Mismanagement in Islamic Economy

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Estimates about the worlds total Muslim population range between 1.2 and 1.6 Billion. Most Islamic countries belong to the lower developed countries. Less than 5% of all Muslims are living in Muslim countries which can be considered developed. However, the wealth of all these rich Islamic countries depends on oil. Moreover, many Muslims living in developed countries live in Western non-Muslim countries. In fact, one-third of young Muslims in Kosovo (the newest Muslim State) are already looking to emigrate in search of fortune elsewhere (i.e. The West). This should not come as a surprise, with 73% of their young being unemployed.[1]

Many Islamic economies depend on agriculture, raw materials or textile products, with little or no production of sophisticated products. There are almost no high tech products originating from an Islamic country.

For example, Malaysia is the only country with a significant electronic industry. However, most products produced in Malaysia derive from production facilities built by foreign manufacturers. Thus, capital and technology are imported from western or far eastern multinationals.

In some countries with Muslim majority, such as Indonesia and Malaysia, minorities enjoy a significant influence on the national economy. Therefore, many Islamic governments are suppressing there minorities to keep their influence down.

Haram Businesses

Alcohol, pork and gambling are forbidden under strict Islamic law. There is only restricted or no business possible in those fields as well as taking interest.

Of course, from these four the Interest-taking is the most important business field, since all banking, financing and investing in the world´s economy depends on interest.

Islam, however, regards interest as usury leading to slavery and other undesired social problems. However, in today´s world there is no need to disable the whole financing business. The western company laws protect any businessman from going into slavery.

There are also Islamic banks existing in many Muslim countries, however, many companies would prefer a western bank to fulfil it´s financial needs and stay independent from an investor who buys company shares.

Nevertheless interest remains forbidden in many Islamic countries and many small or medium sized companies cannot find any investor to expand their business.

Lack of Education in Islamic Countries

World Statistic reveal that many Islamic countries face serious problems regarding education.

Many Islamic countries suffer from considerably high rates for illiteracy, with little hope that the picture might change. High population growth rates make public education unaffordable.

Many boys do not attend school but only "Qur'an-Schools" where they are forced to memorize the Qur'an without understanding anything of it.

Many Muslim women are illiterates because many men think that they do not need education. The result is that they cannot pass-on any knowledge to their children, worsening the situation further.

In other cases, Islamic laws does not allow that even well educated woman work. In Saudi Arabia many women attend university, but they will never find a job because they are not desired to work.

Gender segregation

Islamic societies (for example, in Saudi Arabia) are wasting the power of women.

  • Women can never meet male teachers directly.
  • High qualified but not desired to work.
  • Cannot drive.
  • Cannot move or travel anywhere alone.

Discrimination against Non-Muslims

There are many difficulties for Non-Muslims in Muslim-Societies, including the Jizyah “poll tax” for dhimmi's:

Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden that which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.

In Malaysia, the Chinese minority effectively controls the economy, but Chinese students have to achieve more points to receive jobs and scholarships.

This hostile environment in Muslim-Societies is not inviting for foreign investors.

Mismanagement in Iran

Struggling economy, not enough refined petroleum and protests, economy controlled by religious foundations small and medium sized companies with little influence private sector underdeveloped, key industries under control of the Islamic government, little success in developing of not oil related businesses.

Due to dilapidated drilling rigs and pipelines, Iran can only produce 4.3 million barrels of oil/day out the 130 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.[2] Furthermore, Iran can refine only 40% of its oil consumption; it has to export crude oil and import refined oil for the other 60% of consumed oil.

Disastrous results with high unemployment rates—15% according to the Iranian government [3]. Since population is very young, rate is expected to rise in the future. Many young Iranians want to emigrate[4].


Further readings

  • Iran's Economic Morass: Mismanagement and Decline Under the Islamic Republic, ISBN 978-0944029671

External links