If you're Muslim, it's against your religion to make or receive interest. It's against Sharia’a. Now, do you think there are no banks in Islamic countries? Of course there are. They use loopholes to ensure money is made without violating Islamic law. Despite that, the city of Minneapolis has a program to spur economic development, part of that plan offers no interest loans to people whose religion prohibits them from traditional loans. Economic development is important, and small business loans can get struggling businesses off of the ground, but should someone's religion play a part in whether that loan is interest free or not?
From the latest mayoral update:
Growing an Economy That Works for Everyone
Mayor Rybak also promoted Minneapolis’ strong, growing economy and pledged more than $11 million in workforce development and economic development strategies in 2008, including:
* $1.5 million for job training and placement programs that successfully placed 14,000 hard to employ city residents into unsubsidized private sector jobs last year
* $4.7 million dollars of small business financing tools, including innovative loans with no interest to business owners whose religious beliefs restrict them from receiving traditional interest-based financing
* $2.1 million for the Great Streets Neighborhood Business District program that focuses economic development on key commercial corridors like West Broadway and Franklin Avenues
* $16 million to improve housing options and strengthen Minneapolis housing market, including $6 million to continue implementing the City’s strategy to address the foreclosure crisis