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Author: Fakhri Al-Arashi
Publisher & Chief Editor
Category: OP-ED, Date July 22nd, 2014

Countries swamped by debt and interest



National Yemen

By Harun Yahya

Separatist movements, terrorism, assassinations, mismanagement and poverty.

These are the first things that come to mind when Yemen is mentioned. Similar problems to those in Yemen are spreading rapidly across the Middle East. Every Yemeni has the right to national unity, to live in peace, to be well governed and to live in peace and prosperity.

Yet ideas and practices concerning the political management of countries and international relations are literally treading these rights underfoot. The problems still fail to be resolved, despite all the various models, foreign aid and work by international organizations.

Let us consider the economic problems. Yemen’s total debt as of 2013 was 46.8% of GDSP. That means when a Yemeni spends 100 riyals he is only contributing 53 riyals to the national economy. Inflation in Yemen in 2013 was 17%. In other words, 9 of those 53 riyals disappear with inflation, leaving 44 riyals. So does every Yemeni contribute 44 riyals to the national economy out of every 100 riyals he makes a year, excluding debt and inflation? Definitely not! It is much harder to earn that than one would think, because of the high unemployment levels in Yemen, 30%. In other words, 30 out of 100 Yemenis never see 100 riyals. This means that two out of every three Yemenis live below the poverty threshold.

Many people in the world and in Yemen live below starvation level. The Yemeni state needs foreign aid in order to survive. The size of the Yemeni economy in 2013 was $39 billion, while its foreign debt stood at $7.2 billion. This is a huge ratio. Neither is it enough for Yemen to find such a huge total debt every year, because the compound interest on this aid increases the outstanding debt all the time.

The present international economic order is based on the interest system. The high-interest loans given by banks have a negative effect on the national economy in many respects. Countries like Yemen that need overseas money increase interest rates. Those who wish to earn greater revenues thanks to high interest rates establish a flow of money from outside the country to inside. The state seeks to make use of this money entering the country, but other economic problems then raise their heads. Since interest rates rise, the costs of loans from banks rise. It becomes impossible to invest by taking out loans. On the other hand, people are encouraged to invest their money in banks rather than in manufacturing. It is much easier to make money out of interest than by working.

The main reason for the global economic crisis is the interest system. Our Lord has made this system unlawful. Yet it is shamelessly implemented in societies based on self-interest because it is depicted as attractive, and people never consider that it will actually harm them, and even think it will benefit them. Since the interest system is made to look attractive, people are encouraged to invest their money in banks rather than production or investment. Since there can be no production or money circulation in the markets under a system in which people invest their money in banks, or keep it hidden under the mattress or in safes, financial consequences such as high costs of living, inflation and economic collapse are only to be expected. This is what happened in the global financial crisis, and production coming to a halt, no circulation of money and money being kept in banks to earn interest all brought the economy down.

Yet Almighty Allah advises His servants to avoid interest in verses, and tells then of the scourges that will result from it;

You who believe! Do not feed on usury, multiplied and then remultiplied. Have fear of Allah so that hopefully you will be successful. (Surah Al ‘Imran, 130)

Those who practice usury will not rise from the grave except as someone driven mad by satan’s touch. That is because they say, “Trade is the same as usury.” But Allah has permitted trade and He has forbidden usury. Whoever is given a warning by his Lord and then desists, can keep what he received in the past and his affair is Allah’s concern. But all who return to it will be the Companions of the Fire, remaining in it timelessly, forever. Allah obliterates usury but makes charity grow in value! Allah does not love any persistently ungrateful wrongdoer. (Surat al-Baqara, 275-276).



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