Muslims Demand Sharia Student Loans Because Paying Interest Goes Against Islamic Law

Daily Mail (London), August 22, 2011

Muslim groups are calling for a separate student loan system because the interest due to be charged will conflict with rules of Sharia law.

The changes to tuition fees, which come into force next year, will see students charged higher rates of interest on the loans they take out to pay for university.

Until now they have paid the market rate of inflation but the reforms mean students who go on to earn more than £21,000 will have to pay interest of up to 3 per cent.

But in some interpretations of Sharia law, which is Islam’s legal system and governs every aspect of Muslim life, loans are forbidden.

The National Union of Students has said it could be two years before an alternative system is worked out, leaving some Muslims fearing they cannot go on to further education.

The Federation of Student Islamic Societies told The Independent that the rate increase was a ‘pressing issue’.

A spokesman said: ‘Because the rate of interest is above the rate of inflation, it is quite blatant usury.’

Usury means the practice of lending money and charging the borrower interest, possibly at a very high rate.

Mohammed Ahmed-Sheikh, 17, says the changes will discourage him from applying to university next year.

‘The fees are the reason I’m having doubts. I’m Muslim and loans are against my religion,’ he told The Independent.

Ahmad Mitoubsi, 21, who graduated this year, added: ‘We’ve just had to adapt to the British system or else I couldn’t have gone to uni.’

The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills says discussions are ongoing with student groups about a solution.

But it is thought an alternative, such as already happens with mortgages in which education could be ‘rented’ instead, may not be agreed until the 2013/14 academic year.

Sharia law is Islam’s legal system. It was derived from the Koran, as the word of God, the example of the life of the prophet Muhammad and fatwas–the rulings of Islamic scholars.

It is different to the legal traditions of the Western world because it governs–or informs–everything about how a Muslim lives.

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  • Tom S.

    To people with common sense theres a simple solution to this – just tell them that since this country isn’t ruled by Sharia law they will either pay the interest or they won’t go to university. Then they need to be told that if they have a problem with that than maybe England isn’t for them and they should move back to the muslim paradise from where they came. There, was that so hard?

    Why do liberals make everything so damn complicated?

  • Rev. StraightnNarrow

    The USA is NOT a Muslim country, and if most US citizens have anything to do with it, it never will be. Muslims have NO right to demand special rights; that discriminates against non-Muslim students. If the Muslims don’t like paying interest, then go home. And, hey — why is it that Middle Eastern Muslims, in fact MOST Muslims — have to come to the sinful West to get a decent education??? Might that have something to do with the fact that Islam is a 7th century religion trying to control 21st century people? Most Muslims are tribal and not very bright, as evidenced by the hoards of men indiscriminately firing guns in various Muslim countries. They are no more mature than 12 year olds. So why would our country want to encourage Muslims to come here for ANY reason? I say get rid of Islam in America!!!

  • Anonymous

    It the West, supposedly a world without Sharia law. Perhaps its the application of the commercial portion of Sharia law that has resulted in grinding poverty. And that is with the greatest oil resources on the planet.

    The Western concept is simple, interest paid compensates for the loss value of the money lent due to inflation PLUS a profit to compensate for risk. Risk is some losses as well a overage to assure one stays in business. With enough competition, the margins are thin to the point of risk appropriate.

    Its a proven system.

    Lend to yourselves via Sharia law, but don’t require the West to comply.

  • Anonymous

    Blind faith in religion. Don’t question the efficacy of our or your system on its merits. Demand the host country adopt your customs, no matter how dysfunctional. BTW the interest rate charge had better be above the rate of inflation, otherwise what is the lenders incentive to be in the business? There are losses, cost of administration, and some return or profit. Same with any business.

    So if you don’t like Western lending practices, make arrangements from a Muslim institution. Stop whining, we are not your parents.

  • Anonymous

    The fees are the reason I’m having doubts. I’m Muslim and loans are against my religion,’ he told The Independent.

    Paying fees are not likeable to me others. Its the way we do business here. If you have a better way, let us know. But don’t quote some religious book to justify financial benefit at my expense.

  • Anonymous

    “Ahmad Mitoubsi, 21, who graduated this year, added: ‘We’ve just had to adapt to the British system or else I couldn’t have gone to uni.’”

    Simple enough, then don’t go to uni!

