Reuters published a curious article today which, like much of what the former news agency pens about Shariah Finance, reads more like a marketing piece than a news article.

This time Reuters is celebrating the role of women in Shariah Finance, speculating that they could play a much larger role than they are now…

Recent Western debate about the role of women in Islam may have centered on the veil, but from its early years, Islam was receptive to women in business and finance. And today, Malaysia is an example of how making money has little to do with gender in Islam.

Reuters acknowledges the total absence of women in Shariah Finance in the “Gulf Arab” region (which totally dominates the Islamic world) but completely ignores the role that Islam plays in the subjugation of women:

Islamic finance is growing rapidly in the Gulf Arab region, despite the global financial crisis, yet there is no woman chief executive at any Gulf-based Islamic financial institution.

Furthermore, there are no female Islamic scholars in the Middle East advising financial firms on sharia-compliance.

That is no surprise as both chief executives and Islamic scholars in the Middle East have traditionally been men, but it makes poor business sense given the enormous wealth and spending power Gulf-based women are sitting on.

Perhaps Reuters would like to comment on Shariah succession laws, which ensure second-class economic status for women by limiting their inheritance to half that of male siblings? Do the staff “journalists” at Reuters really think that Shariah law plays no role in the fact that women play almost no role in Shariah Finance in the region that dominates Shariah Finance?

But perhaps most curious of all is the fact that Reuters appears to have completely forgotten about the concept that separate buy equal is inherently unequal. Check out these passing references in the Reuters article (emphasis added):

“Times are changing. I’m fond of business and my husband supports that,” said one Emirati client at a women only branch of a Dubai-based Islamic bank.

National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia has opened 46 women-only branches since it launched its first branch in 1980.

Only in the twisted logic of the liberal 21st century dinosaur media would Jim Crow-type segregation in business be celebrated. Reuters, you’ve come a long way, baby!

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68T0A220100930

 

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