"But I am puzzled by the question of why Muslims deal with Riba despite strong warnings against it. I see Muslims contradictory being, standing midway between Riba and God, both pulling them to their side."
Brother what do you mean by "Muslim deal with Riba". We can say why such a such Muslim is eating/taking the Riba despite strong warnings against it. In following ayats Allah has commanded not to eat/take the Riba. Please let me know if giving the Riba is prohibited in the Quran that I missed.
2:275 ٱلَّذِينَ يَأۡڪُلُونَ ٱلرِّبَوٰاْ لَا يَقُومُونَ إِلَّا كَمَا يَقُومُ ٱلَّذِى يَتَخَبَّطُهُ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ مِنَ ٱلۡمَسِّۚ ذَٲلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمۡ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّمَا ٱلۡبَيۡعُ مِثۡلُ ٱلرِّبَوٰاْۗ وَأَحَلَّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلۡبَيۡعَ وَحَرَّمَ ٱلرِّبَوٰاْۚ فَمَن جَآءَهُ ۥ مَوۡعِظَةٌ۬ مِّن رَّبِّهِۦ فَٱنتَهَىٰ فَلَهُ ۥ مَا سَلَفَ وَأَمۡرُهُ ۥۤ إِلَى ٱللَّهِۖ وَمَنۡ عَادَ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ أَصۡحَـٰبُ ٱلنَّارِۖ هُمۡ فِيہَا خَـٰلِدُونَ
On the contrary, those who eat Riba (usury), in greed of money, run around like
someone who has been bitten by a snake. They claim that trade is like
usury. But God has permitted trade and forbidden usury. One to whom the
clear Admonition has come from his Lord, must abstain from taking usury
forthwith. What he has taken in the past, he may keep and his judgment
rests with God. As for him who returns to usury, such are the dwellers of
the fire wherein they shall abide. [Ash-shayitaanu- min-al-muss = Satan by
his touch = Snake by its bite. Satan has been described as serpent in many
texts. One who has taken usury in the past, it is better for him to return the
interest he has earned, but the law shall not force him to do so. Trade is the
return on labor that is permissible, while usury is the return on money and
therefore, forbidden. 30:39, 53:39]
2:278 يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ ٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَذَرُواْ مَا بَقِىَ مِنَ ٱلرِّبَوٰٓاْ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ
O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Be mindful of the Divine Laws
and give up what remains of your demand for usury, if you are really believers.
3:130 يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا تَأۡڪُلُواْ ٱلرِّبَوٰٓاْ أَضۡعَـٰفً۬ا مُّضَـٰعَفَةً۬ۖ وَٱتَّقُواْ ٱللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمۡ تُفۡلِحُونَ
[The battle was about repelling aggression. The prime duty is to maintain a benevolent,
equitable society to which usury is a big detriment. Usury is the return
on money while trade is the return on labor. Usury or interest appears everincreasing,
but God blights usury and nourishes the acts of caring 2:275-279]
O You who have chosen to be graced with belief! Devour not usury which is
compounded over and over again. Live upright as ordained by God in order
to build a truly prosperous society.
4:161 وَأَخۡذِهِمُ ٱلرِّبَوٰاْ وَقَدۡ نُہُواْ عَنۡهُ وَأَكۡلِهِمۡ أَمۡوَٲلَ ٱلنَّاسِ بِٱلۡبَـٰطِلِۚ وَأَعۡتَدۡنَا لِلۡكَـٰفِرِينَ مِنۡہُمۡ عَذَابًا أَلِيمً۬ا
Their clergy made usury permissible although it was forbidden, and they devoured
the wealth of people with falsification. We have readied for the rejecters