To many in the West, a fatwa is often associated with the 1989 religious edict against author Salman Rushdie.

But, in what may be a first, a party has cited the term in a U.S. bankruptcy court, citing a "fatwa" as a reason to prevent Goldman Sachs (GS.N) from making a loan to bankrupt Bahrain investment firm Arcapita Bank BSC.

Earlier this month, Bankruptcy Court Judge Sean Lane in New York confirmed Arcapita's reorganization in what many experts said was the first Chapter 11 that was compliant with Islamic law, or Sharia.

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