It’s not so newsworthy that foreign investors are interested in acquiring a 50% share of┬áBank Muamalat, a major shariah-compliant bank in Indonesia. But it is worth mentioning that Indonesia’s central bank has declared that no foreign investor will be permitted to alter the bank’s shariah-compliance platform.

Note that when Shariah-compliant institutions invest in the West, they often dictate shariah-compliance (an example would be the recent investment by a Qatar real estate firm in downtown Washington DC), but when foreign banks seek to invest in an Islamic country market, the role must not be reversed. Shariah-compliance is enforced on both ends.

This also demonstrates the centralized nature of Shariah-compliance and Islamic economics in general–far from free market capitalism. Government central banks step in to enforce Shariah.



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