NY: MUSLIMS CAN BUY HOMES WITHOUT BREAKING QURAN'S RULES
Like so many young professionals, Pulak Bhuiya wanted a place he could call his own. He graduated from college, got a decent job as a systems analyst for Credit Suisse Bank in Manhattan and got married.
Buying a house "seemed like a natural progression," Bhuiya said.
But because Bhuiya's Islamic faith prohibits him from taking out an interest-bearing loan, homeownership was out of reach. Then, through friends, Bhuiya, 32, heard about a financing program geared toward Muslims -- one approved by religious scholars and structured to avoid paying interest.
Last year, he closed on a four-bedroom, three-bath ranch in Levittown.
Without the special program, Bhuiya said, he could not have afforded to pay the full price of a house on Long Island. "I'd pretty much have had to move to Idaho, or something," he said.
Banks get savvy
Recognizing the growing market of upwardly mobile Muslims -- many of them immigrants from India, Pakistan and Turkey -- several banks are widening their offerings to the Islamic faithful, bringing programs long used in Muslim countries to America.