As I am sure you are all aware, there's been a bit of a fuss in recent times pertaining to women of Islamic faith being allowed to wear their Hijab, or headscarves into banks. Now, obviously there is a reason why banks in Non-Islamic countries aren't too keen on this idea. But it got me to thinking about banks in Islamic countries. In particular the concept of Riba (Usury), which in english means "the payment or acceptance of interest fees for the lending and accepting of money respectively", which is a no-no for those of the Islamic and Christian faiths (If you're Catholic it's enough to earn you a nice, cozy spot in the sixth circle of hell, apparently). So, why haven't I heard anything about this topic? Surely, if you're going to make a fuss about someone telling you that it's rude to wear your hat when you're inside, you'd think to raise your hand when you notice that you're being charged 20% p.a. on your home loan.
The following link will take you to the Wikipedia page on the subject
For those of you who did not read the whole thing, or didn't go to the page, I'll sum it up for you. There are quite a few Islamic banks that practice interest-free banking. Some of these banks are doing very well for themselves. However, to quote Wikipedia "Some Islamic banks charge for the time value of money, the common economic definition of Interest (Riba). These institutions are criticised in some quarters of the Muslim community for their lack of strict adherence to Sharia".
So, there you go. It would seem that to avoid confusion when it comes to such matters, all ones needs do is follow the following equation, "Money + Time = Compromisation of values". Out of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Islam is the youngest (early 7th century), followed by Christianity (2,000 years ago) and then Judaism (almost as old as dirt, which apparently, Moses did see a lot of). Historically, people of the Jewish faith have been portrayed by others as being money-hungry hoarders of wealth. I've asked my dear friend, Rabbi Simmons, and this is what he had to say on the matter, "The Torah states that it is forbidden for Jews to charge interest from fellow Jews". That's a pretty handy loophole. But, I'm not here to point fingers, so let's continue. Now to Christianity. Well, let's just say that, I'm sure when Michelangelo finished painting the celing of the Sistine Chapel, Pope Julius II short changed him and said "I thought you were charging me mates rates". There's not much else to say, except that it seems that Islam has caught the fever and is following suit.
Anyhow, that's it for my second post. I'm putting on my swimmers and heading off to the Rutland fountain to look for change. But, before I go, I'll leave you with this lovely picture of some wonderful Tuscan Grey.