Sharia vs. The New Deal.


Andy McCarthy on the central political question of our time:

The 2010 midterms have not happened yet, but the 2012 campaign is under way. For that we can thank Newt Gingrich. Not because Gingrich is a candidate, though he almost certainly is. And not because he can win, because that is by no means certain. We should thank Gingrich because he has crystallized the essence of our national-security challenge. Henceforth, there should be no place to hide for any candidate, including any incumbent. The question will be: Where do you stand on sharia?


In any case, McCarthy has been tying all of his likes and dislikes to elaborate conspiracy theories involving Sharia for some time now, and his paranoia about Elena Kagan and Sharia-compliant finance is aired uncritically in an article in the Daily Caller that doesn't bother to explain what Sharia-compliant finance is. One of McCarthy's conspiracy theories is the idea that there is an alliance between the American left and "Islamists" who want to impose a strict interpretation of religious law on the United States. There are an endless number of reasons why this makes no sense, but for today I'll focus on one, namely the fact that New Deal-era reforms, like the FDIC insurance requirement, are what is keeping Sharia-compliant banks from operating in the United States. From my interview with Frank Vogel, who began the Islamic Studies program at Harvard Law:

Can an Islamic-compliant bank function in the U.S.?

Yes. Well, as a bank, not yet. We were discussing this earlier, and apparently there are no Islamic banks as such yet in the United States. And I suspect the problem is as much as anything the deposit insurance requirement -- the Federal Deposit Insurance Company insurance requirement. But there are a lot of banking activities going on, on both the deposit and investment sides in the United States, and there are a lot of non-bank or investment-company activities going on. So there's a lot of Islamic finance happening.

So liberalism is the bulwark that keeps back the Islamist menace in banking! How inconvenient! Of course this probably won't last. Rather than ending FDIC requirements, eventually what will happen is that some interpretation of Sharia-compliant finance will allow such banks to operate in the U.S. McCarthy can't acknowledge that nuance because he would first have to concede that liberal policies are currently preventing Sharia-complaint banks from operating in the U.S. Then he would have to acknowledge that Islamic religious traditions, like those from other religions, are subject to modernization. Both of those admissions would defeat his ultimate point about Islam and liberalism working together to destroy America with due process and universal health care.

No worries. For now America is stuck with good ol' secular financial policies, which haven't had any harmful effects on our society whatsoever

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