Gulf News has published an article about an Italian Buddhist living in Dubai who has taken out a Shariah-Compliant mortgage. The article claims that he did so because he believed that a mortgage based in religion would be “safer.”
This is a common theme. Promoters of Shariah-Compliant Finance have been saying all along that they need to market their products to non-Muslims. What they also admit in rare circumstances is that these operations are in fact missionary work. At best, they insinuate Shariah into the world financial system. At worst, they allow the creeping infiltration of Shariah into our society as a whole.
Among the many problems with this whole scheme is the fact that there is no evidence to suggest that Shariah mortgages are any “safer” than conventional mortgages. Moreover, even though Shariah mortgages do not charge interest, the fact of the matter is, by the time one tabulates all the fees and costs involved in these “interest-free” mortgages, they add up to more than what the interest charges would have been in the first place.
The vague explanations about Shariah mortgages, such as the one in the article linked below, seem to purposely mislead the reader into thinking that “no interest” means “free.” Shariah mortgages are anything BUT free. In fact, they are more expensive than conventional mortgages, with no known benefits for the added costs…