Monday, February 01, 2010

Lunch Conversation Snippet

Was eating lunch downtown today at a small halal takeaway place when two gentlemen sat down at the table next to us. They were obviously university students, and from their beard and looks I could guess they were Muslims.

I overheard the following snipped of conversation.

"So," said the first guy, "Basically, my summer job is going to be minimum wage plus commission."

"Oh," the second guy replied, "with your qualifications, why don't you look for work as a teller at a bank or something? Oh wait, interest, right?"

"Yep." The first guy answered. "Can't work at a place that earns from interest. It's not right for us."

I wonder if everyone thought like him who would study to be an accountant, or a CFO, or an economist? Who would work in the banks? Who would lead the economic development of their nation?

On second thought, sometimes thinking too much is bad.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't those same roles exist within Islamic banks and organizations?

Organica said...


I agree with you. Using your brain won't lead us anywhere ;)

nadia said...

How about Shariah-compliant banks (though competition would be tough since there aren't many of those around)?

How many of us actually take 'interest' matters that seriously?

mezba said...

geekisiddiqui, I would assume these person would then work in an Islamic bank which would presumably not deal with interest. As we know, they do but call it something else. It's a scam and to date I have not found a reliable explanation from these 'so-called' "Islamic" banks.

Organica, the latest product from one of them is an "Islamic" bond. How is a bond, which by definition returns payment on interest, an "Islamic" thing? They may call it something else but if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck it's a duck.

nadia, there was a BBC article on Shariah-compliant banks recently. They are mostly 'sharia-compliant' in name only. I am a student of finance and I can tell you they are definitely playing around with Allah's rules. They deal with interest only calling it something else.

It's a whole separate topic, but next time you meet an Islamic banker ask him specifically to explain in SIMPLE terms and 60 seconds how they make money from lending money. You can see that no such explanation is possible.

Anonymous said...

"if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck it's a duck."

I like the phrase :)
Really,I didn't know there's more to islamic banking.May God have mercy!

mezba said...

Lat, the worst of the Islamic banking scams has to be the lease-to-own type mortgages that "re-evaluate" your payment every so often... !

Anonymous said...

While I agree 100% about what you said about 'Islamic Finance'- you gotta give the man points for his sentiments :-)

Though I'd dock ten off for being stupid- but what the hey, LOL.

mezba said...

Missspecs, LOL.