Islam

What’s wrong with ‘What’s wrong with Islamic finance’?

Christian Concern have published a neat little booklet called ‘What’s wrong with Islamic finance’ (download HERE), which summarises the origins, aims and purported problems arising from Islamic finance in the UK. It covers the quranic ban on interest; links to extremism; the charging of zakat; money laundering; lack of transparency, and the sharia adjudication of financial disputes. It’s a neat little booklet, it really is. But there’s something wrong with it.

Yes, you’ve got it. It’s missing a question mark.

Unless, of course, ‘What’s wrong’ is a statement of what is rather than a grammatical interrogative. It’s hard to tell. Maybe it doesn’t matter. And maybe Islamic finance doesn’t matter, either. It’s hard to tell.

It’s hard to tell because Islamic finance is simply sharia-compliant money, and if some Muslims want that, it’s hard to see what’s wrong with it. A bit like Christian finance and Jewish finance and Jedi finance. As long as it conforms to the market laws of the land, it’s hard to see what’s wrong with it.

Apart from the missing question mark, that is.

You may be persuaded that the advent of sharia-compliant money for those who want it represents some sort of Islamic/ist takeover, or at least the sinister development of a rival financial system, but, let’s face it, a market worth some $2,000,000,000,000 isn’t to be sniffed at. And it’s scheduled to grow to $3 trillion by the end of 2018. That’s quite a lot of money (isn’t it?), and all perfectly ripe for picking in the vineyard of Mohammed.

So what’s the fuss?

Well, the authors of this booklet say the ban on the charging of interest is “a modern fundamentalist interpretation” of the Qur’an. By ‘fundamentalist’ here they mean the word usually (and better) translated ‘usury’ has been increasingly rendered ‘interest’.

Does it matter? Does it really matter if a sharia-compliant mortgage is marketed as being ‘interest-free’ but actually charges a bank’s ‘variable rental rate’ which happens to be suspiciously similar (ie the same) as the interest rate charged to the kuffar? Does it matter if they say they don’t charge interest but then charge something that looks, smells and feels like.. um.. interest? Isn’t it simply a marketing ploy – perfectly legal – and actually not much different from advertising a fixed interest rate of 2% which turns out to be 2.89% APR which reverts to a variable rate in 12 months? Isn’t it all just an ancient ruse? What’s the problem with wrapping up Mammon in religious garb?

Ah, Mammon.

Isn’t that what’s wrong with ‘What’s wrong with Islamic finance’?

Apart from the missing question mark, that is.

The booklet takes no account at all of the fact that sharia-compliant finance is simply a sect of Mammon worship. Or is it a cult? Maybe it doesn’t matter. Amongst all the greedy princes of Hell, it’s hard to tell one from another. Money.. wealth.. profit.. possessions.. interest.. usury..

When you put Islamic finance into the moral context of avarice and the global worship of money, is it really any different from Christian/Jewish/Jedi ‘mainstream’ finance? Aren’t they all economic systems for asserting notions of cultural identity and global hegemony? Isn’t it just a slight clash of competing civilisations?

We don’t know where zakat goes? Well, where does VAT end up? Islamic finance is vulnerable to money laundering? Well, so was the Vatican Bank. Islamic finance subsidises jihad? Well, how many bloody wars and crimes against humanity have been perpetrated with Christian finance?

Islamic finance may be concerned with civilisational resistance, but why should it not be able to compete for market share in a free-trade world without tariffs, quotas or other restrictions? If the tedious red tape of sharia-compliance becomes a burdensome bureaucracy, it will surely go the way of all inefficient institutions and over-regulated systems, won’t it? “Islamic finance is not supported by most Muslims”, we learn in section 10. And therein lies the seed of its pre-ordained demise.

But there’s something else..

Islamic finance is “illiberal, undemocratic and discriminatory”, it says in section 5.

It may be so. In fact, it is almost certainly so. But there’s far more to fear from the illiberal, undemocratic and discriminatory financial ‘services’ of Goldman Sachs, Deloitte and George Soros than there is from a financial system blessed by Allah. Perhaps Christian Concern might produce a booklet about the anti-Christian Mammon-worshipping activities of those shady agents whose $billions are being deployed for subversive ‘progressive’ and ‘liberal’ political causes.