SHARIA-COMPLIANT HOME LOANS FOR MUSLIMS
ChristianNews.net, 7/20/15, “Seattle Mayor Proposes Offering Sharia Law-Compliant Home Loans for Muslims” [Excerpts]: The mayor of Seattle and his housing committee have unveiled a plan to increase housing in the city, with a portion of the plan proposing the offering of Sharia law-compliant loans for Muslim residents.
Among the number of ideas offered to make housing more affordable for Seattle residents is a segment that addresses Muslim beliefs, as Sharia law forbids usury for its adherents.
“For our low—and moderate—income Muslim neighbors who follow Sharia law—which prohibits the payment of interest or fees for loans of money—there are limited options for financing a home,” the proposed plan reads. “Some Muslims are unable to use conventional mortgage products due to religious convictions.”
“The City will convene lenders, housing nonprofits and community leaders to explore the best options for increasing access to Sharia-compliant loan products to help these residents become homeowners in Seattle,” it says.
THE EVANGELICAL LEFT AND IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL
ChristianPost.com, 5/26/15, “Evangelical Left Slammed for Supporting Iran Nuclear Deal” [Excerpts]: [The] president of the Institute on Religion & Democracy [IRD], criticized leaders of the Evangelical Left for supporting the Iran nuclear deal, calling their pacifistic tendencies “not reassuring or relevant” counsel on the topic of national security.
Singled out [were] Jim Wallis, founder and president of Sojourners, and Quaker political activists, who were some of the signers of the “Hope but Verify” letter in April, which called for the approval of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran and the P5+1 nations, which includes the United States, France, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and Germany. The plan was approved this month, but awaits verification by the U.S. Senate for official approval by the United States.
“Pacifists like Jim Wallis and the Quakers have hailed the Iran nuke deal,” [IRD president, Mark Tooley,] told the Christian Post, “Since they, like most of the evangelical and religious left, reject all lethal force, their counsel is not reassuring or relevant.
“The consequences likely include further empowerment for Iran’s tyrannical mullahs over its domestic subjects and against its regional neighbors,” said Tooley, “further proliferation of nuclear weapons to Iran’s worried adversaries like Saudi Arabia, and greater violence from Iran’s proxies.”
Other notable signers of the letter in support of the plan and often associated with the Evangelical Left are Ronald J. Sider, president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action, Shane Claiborne, executive director of Red Letter Christians, and Tony Campolo, founder of Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education.
PAKISTAN COURT TO HEAR CHRISTIAN APPEAL
ChristianHeadlines.com, 7/23/15, “Supreme Court of Pakistan Agrees to Hear Appeal of Christian Mother on Death Row” [Excerpts]: Pakistan’s Supreme Court [July 23] agreed to review the case of a Christian mother sentenced to death on a blasphemy charge, temporarily suspending her execution.
Aasiya Noreen, commonly known as Asia Bibi, is the first woman to be sentenced to death for blasphemy in Pakistan. The three-judge bench of the Supreme Court at the Lahore Registry [consented to hear] her petition challenging the sentence.
“Asia Bibi has claimed that she had not made any blasphemous remarks, and that rather her fellow villagers had leveled the allegation against her based on a personal feud,” said [her attorney, Saif-ul-Malook]. “The FIR [First Information Report] against my client was registered five days after the alleged incident had taken place. The mala fide intent is quite visible as the prolonged delay in lodging the case implies that the complainants had plenty of time to cook up the allegations against Asia Bibi.”
[Mohammad] Salaam, the main accuser, had told the high court that...his religious obligation to defend the dignity of Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, was the basis for his decision to be a court witness. He said that he had only heard Noreen allegedly confess to blasphemy when she had been brought before a Panchayat (local village council) several days after the quarrel.
Noreen’s other main accuser, the owner of the field where she worked, Muhammad Imran, was not present at the time of the quarrel either; he was away from the village at the time.
Arrested in June 2009 after Muslim co-workers in a berry field 60 miles west of Lahore beat her when she refused to convert to Islam following a quarrel, her death sentence was announced in November 2010. The Lahore High Court on Oct. 16, 2014 upheld the death sentence for the mother of two children and stepmother to three others.