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Vermont: Opportunities Credit Union developing a lending program that complies with Islamic law



This is wonderful, generous, accommodating, welcoming and multicultural. But what will Vermonters do when there begin to be demands for accommodation of other aspects of Islamic law? They themselves would dismiss this very question as “Islamophobic,” and denounce the questioner as “racist.” However, everywhere there has been accommodation to Sharia, there have eventually been demands for more accommodation to Sharia, which denies the equality of rights of women and non-Muslims, denies the freedom of speech, and is deeply anti-Semitic. Why will Vermont be any different?

“Vermont credit union developing a lending program that complies with Islamic law,” by Shaun Robinson, Valley News, January 7, 2022:

A Vermont credit union is developing what would be the state’s first lending program that complies with Islamic law, aiming to help more Muslim households buy homes.

Islamic law, or Shariah, prohibits the collection and payment of interest by lenders and investors, which means many existing loans, including mortgages, don’t comply. In general, relationships that favor the lender are prohibited, or considered haram.

Financing models that do comply with Islamic law include arrangements where a bank buys property for a customer and leases it back, or where a bank and customer jointly purchase property and agree to share in the profits and losses.

Timothy Carpenter, a senior lending manager at Opportunities Credit Union, which is developing the framework, said the organization hasn’t worked out all the details but is looking to create a model where it and its customers share ownership of a home.

The credit union has locations in Burlington and Winooski.

Several organizations across the country offer Islamic financing, he said, but currently none in Vermont. One such institution is Devon Bank in Chicago, which according to its website provides Islamic law-compliant financing in about 35 states.

Carpenter said one reason this type of financing isn’t yet available in Vermont is that the state does not have a large Muslim population, and demand is greater in other states. He also said the products the credit union is considering likely would need special approval from Vermont officials, and wouldn’t be available until at least the end of the year.

The lending manager has been working with Imam Islam Hassan, of the South Burlington-based Islamic Society of Vermont, on developing the new model.

Hassan said he knows five families who want to buy houses but are hesitant to do so through a financing option that doesn’t comply with Islamic law. And there are more Muslim Vermonters who currently rent, he said, but would use such a model.

“If we had that in place,” Hassan said, “a lot of people would take advantage of it.”

The imam said it can be permissible to take out a loan in certain situations, but in general, most Muslims would not feel comfortable with managing interest….