ISLAMIC BANKING RECONSTRUCTED
Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Islamic banking is part of the totality of ‘best practices’ that originated from
Asia. Being among the strong proponents of the ‘Asian
way’ as the way out of our capitalist economic malaise and crises of our times,
I’d share my own notes of hallelujah to Islamic banking.
I am among those development practitioners and social scientists who propose that let’s all undertake a review of Islamic banking. This banking practice is based on zero-interest banking. The challenge is for us to reconstruct the practice to suit the current context of information society.
Usury is among the proscriptions of spiritual masters and sages of the East. It is within the context of a non-usurious finance, embedded in spiritually-guided livelihood practices, that Islamic banking emerged in
Zero-interest financing contributed immensely to accumulating wealth for the Asiatic polities that engaged in them in antiquity. The same wealth was utilized for social services, ambitious projects, building cities, and advancing the arts, sciences, and philosophy.
Usury is alien to
Asia, even as its massive
introduction to the continent brought untold miseries to the marginal folks. It
had also tied up Asian economies in debt peonage to the financial cartels of
the West and their local banking/financial partners.
Before the Asian economies, notably the emerging markets, will go down the drain and lose their growth gains due to usury and predatory finance, their own stakeholders should rethink their borrowed paradigms. They better review those golden Asiatic economic principles taught by spiritual masters, and make ways to re-carve their financial systems following such principles.
[Philippines, 07 June 2010]