Friday, July 28, 2006
Why Sharia laws would be bad for the world
This entry was formerly a comment that I wrote to The Sphinx, but I figured it is so important that it needs its own entry. The Sphinx told me that Sharia laws would be great for mankind, and this was my reply. (NOTE: I already wrote a related post explaining that there never truly was peace between Muslims and Jews - in the history of the world) ---- Sphinx, your quote from the Koran contained the following: God promises those who believe and lead a righteous life forgiveness and a great recompense." I am fully aware of this quote. Yet, it gives justification for the horrible treatment of Hindus, Buddhists, and atheists. Historically, that has been born out - and they were treated as lower than second class citizens. I am sorry, but that is inexcusable. Secondly, you are just simply wholly incorrect about the way dhimmi laws have been born out. In fact, the nonMuslims lacked many of the rights that Muslims took for granted: a) they couldn't be secure in owning their property; b) they couldn't testify in court against a nonMuslim; c) the dhimmi taxes sometimes were in fact crippling; d) they could be relocated at any time by the government; e) no right to protest the dhimmi laws; f) death penalty for blasphemy; g) the value of a dhimmi life was only half that of a Muslim's life. I could go on. You are simply ignorant of what it means to be a dhimmi. A quick primer to it is found on wikipedia. As far as interest goes. Economically, it is impossible to ban interest. It has been tried for thousands of years, and never succeeded. Why? Because banning interest only means that people will use loan sharks and get the money illegally - paying much higher interest rates, and increasing criminality. This is a historical fact. Moreover, interest itself makes sense from the perspective of natural law. Here is what I mean. The productivity of the earth has increased exponentially just in the past 100 years - that's forgetting the past thousands of years. We are able to make much more efficient use of our time than ever before. As such, when money is lent to someone, that money is then not going to be invested or used to create something up. It is being tied up. During that time, the earth is getting more and more efficient, and hence the money that is being tied up is being devalued - whether or not interest is charged. Merely to recover the time value of money, some form of interest needs to be charged to give an incentive to loan money. And it should be noted that most scholars agree that the Industrial Revolution never would have happened without the more ready available of capital. This was only possible through the liberalization of many of the usury laws that existed at the time. In fact, the speed and growth of the Industrial Revolution was greatly hampered by the still existing usury laws. The following economic paper explains this. It is easy to say "wow, charging interest is just haraam," and to not examine what that means. It should be noted that Islamic banks actually do charge interest, under a different name - because it is wholly impossible to be a bank, not charge interest, and remain in business. ----- UPDATE: More documentation on life as a dhimmi can be found here, here, here, and here.