“Mercedes-Benz is hoping to increase its presence in the lucrative Middle-Eastern market by establishing a pair of financial firms that are fully compliant with the specific regulations of Islamic law, or Sharia.” What’s wrong with that? They’re just trying to do business, right?
Two things are wrong with that. One is that opening the door to one aspect of Sharia helps open the door to all of it, and you can be sure that there will be Muslims in the West who will be doing all they can to take advantage of that wedge, and to try to advance the elements of Sharia that would deny freedom of speech and legal equality to all people. The other is that once again the precedent is set — as it is being set here, there, and everywhere — that it is Western institutions that must comply with Sharia, not Muslims who must comply with Western norms.
Mercedes-Benz is hoping to increase its presence in the lucrative Middle-Eastern market by establishing a pair of financial firms that are fully compliant with the specific regulations of Islamic law, or Sharia.
Islamic law prohibits its followers from charging or collecting interest fees when money is lent or accepted, or investing in businesses, goods or services that are contrary to its religious principles.
To get around this, Mercedes-Benz has launched Mercedes-Benz Finance Middle East and Mercedes-Benz Leasing Middle East. The new companies are headquartered in Dubai and offer loans and leasing to private and business customers for new and pre-owned passenger cars and commercial vehicles, including the all-important Sharia-compliant Islamic finance product.
There are several methods of investing that comply with Islamic law. For example, instead of offering a loan with interest to buy a car, the financial firm could purchase the car outright at an inflated price that includes the interest portion and then sell it to a customer who can then make fixed payments on a regular basis….