A couple of posts from fellow bloggers here, as well as my recent rant
about Lim Sie Leong's private piggy bank, BCA, have lead me to dig out a link I've been saving for just such an occasion.
When you live in a predominantly Islamic country as long as I have, you begin to assimilate certain attitudes and perceptions. I have always been lead to believe that the essence of Islam is, like Christianity, brotherhood. The community-at-large is a sharing and supportive organisation; no member should be exploited. (Unfortunately sisterhood is lacking in both religions, or rather the way they are practised.)
In recent years, many major banks have established sharia
divisions which operate in accordance with Islamic precepts and morality
These banks do not charge interest, not even at less than usurious rates. Although I have occasionally wondered how these banks 'earn' their keep, I have vaguely thought that they were a 'good thing' and I was pleased to read the following
:Islamic economics encompasses every sector of activity. Numerous cultural ramifications emerge through the ages requiring a renewed insight into the interpretations of the Shariah, some of these are changed while others remain inflexible. We cannot claim to be following Islam while we do not apply most of its teachings.
Therefore plenty of Muslims who do not uphold Islam ,except in name, turn a deaf ear when they hear of the Islamic Economic System since they well know that the system is interest-free. To be rather precise, the system does not make any allowances for interest-related contracts.
It still doesn't answer my question about the financial viability of sharia banks and Yosef Ardi's post about the poor performance of sharia units
in Indonesian banks reinforces my doubts.
Yosef details the year's losses or weak performance of six sharia units and concludes some banks might have established the unit simply for 'political protection' or marketing gimmick in the world's most populous Moslem country.
Is there a single Muslim country which figures in the league tables of so-called 'developed' countries?
Not according to this cleric
.Islamic countries are restrained from economic control due to the following factors, which must be attended to, for any meaningful domination of the Ummah:
* Islamic states provide less than 8% of the needs of non-Islamic economies. The latter economies can even reduce this low figure.
* Much capital from Islamic states is invested in non-Muslim enterprises and interest-dealing banks of non-Islamic States. This leads to increased development in such states while the Islamic countries fail to benefit from such capital for its own infrastructure development. Islamic states import more from the non-Islamic countries, than that which their GNP can support.
* Not a single Arab - Islamic or non-Arab - Islamic state has the technological competence to give it any competitive edge in production or export.
* The total lack of foresight amongst Islamic countries to unite and create an economic bloc that would control the Ummah' resources.
Indonesia is rich in natural resources but lacks what are euphemistically termed educated human resources. This is seemingly demonstrated in Aceh.Indcoup
has drawn attention to the large-scale embezzlement of funds from organisations working to rebuild the province after the tsunami.
.... given the extent of the suffering and misery, how could anyone be so callous to steal the funds ....?Flash forward a few years and ..... 30% to 40% of all the aid funds, Indonesian and international, are estimated to have been stolen.
According to the Sunday Times (UK) article
, "the betrayal is all the more cruel because it has been committed, in the main, by the Acehnese themselves
says Indcoup, in a region considered to be the most staunchly Islamic part of Indonesia !!!
Yes, considered to be and because it has a degree of autonomy greater than other provinces, Aceh is the only province to incorporate sharia law. This forbids gambling, the display of female flesh, kissing your wife for longer than five seconds, kissing anyone
who is not your wife (unless it's your brother). The penalties do not yet include dismemberment of appendages, limbs or members, but public flogging for gambling in private has now taken the place of public screenings of Indonesian movies.
So I'm not sure that the Acehnese are the main culprits because a Muslim .... earns his bread with the believe that:
* The proportion of sustenance is determined by Allâh.
* It is an act of worship to trade in order to avoid depending on others.
* Greed leads to perpetual poverty.
* Lawful earnings draw the blessing of Allâh, even though it may seem meagre.
* Kindness is more virtuous then obsession with wealth.
* Commit yourself to equity, justice and compassion.
The majority of the organisations in Aceh are there because they have the permission of the government in Jakarta. Given the tragic loss of life in Aceh, the skills needed to manage the reconstruction projects are provided by outsiders. If Indonesian, then we can be sure that the vast majority profess to be Muslim.
Acehnese, Javanese, whoever ~ they are in clear violation of all moral laws and surely have no right to profess adherence to any religion.