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Muslims and Non-Muslims for an interest-free economy

Islamic banking refers to a system of banking or banking activity which is consistent with Islamic law principles and guided by Islamic economics. In particular, Islamic law prohibits the collection and payment of interest , also commonly called riba in the Islamic discourse.
For many Muslims in the Netherlands this interest prohibition in the Koran is very important. They want neither to receive interest on their saving money nor contract a loan with interest. Is an interest-free economy possible in the Netherlands?

STROhalm together with Bedrijfskundige Moslims are researching and looking into the possibilities. The co-operation of companies and their customers within interest-free networks offers a starting-point. In starting an interest-free network a few points should be paid attention to:

Interest as usury
An interest-free economy is central in STROhalm’s ideas. In the Koran there is a prohibition on ‘riba’ or usury: the rich earned much money with money and the poor paid for this.

Purchasing and investing can be done without interest
If a business purchases a product, the payment to the supplier goes through the bank. A bank always charges interest. When large purchases or investments are involved, this also means high amounts of interest are to be paid.
To avoid paying those high amounts, businesses settle their mutual transactions with their own administrative unities and no interest is charged. The bank no longer acts as an intermediary.

Customers play a very important role
It is advantageous for customers to become a member of a C3.
For the businesses save money because their transactions are interest-free. The transactions are settled in internal units. The money saved this way is used to give regular customers a discount.
The customers bring Euro’s into the network through their purchases. Thus the network obtains a capital. This capital forms the basis on which both the companies and the customers can contract an interest-free loan.

Future possibilities
Both Muslims and Non-Muslims can join in. In the future interest-free loans and also mortgages may be possible for both companies and customers.

Partner: Bedrijfskundige Moslims (Dutch-language site)