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The Golden Rule - He Who Has the Gold, Makes the Rules

Reader comment on item: Islamic Economics: What Does It Mean?

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Sep 26, 2007 at 19:00

As part of the modern Islamic thinking that seeks to make a world that is distinctly Muslim in character, the process of making money over in the Islamic image is something that requires more than what Abul-Ala Mawdudi had envisioned, for it requires more than a renaming to make ‘Islamic economics' unique. For starters, Islam did not create economics, nor money for that matter. And up until the discovery of oil in many of the Middle Eastern countries, there was not much of an Islamic economy at all that was not controlled by outside interests. We all know that oil has made many Muslim people and their countries rich, but that does not automatically make for economics peculiar to Islamic sensibilities.

In the failure list, there is a similarity of the concept of usury, interest, that can be traced to the commandments of, dare it be said, the Jewish law, the Torah. More learned students of the Torah can delve into the specifics of how that works, but suffice it to say here that not only is usury not permitted amongst the children of Israel (Exodus 22:25 Leviticus 25:36 Deuteronomy 23:19-though allowed here for non Jewish customers), but that loans are cancelled after so many years as well. How does one reconcile a Jewish concept with Islamic culture?

The second noted shortcoming can be attributed to economic realities around the globe, that the extreme rich are successful in getting the government and those of lesser economic stature to provide for the poor; nothing new to that, no matter the label.

The last issue noted can be attributed to its cause very easily, that human nature without true moral leading reverts and resorts to its lowest common denominator, and in the case of economics, we can call it greed. Nothing new is found here.

The only question remaining, do Islamic countries that print or mint their own legal tender place the phrase- ‘in Allah we trust?' With all the gold they are supposed to be hoarding to protect their economic interests, this reader was just wondering.

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