1 thought on “Islam and free markets: can they co-exist?”

  1. Posted 23/08/2013 at 21:26 | Permalink

    If the the last sentence of this thoughtful analysis comes true we will have a peaceful and prosperous Century. If it does not there is terrible historic precedent from 100 years ago, think of the melt down of Far East. In the 1920’s China, Japan, Indo-china, India, Indonesia and all places between faced grinding poverty for the masses, a few wealthy city states, religious militarism, emperors and war lords, rapid weaponisation, foreign interventions, revolutions, and the consequent creation of killing fields that bled for 60 years.

    The real danger in the Middle East and to the rest of the world is the perceptibly inexorable progress to nuclear weaponry.

    Nearly all current Arab leaders see the problems and to their credit they are setting aside the cultural and educational barriers that have divided Islam from the rest of the world for 100s of years. There is a real desire to integrate without loss of cultural values and genuine debate.

    Access to the world has been mediated by these relatively enlightened men and women and obviously change is afoot but while there is no contradiction at all between Islam and trade, some of the traditional teachings and customs, if applied hard and literally, are far from conducive to economic freedom as the rest of the world would understand it.

    Arab friends, international bankers, pulled their children from a good Emirati school when a teacher suggested the fathers profession was haram. This is not an uncommon opinion, so there is a way to go yet.

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