The American Prospect credited Tim Pawlenty with encouraging the expansion of Shariah-compliant finance in the name of increasing minority home ownership in Minnesota.
In 2004, Pawlenty encouraged the Minnesota Housing Financing Agency to partner with special-interest groups and businesses to up the state’s minority homeownership rate of 42%; this initiative became known as the Emerging Markets Homeowners Initiative, through which the MHFA partnered with the African Development Center to develop Shariah-compliant loan and mortgage products. This aligns neatly with Pawlenty’s populist ideals.
Shariah-compliant finance is not a manifestation of jihad, as many states considering anti-Shariah legislation fear. It’s capitalism–Citigroup, Visa, and AIG have all explored it.
Pawlenty’s detractors are, predictably, linking Shariah-compliant finance to the Muslim Brotherhood and a desire to take over the United States and institute Shariah law.
Looking at the housing market, discouraging the purchase of property is ill-advised.