The Bankruptcy of Islamic Law  

By Joseph Klein | Monday, October 20, 2008


Some Islamic leaders have loudly proclaimed that the current economic crisis proves the superiority of their religion and way of life over capitalism and liberal democracy.  As usual they are in a complete state of denial about the moral, intellectual and economic bankruptcy of the fundamentalist world-view they hold which is rooted in Islamic law.  Here are a couple of examples of their empty boasts.

“The collapse of the capitalist system, which is based on usury and securities rather than commodities in markets, shows us that it is undergoing a crisis and that our integrated Islamic philosophy – if properly understood and applied – can replace the Western capitalism,” Qatar’s Gulf Times quoted an influential Sunni cleric, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, as saying recently.  He is a spiritual leader of the jihadist Muslim Brotherhood.

“The school of Marxism has collapsed and the sound of the West’s cracking liberal democracy is now being heard,” supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared.  President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad went further and said that the current financial crisis is a form of divine retribution that marks “the end of capitalism.”

The irony in such rants is that the fortunes of the oil-producing countries in the Muslim world are tied directly to the health of the global economy, which drives demand for their oil.  The global economy today is largely based on capitalist principles.

If capitalism falters and demand for Muslim oil dries up as a consequence, the most important Muslim economies as they exist today will die.   That is because they are derivative economies, completely dependent for their economic health on the health of the industrialized countries of the West and of fast-growing China and India – none of which are predominantly Muslim. 

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