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Economic Empowerment of Muslims

“We need a Dynamic Islamic Model of Economics stressing wealth generation within Islamic parameters for without wealth neither the financial institutions can prosper nor welfare programmes can succeed,”

By A J Muhammad

 Dr Javed Jamil delivered a lecture on “Economic Empowerment of Muslims” in the conference organized by Muslim Educational Trust in collaboration with IDB Jeddah at New Delhi. He called for “Comprehensive, Multi-dimensional, sustained efforts” on all fronts with Economic Front being one of the major ones. If Muslims have failed to emerge as a powerful community, it is because they have ignored the economic front. He said that “educational excellence alone can produce only employees and not the employers.” Muslims did not focus on business with the result that their share in all forms of business, big and small, has gone down. Out of a list of 1000 corporate level companies in India, Muslims are chairmen of not more than 10 companies. In a world ruled by corporates, Small scale industries have lost their position, and this has hit Muslims in a big way.

 Dr Jamil argued that “unfortunately, Islamic Economics has been reduced to “Islamic Finances and Welfare Economics based on Zakah” “We need a Dynamic Model of Economics stressing wealth generation within Islamic parameters for without wealth neither the financial institutions can prosper nor Welfare programmes can succeed,” he said, “When Quran asks for paying Zakah, it means that Quran wantes people to earn wealth for without earning wealth they will not be able to pay Zakaah and Sadaqaat.”

Dr Jamil stressed that Muslims must enter all the sectors of business, and must make their presence felt in Corporate sector. If consumer market forms 70 pc of the economy and Muslim consumers are more than 20 crores, the success of Muslims in consumer market is guaranteed if they understand the dynamics of corporate sector. He cited Construction, Education, Food, Halal Life style, Hotels and Dhabas, religious tourism, leather, etc as some of the key sectors where Muslims can get a big share in market. He said “unless Muslims are economically empowered, Political and Social empowerment cannot be achieved.” Muslim political and social organizations fail to produce any impact because they do not have the support of big corporates. He cited his own example telling that “despite huge appreciation of his Muslim Vision document from intellectuals, Ulama and activists,, he has not been able to wok on its implementation because he has no financial backing for such  a huge task.”

Dr Jamil said clarified why on one hand he runs a global campaign against corporates and on the other hand wants Muslims to join corporate sector. He said that he was not against corporations and business but against the dominance of corporates and businessmen in social and political affairs. He said that the whole world is being ruled by “Economic Fundamentalism” and the “commercialization of human susceptibilities” has become the pivot of New World Order. “Islamic Economics, on the other hand, bans all forms of dangerous economics including commercialization of vices, economic disparity and corruption.”

Dr Jamil argued that Indian Muslims have three statuses and they should work in each of these capacities. “Constitutionally, they are a minority, ideologically they are the second biggest majority and socially they are part of the deprived majority.” He argued that Indian Muslims would benefit most when there will be people-friendly direction of Indian economy. He informed the gathering that in his recent draft of Muslim Agenda for India 2014, sent to all political parties, he has demanded introduction of Economic Disparity Index including the community to community disparity, and Right to Health as some of the major demands that will empower the poor of the country including Muslims. He said that NGO Sector is another area where Muslims have to concentrate and the draft has also demanded allocation of 20 pc of all NGO allocations to Muslim NGOs. Right to Health should incorporate a legal ban on all goods and practices hazardous for health and the availability of cheap and good medical services to all the citizens of the country.

Dr Jamil said that there is a need of close cooperation between India and Muslim countries. He said that “the balloon of the myth of dependence on West” needs to be burst. What Muslim World gets from the West, can also be supplied from China, Russia, India and Muslim countries like Malaysia, Indonesia , Turkey and Iran, what West needs from Muslim lands, they cannot have from anywhere else.

Dr Jamil stressed that there was a need to run a big movement to attract Muslims to all forms of business including the corporate sector and to run a worldwide campaign against “Dangerous Economics”. He concluded by saying that “while Western Model of economics being pursued by almost he entire world is based on monopolization, the Islamic Model needs to be presented as a better alternative based on distribution.”

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