Shortly after the demise of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, about the time the Muslim Brotherhood was founded, a pious Muslim saw a need to establish an economic system to fund a resurgence of the Islamic Caliphate. The product of his vision grew rapidly during the 1970s with the high price of oil from the Middle East.
Shortly thereafter, Saudi Arabia began funding numerous mosques, Islamic centers, Islamic colleges, and Islamic schools in non-Muslim countries around the world. Such funding was subsequently managed by new Islamic Banks, i.e. the Islamic Bank of Dubai for example. It is estimated that the number of such banks now exceeds 400 in 75 countries. Islamic banks deal in what is termed ‘Shariah-Compliant Finance’.
Shariah-Compliant Finance (SCF) offers financial instruments that avoid interest and risk, do not deal in illegal Muslim activities such as pork or alcohol, and provide for obligatory tithing (zakat) on the profits generated from such investments. If any SCF instrument is subsequently found to be ‘impure’, i.e. involved in any ‘illegal’ activity, the assets must be liquidated and distributed to a charitable entity designated by a ‘Shariah Advisor’. The process is known as purification. Thus the funds generated by zakat and purification are given to Muslim charities such as the Holy Land Foundation headquartered in Texas.
The ‘designated charities’ chosen by ‘designated advisors’ presents a problem. The Holy Land Foundation has since been shut down by the FBI for funding such terrorist organizations as Hamas.
There are in addition several domestic financial institutions that offer Shariah-Compliant Financial instruments including Barclays, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, and Goldman Sachs.
It is estimated that there are between $800 billion to $1 trillion Sharia-compliant assets being managed today and the growth rate is estimated to be between 10-15% annually.
During President Obama’s ‘new beginning’ speech in Cairo in 2009 he stated that he would make it easier for American Muslims to fulfill their zakat responsibility. Subsequently, in 2010 he appointed a Shariah-Compliant Finance Advisor. Thus, president Obama is helping to ensure that American Muslims are enjoying their First Amendment rights of religious freedom.
Now consider the present situation relative to governmental mandates concerning the availability of contraceptive services for women. Many interpret the mandates as an assault on religious freedom for Christians. President Obama said that because of his Christianity he endorsed the mandates.
There is an interesting example of birth control cited in the Old Testament. Judah’s firstborn son named Er married a woman named Tamar. Er was killed and according to Jewish law Er’s younger brother Onan was to marry Tamar and father a son with her so as to provide an heir to Judah’s firstborn.
“And Judah said to Onan, ‘Go in to your brother’s wife and marry her, and raise up an heir to your brother.’ But Onan knew that the heir would not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in to his brother’s wife, that he emitted on the ground… And the thing which he did displeased the LORD; therefore He killed him…” Genesis 38:8-10
There is little question how God felt about Onan’s attempt to prevent Tamar’s conception.
The story continues with deceit which resulted in incest, i.e. Tamar was found with child from Judah, her father-in-law. By today’s standards, that would be total justification for a government funded abortion. However, Tamar gave birth and the boy child was called Perez. Why is this relevant?
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ…the Son of Abraham: Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah…Judah begot Perez…by Tamar…” Matthew 1:1-3
God had a plan for the human chain for the Messiah and man’s attempts to play God could not thwart that plan.
Many believe that the current mandates supported by the president relative to reproductive services are in essence attempts to usurp God’s sovereignty and prerogatives.
In view of the current controversy regarding these mandates for faith based organizations along with the president’s assistance to Muslims to fulfill zakat, many Christians are confused. Their question is: why is the president more zealous for the constitutional freedoms for religions other than his own?