From Bazar to Wall Street: After the financial crisis and the events of the Arab Spring the Western world has been exposed to an alternative, religion-influenced system of economics called Islamic Finance. Indeed, in the shadows of our conventional financial system, Islamic states have developed another option that appears to have been less affected by the crises of recent years. But what is really behind this concept, how did it emerge, and what makes it different from the standard system? From the corporate law firms of London, Europe's centers of Islamic Finance, to the experts and key figures in Turkey, Bahrain, Qatar, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, we find out more about the differences, similarities, and problems within a system that Western economists believe will have a decisive influence on the 21st century.
The Price of Paradise: The world’s highest concentration of Muslims is in Southeast Asia, Indonesia alone has about 200 million believers. In Malaysia, Indonesia but also in Singapore Islam is far more liberal than its counterpart in the Arab states, and as such it seems to play a smaller role in daily life, but it is here that a religion-based Islamic Banking concept is showing its most robust growth – figures that Western banks could only dream of. The basics of the system forbid interest charges, and proscribe dealings in industries related to pork products, weapons, gambling or pornography. With its promise of backing all banking transactions with real values, can Islamic Finance and Banking provide the security that Western banks and their increasingly speculative methods no longer guarantee?
Cast and Crew
Director Jörg Bundschuh, Matthias Heeder, Nigel McCarthy