Less than a month ago, the Washington Times ran a bizarre op-ed by Frank Gaffney, claiming that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is caught up in a conspiracy with the Muslim Brotherhood and the TARP program to impose oppressive tenants of Islamic Shariah law on America. The highlight of that op-ed was a doctored photo of Kagan in a turban.
The Washington Times’ editors must think that their readers have a very short attention span, because yesterday’s Washington Times also featured an op-ed by Frank Gaffney which touts the same tired conspiracy theory…and features yet another graphic of General Kagan in a turban (pictured to the right). Gaffney’s latest screed is largely identical to his first, although it expands slightly on his claim that Kagan’s secret Shariah plot involves a cabal of Muslim bankers:
That is where Elena Kagan‘s enabling of the penetration of Shariah into our capital markets through the Harvard Law School‘s Islamic Finance Project comes in. The purpose of that project is, according to an excellent essay by Mr. McCarthy, “Elena Kagan‘s ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ Shariah Policy,” published last week in National Review Online “to promote Shariah compliance in the U.S. financial sector.”
This is accomplished via legal support to an industry known as Shariah-compliant finance (SCF). It was invented in the mid-20th century by Brotherhood operatives as a means of facilitating and underwriting the penetration of Shariah into Western societies by mainlining it into their capitalist bloodstreams. . . .
As a new ad by the Center for Security Policy asks, “If Kagan tolerates promoting the injustice of Shariah law on the campus of Harvard, what kind of injustice will she tolerate in America during a lifetime on the Supreme Court?”
Needless to say, Kagan is not involved in a secret conspiracy involving Harvard Law School, TARP, Islamic bankers, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Indeed, Harvard’s Islamic Finance Project serves an entirely benign purpose. Because many Islamic nations forbid banks from charging interest at a fixed or predetermined rate, their economies have historically been hindered by inadequate access to credit. The Islamic Finance Project is one of many projects studying how to enable businesses and individuals to effectively borrow money without violating this prohibition. Rather than offering a mortgage, for example, an Islamic bank might purchase the house outright and then sell it to the lender in installments — thus achieving the same effect as a mortgage without charging a forbidden interest payment.
So there’s no secret behind Harvard’s Islamic Finance Project — and certainly nothing there that is relevant to Kagan’s confirmation process. Had Gaffney bothered to cite any real scholars of Islam, instead of bigoted hacks like Andrew McCarthy, he would know this. The only real question is why the Washington Times continues to publish Gaffney’s same laughable claim over and over again.