I take exception to the Tuesday Commentary column "Into the fire?" by Frank Gaffney Jr., in which he states that Shariah-based financing is being used to "rule the world" and undermine our system. He just does not make sense. Shariah financing is being used in progressive societies such as Singapore - which has managed to avoid the financial mess we see in our own country - and it certainly is not creating any "black holes" there.
I suggest, Mr. Gaffney, 1) Do more thorough research on Shariah finance and observe it at work in places like Singapore, a non-Muslim, secular state that is financially sophisticated and on the rise; and 2) Seek research beyond just the McCormick Foundation and attorney David Yerushalmi.
Perhaps if we in America would dismiss some of our xenophobia about the Muslim world, we might learn something that could be of use to us in getting out of our current financial mess - which most likely was brought on by lack of discipline and control and was mismanaged by elements unrelated to Shariah finance.
SERGE E. GRYNKEWICH II
American Association of the Philippines
Makati City, the Philippines
I was initially pleased to see The Washington Times discussing Shariah-compliant financing. Many American Muslims are trying to find financing and investments that we believe are religiously appropriate for ourselves and our families. However, I had never imagined such a wholehearted attack would be made on a personal choice of financing and investing. I'm used to articles maligning Islam, but financing? A bit much.
The so-called expert cited on Shariah financing, David Yerushalmi, is head of a racist anti-Muslim group, Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), that has urged making the practice of Islam illegal. SANE offered a policy proposal that adherence to Islam as a Muslim is prima facie evidence of an act in support of the overthrow of the U.S. government.
The attack on the subject matter is incomprehensible. Why would anyone be angry that I am choosing my own investments according to my principles? Would Mr. Gaffney have been so sneering if someone had said that his or her principle is not to invest in companies that, say, have been found to employ child laborers or to have supported apartheid? So why can't I choose my own, as a Muslim, as well?