All My Money Is Tied Up in Almagamated Burquas

Well, here’s something that concerns me a little bit: a story from the mainstream financial press that points up benefits of Islamic investing:

More investors should learn from Islamic investment principles, which have quietly and responsibly guided two mutual funds to dramatic investment returns.

Islamic investment principles are guiding the Amana funds to impressive long-term track records for both Muslim and non-Muslim investors, and getting a warm reception from astute financial advisors as ethical investments.

How has it succeeded? By following Sharia compliant strategies. That means the fund can invest in domestic or foreign stocks to earn capital gains, but avoids financial services industries and securities that earn Haram – forbidden — revenues. The fund also limits interest income to less than 5% of the return. (It does enjoy dividends.)

Y’know, if you want to start, or invest in, a fund that is guided by Islamic principles (except for the whole jihad thing), that’s fine by me. But when the press says that Sharia is the reason for the funds’ success (it’s not–these funds are heavily into foreign markets, which have been booming, and have stayed away from lagging industries like airlines and financials), that’s disconcerting.

I’m not worried about an Islamic army descending on America and imposing Sharia law on us. But I am worried about a slow, steady, innocuous drumbeat that says, “Hey, Sharia’s not really so bad. In fact, there are lots of good things about it. Yay, Sharia!” This is what’s been happening in Europe for the last few decades, and now Sharia is upon them as surely as if they’d been conquered by a Muslim army.

I don’t think the author of this article is part of any conspiracy; he’s just climbing on board with an increasingly common mindset. Little things like this are what makes the world change.