Islamic Law and Finance in America; Sharia and the Claims of ISIS. Robert Michael, New York Bar Association.

Mar 05, 2016, 06:16 AM

3/4/16 (Photo ‪A Saba Islamic Bank branch in Djibouti City.‬) Islamic Law and Finance in America; Sharia and the Claims of ISIS. Robert Michael, New York Bar Association. “Classical Islamic law or true traditional Shari’a is not the law in ANY country, and has not been since at least Colonial times. Even where it is their organic law that all law is based upon Shari’a, such as in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the law today is anamalgam of classical Islamic law and modern Western-inspired laws based upon, usually, either UK/US common law or French or German civil law. These hybrid systems also involve aspects of modern international law, often from multilateral treaties and conventions like the WTO and TRIPS. There is no bright line separating religious, ecclesiastical, family, interpersonal, commercial or penal law, and underlying all is a contract, whether between individuals or with God. Social justice and fairness is required to be an element in all dealings, both family and commercial. One aspect of that is in its anti-capitalist elements, such as the lack of concepts for the time or risk value of money, speculation, limited liability or almost all forms of intangible rights and assets –and the rule that you cannot finance what you are not permitted to do yourself. On the other hand, there are strong anti-Socialist elements as well: profit and personal, not communal, ownership of tangible assets are strongly supported. As noted above, among the Sunni there is no hierarchy; nor has there EVER been, since the time of the Prophet, a Caesaropapist ruler or single legislative or judicial body competent to set or adjudicate definitively the law or rules for all Moslems. Apostasy is a capital crime; those who believe that either the Shi’a or the Sunni are heretics may also believe them guilty of apostasy.” Robert Michael