  • Question Diversity

    We have already had this concern here in the United States. Minnesota, a high Muslim immigration state, specifically. Wait until you see how they solved this “problem.”

    http://goo.gl/I0GM6

    I imagine the “solution” in Britain will be something along those lines.

  • (AWG) Average White Guy

    One of the reasons Islam grew so quickly . . .

    Muslim converts didn’t pay interest;

    “infidels” paid higher interest to compensate.

    Muslim converts didn’t pay taxes;

    “infidels” paid higher taxes to compensate.

  • Mr.White

    And diversity is supposed to represent” strength.” Isn’t that what our leaders continue to tell us? How in God’s name can this be asserted with a straight face? Anyone who continues to make that claim should be tried for treason.

  • Anonymous

    I hate paying interest. That’s why I avoid debt. If I want something I save up until I can afford it. Until then, I do without.

    Hey Muslims, ever hear of work-study, part-time jobs, merit-based scholarships? No interest to speak of – so to speak.

  • Southern Hoosier

    I wonder if Muslims object to being paid interest on their investments?

  • Howard W. Campbell

    In a world where virtually everyone lives on the edge of destitution as was life in the middle east until 50 – 75 years ago, the edicts against usury made sense. The thought was that if one man or a small group controlled every penny, the group living out in the hinterlands would eventually implode and die off. This is also mentioned in the Old Testament and there is a reason for the Jubilee (forgiveness of debts after seven years). If the oil had not made many of those in the Middle East believe that Manna from Heaven had fallen for a second time, most of these countries would not be artificially propped up while trying to support a population several times the natural carrying capacity.

    The bans against pork in Judaism and Islam are religiously based because pigs are an environmental nightmare in a desert environment. However, the attitudes towards these animals are starkly different when it comes to some other areas of life. If a doctor told (most) Muslims that they could keep them alive with a pig’s pancreas, the offer would be rejected outright. As for a Christian or a Jew, life is more important than this edict. Look at what happened in Egypt a couple of years ago. The Coptic Christians raise pork and they serve a function by using the garbage created in the cities to feed the pigs. This helps to keep the cities tolerable. A few legislators jumped on the bandwagon about swine flu and demanded that all pork stocks be killed outright with no compensation. Well, they were Sharia-Compliant, however there was no good way to get rid of the garbage that quickly built up in Egyptian cities.

    If “Sharia-compliant” loans are such a fantastic business model, why aren’t more companies running into the business? Tell these people to p*** off and comply with Western Laws or go home.

  • Urban Teacher

    Some years ago when I was in Israel, I noticed sometime that struck me as strange: There were homes in the Moslem sections around Tel Aviv that were under construction, but no one was working on them. I was told that this was because the Moslems do not borrow money. Instead, they work on a house until they run out of money, then save up for the next round of construction.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve got a great idea–why don’t they just have entirely separate countries for these Muslims, where they are free to practice their religious beliefs?

    Oh, I guess they already do–they are called Iraq, Iran, Yemen, et al.

  • BAW

    While we’re on the subject, we need to think about this: By allowing so many Muslim students into our universities, are we giving Islamic terrorists the ropes that they may one day use to hang us?

    Keep in mind that many of the scientists working on Iran and Pakistan’s nukes, as well as weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Syria, etc. were educated in American universities.

    Also keep in mind that quite a few of the 9/11/terrorists came in on student visas.

  • Anonymous

    13 — Urban Teacher wrote at 8:30 AM on August 24:

    “Some years ago when I was in Israel, I noticed sometime that struck me as strange: There were homes in the Moslem sections around Tel Aviv that were under construction, but no one was working on them. I was told that this was because the Moslems do not borrow money. Instead, they work on a house until they run out of money, then save up for the next round of construction.”

    This is also true in the Balkans, including former nations of Yugoslavia. I have a friend in Slovenia who has been working on a home for ten years, paying for materials and working on it as he can. Many people there build homes this way. What was remarkable to me is that entire families spent weekends working on their homes. I used to joke that they were born knowing how to make cement. Also, these are solid homes, built of masonry and tile, not cheap stick and sheetrock structures, with plastic, stick on floors; magnificent homes, often with beautiful craftsmanship displayed inside and out. I was actually a little envious. When you see a grandmother mixing cement in a wheel-barrow, you learn to respect them. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to build a home that his children and their children will live in, basically for free. Because of this cultural way of doing things, many Southern Europeans travel a great deal and go on multiple vacations even as young people. I am certainly not against it. It also allows many to afford nice cars when they want them.

