Monday, February 28, 2011

President Lee and the Islamic Bond Bill

News that the South Korea's ruling party is "losing support of the Protestant community at a time when the party is experiencing severe discord with the Buddhist and Catholic communities over the Lee Myung-bak administration’s Four Major Rivers Restoration Project" — GNP infuriates Protestant base with Islamic bond bill.

A prominent conservative Catholic politician and a supporter of another prominent conservative Catholic politician are rightly crying foul: "The minor ruling Liberty Forward Party (LFP) Chairman Lee Hoi-chang and a prominent lawmaker in the Park Geun-hye faction objected to what they called 'Protestant intimidation tactics.'"

"Since many Protestant believers have worked hard to facilitate Lee’s presidential victory, I will fight for Lee’s resignation," said South Korea's most famous pastor, David Yonggi Cho, senior pastor of the world's largest church, adding, "that this will be a life-or-death fight" — Preacher attacks Lee on sukuk bill.

All this over "bonds [that] conform to an Islamic law that bans interest payments and instead offers bondholders dividends or leasing profits as compensation." I find myself agreeing with Imam Abdur Rahman Lee Ju-Hwa of the Seoul Central Masjid: "It is a growing trend in the U.S. and Japan to use Islam financial markets. We are living in the era of globalization."

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.