Alert the ACLU! The worst of the worst has happened! The unthinkable has taken place! The state is becoming involved with religion!

According to a recent article by conservative author Debbie Schlussel, the city of Minneapolis is now in the Sharia loan business to accommodate Muslims who want to take out loans but don’t want to pay interest.

“So much for the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution that prohibits government from establishing any religion or doing anything to favor any religion,” Schlussel writes, presumably with her eyes rolled all the way back.

Here is the article she cites [emphasis added]:

In 2005, Afrik Grocery and Halal Meat on Cedar Avenue needed to expand. Owner Abdi Adem, who operates his business under Sharia law, needed to find a loan that funded the expansion and complied with his religious beliefs.

Finding the loan was easier than he expected.

Since December 2006, the city of Minneapolis, in partnership with the African Development Center, has given out 54 loans in a way that is compliant with Islamic law by using a fixed rate in place of a variable interest rate, which some considered sinful.

Instead of charging interest, the city and the ADC estimate how long it will take the business to pay off the loan and totals what the interest would be. That amount is added as a lump sum to the total cost of the loan.

“It feels like, looks like and acts like a loan, but it’s just a different way of looking at it,” said Hussein Samatar, executive director of the ADC.

Continue reading →