    While I lived there, I came to the conclusion that this was one reason why families were so close and the cultures so strong. I saw many instances where three generations would live in a three story home, with no crowding. In America and much of the non-European West, people live in a completely opposite reality, to the point that our economy depends upon every generation being enslaved to a 30 year mortgage, paying for ridiculously overpriced, cheaply built, mass produced boxes. Not only that, but families break up and move far apart due to this and other traditional economic pressures, (including the pioneer era) that seem to serve each other. Part of it IS due to living in such a large country, but not entirely. IMHO, this has been a leading factor in the dissolution of the White American family as a strong unit, and as a result, our difficulty in unifying.

  • Reformed

    If they want Sharia, its nothing but a plane ride away. There are many developed nations where Islam is the ruling if not sole law of the land. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia (largest Muslim nation by population of Muslims) and so on and so forth. These are not destitute hellholes by any stretch of the imagination, particularly if one were Arab, Arabic-Speaking, Muslim or all three.

    The only thing that brings these people to White, Western, English speaking post-Enlightenment Judeo-Christian and Atheist countries are all the freebies and goodies. These countries have lavish welfare states and farcical immigration laws.

    If there was a ceasing of allowed immigration, enforcement of current immigration laws, a curtailment or end to the welfare state and financial incentives to leave none of these Muslims would hang around to bellyache about Western financial practices. They’d hit the bricks.

  • josef H

    the article shows one muslim who adapted and went on to higher education and one who didnt. was he too respectful of sharia law or is this just an excuse for him not to pursue higher education?

    i’d go for the latter. when there’s a will there’s a way.

  • Richard

    Perhaps the problem is that Sharia Law is not applied widely enough and equitably enough.

    My solution is follows. Any Sharia-respecting Muslim who emigrates from his homeland to a Western secular/Christian democracy must demonstrate his adherence to Sharia interest-free loans as follows:

    The migrant shall provide a loan of not less than One Trillion units of local currency (e.g. pound, dollar, euro) to the national government. The term of the loan shall be one thousand years, with a balloon payment due at the end of the thousand years.

    For a concrete example: The US allows 25 sharia muslims to enter. They pay the US government 25,000,000,000,000 total. The US will repay them (by they way, the note is not assignable) in the year 3011.

    It’s win-win. Our debts are paid, and we welcome immigrants at a reasonable rate.

  • Steven Broiles

    I am against Sharia Law and I do not believe in Islam for one minute, but in a way I agree with their policy of zero interest on loans. If you allow interest on loans, then usury will come about, for the banks will always lobby for higher rates for themselves. 25 to 36% interest on credit cards is too much!

    Now I am not against the profit motive, even with money, but let us say we did have zero interest on loans. Overall, would this serve as a barrier to international banking, the IMF, the World Monetary Fund and all the other New World Order schemes? THAT is what I’m getting at! If zero interest on loans decreases the supply of loans, then individuals will become more responsible, the economic activity will stay local, and international control of the money supply would be greatly hampered.

    As theologically incorrect as Islam may be (I am a Christian) and as militant as it is (the terror arm of it), this may be the one time where the broken clock is right once a day.

    I have been looking for economic analysis on this over the internet and have not found anything yet. Any suggestions?

  • Question Diversity

    20 Steven Broiles:

    Everything you say sounds tempting, but then again it also sounds like a best laid scheme. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it just seems to me that any modern mature first world economy needs to permit interest-bearing loans on money or rent on capital. Just because usury is bad, and usury laws should be enforced once again (I agree with you on that), doesn’t mean all interest is by definition bad or wrong. Well thought out and enforced usury laws will be an adequate barrier to bankster treachery.

    Like prices in general, interest rates are subject to market forces. That 25-36% interest rate on credit cards game, especially in this low rate climate (for now), can’t continue indefinitely.

  • Steven Broiles

    21 Question Diversity

    Dear Q.D.: Good points! But I still don’t see usury laws being enforced. The market would, however, level things out, IF the politicians and bankers would only let it!

    Thanks for the response; I do go back over articles and the letters….