Islam and development

Religion shapes development, in often times, more than politics does. A Catholic pope may control a billion of people whilst President Trump does not. Believe me! Islam shaped and it is still shaping the development process of the Northern Africa.

Islamic banking institutions proved to be unassailable than the western ones. Providing special loans devoid of interests plus a lot more― some of the intrinsic positive features of Islam one should not deny. It is that type of banking that can sustain instead of ruining. It plays for both the borrower and the loaner (lender). The borrower can borrow from the loaner or bank without an interest. It is then a duty of a borrower to repay in time and to add some amount from the profits made from his principal investments. Reinforced with ethics, Islam banking is a ‘transparent and inflation riddance’ machine.

However, considering the earlier lead of the Ancient Near East (Egypt not an exception) one can actually agree that the region could have been industrialised well ahead of Europe. The rise of Islam from the 7th century affected the industrial potency of this region, negatively.  Islam does not allow for a complete emancipation of women (women are inferior to men, Quran (4:34)). In addition, individuals spend a lot of time, devoted on religious activities. Activism has been bred by some of the Islamic circles. All of these hinders economic development.

It was only after Europe had decided to try scientific explanations of many aspects of life that the course of her history changed. Christianity once controlled the modes of production in Europe― charging a lot of taxes and possessing a more than 20% of the land. Many Europeans, during this age, were inconspicuous, blinded for years. They failed to perceive, for a long time, that religion stood as an obstacle to the development of humankind and the economy. Europe’s transition into a scientific age changed everything. Thus, this transition has remained a standing example of how religion hinders economic growth.

Ideological aspects incorporating education, didactics and the predefined social settings affect the availability, the existence and the nature of human capital. If 18% (Saudi Arabia, 2016) of the total workforce are women because they are only ‘inferior’ to their male counterparts development is practically impossible. In Saudi Arabia, this is still a case, with some surveys trying to accept this reality.  Unlike Japan, this dependency load is not as a result of an ageing population. Most individuals available are capable of aiding the economic development, but they are ideologically hampered. They cannot contribute anything.

The Economic machine can only be moved in three parts, the human capital, the pecuniary capital and the natural capital. If one of these is deformed or a bit sluggish the economic vehicle will limp. There is a trio-package, inhibiting the human capital in toto– men and women (the deficiency of emancipation, activism and religious devotions). It has become impossible to address the problems of this trio-structure if most people living in the Islamic countries barely consider it as a problem or a blockage. Apparently, the emancipation of women has been comprehended with mixed senses. Some married women even think it is rightful to be beaten or harassed by their husbands. Some religious bands oppose emancipation.

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