There is a plan being promoted to create an Islamic Investment and Economic Center at the Malaysian Port Klang Free Zone.
Besides the obvious contradiction between “free trade” and Shariah-Compliant Finance and Islamic Economics, there isn’t really much about this article that is especially earth-shattering. However, when one looks more closely into the depth of the article, it reveals some economic statistics about the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) which are worth making note of.
Once a largely ignored organization, the OIC has emerged as a powerful bloc in the United Nations and a growing force in the rest of the world. Dominated by Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich states, the OIC has turned its attention from developing relations between predominantly Islamic nations to proselytizing Islam around the world, promoting Shariah and especially limiting and eliminating free expression around the world by seeking bans on any criticism of Islam.
According to the article, the OIC’s combined population comes to about 22% of the world’s population and 6.8% of the world’s total GDP. This level of GDP contribution comes despite all of the oil wealth and production in the hands of several of the member states, indicating a severe degree of economic underperformance in Islamic nations.
This should come as no surprise. Most Islamic nations have no notions at all about the concepts of free enterprise and liberty which give rise to economic prosperity and growth in the first place, which is one reason that the whole idea of Shariah-Compliant Finance is so backward in the first place.
There is a growing movement to increase trade and cooperation between OIC members and facilitate even closer ties. Given the almost uniform dismal policies of freedom and liberty of the 57 OIC members, we can soon foresee a time when the OIC should be viewed in much the same way as the Warsaw Pact, as a force for evil in the world.