers to handymen who fix issues with the house). Why wouldn’t we take someone’s money if they’re willing to pay market value for the house? I’ll accommodate almost anything (legal) to encourage economic growth because the whole region benefits from it.

So no, there’s nothing to be worried about or offended by in this case.

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