October 30, 2005


Iran’s President says “2 or 3 hangings” could end market woes (Iran Focus, Oct. 30, 2005)

Iran’s hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the latest cabinet meeting in the Iranian capital that “if we were permitted to hang two or three persons, the problems with the stock exchange would be solved for ever”, according to a Tehran-based newspaper.

Ahmadinejad was addressing a cabinet meeting held to discuss the rapidly deteriorating situation at the Tehran Stock Exchange, the daily Ruznet reported on Sunday. [...]

Iran’s ultra-Islamist President first sent jitters through the country’s markets when he said on the eve of the presidential elections in June that “stock exchange activities are a kind of gambling and we are against them”. Gambling is banned in Islam.

Nervous investors have been transferring their capital to other countries, and Dubai has benefited palpably from the flight of capital from Iran. The Tehran Stock Exchange has lost 20 percent of its value in the past four months.

“At the moment there are no buyers in this market, only sellers”, the newspaper Ruznet wrote. “Economists believe the situation is becoming more difficult to handle day by day”.

Because you can't structure a functioning economy along Islamicist lines it can pose no meaningful threat to liberal democracy. It is self-destructive.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 30, 2005 10:17 AM

I agree that Islamism is self-destructive. But Islamist suicides tend to take other people along with them. This idiot president of Iran might decide to make his whole country into a suicide bomber.

Posted by: Brandon at October 30, 2005 10:40 AM

Though OJ is correct that Islamicism blowing itself up (even taking a some of Western Civ with it) isn't a long term threat to US, when you combine their threat with the threat of the West's moral decline and 5th column "Transnationalists", the picture looks far worse.

[Note: I'm reading the galley copy of OJs book - which does a great job of defining "Transnationalists"]

The people sapping our strength from with in - combined with Islam, pose a very real threat.

Posted by: Bruno at October 30, 2005 11:40 AM

How can countries ruled by Islamic law survive in the world economy when Islam forbids the charging or paying of interest?

Posted by: tefta at October 30, 2005 11:43 AM

if we were permitted to hang two or three persons, the problems with the stock exchange would be solved for ever,

Right. Maybe they ought to look at the results of another country to the north of them. Lenin and Stalin hanged (etc.) tens of millions people, yet somehow this didn't solve their economic problems.

Posted by: ray at October 30, 2005 12:06 PM

Sic semper tyrannis.

Posted by: jd watson [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 30, 2005 12:46 PM

He's absolutely right.

Top of the list for salutary hanging: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Posted by: H.D. Miller at October 30, 2005 1:04 PM

ray - That's precisely the path he's trying to follow. Hang the capitalists, and the state will control everything.

It may not work for Iranians generally, but it may well work for him, as it did for Stalin and Mao.

tefta - There's ways around that, and every Muslim nation has found them.

Posted by: pj at October 30, 2005 1:18 PM

"Maybe they ought to look at the results of another country to the north of them..."

It's the primary conceit of the utopianist of all varieties: "All those before me just didn't do it right, or kill the right people, or enough people in general. I'm smarter than they were, and besides, I've got God/History/Science/The People on my side."

"There's ways around that, and every Muslim nation has found them."

The more I learn about Islam, the more it seems to be made up of people who live in a fantasy world who have no problem lying to themselves and everyone else to avoid facing their internal contradictions. Those pressures have to be relieved somehow, and Bush &co are the only ones who seem to want to attempt sometihing other than setting up damage control for after the fact. (If that, Ithink the Left wants the explosion because they think we'll get sucked into the vortex and their programs will ultimately benefit.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 30, 2005 3:06 PM

let me see if i have this straight:

1. christianity, judaism, and islam are all
roughly equivalent/valid as religions

2. jewish and christian based economies are
economically viable

3. islamic economies are not economically

hmmm, even a super genius like me can't square
that circle.

Posted by: noam chomsky at October 30, 2005 4:22 PM

tefta: Making certain assumptions, there is no difference in value between a firm funded through debt or a firm funded solely through equity, which is in effect what Islamic economies strive for. In practice, the assumptions don't hold up, so there is some difference, but not so much as to make an Islamic financial market impossible.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 30, 2005 4:37 PM

Hardly unsquarable. You merely proved that one of your postulates is wrong. Which one I wonder?

Posted by: Gideon at October 30, 2005 4:39 PM


Except that he isn't in charge.

Posted by: oj at October 30, 2005 6:11 PM


Islamic is fine. Islamicist won't work.

Posted by: oj at October 30, 2005 6:14 PM

David. I asked my CPA husband and he said debt funding and equity funding both involve interest paid and received.

I read that some banks around the Detroit area are setting up mortgages for Muslims in such a way that the bank ostensibly purchases the house and the putative buyers pay rent (principal) and fees (interest) until they eventually pay the total cost and own the house. Other communities pool their funds and form entities which purchase the houses and the owners repay the collective in the same way by rent and fees.

There was some question as to whether the buyers had title to the property. If they want to maintain the fiction that were paying rent, they probably wouldnt have title until they owned the house.

oj. What's fine about Islam and how does it differ from Islamist?

Posted by: tefta at October 30, 2005 6:48 PM

these aren't my postulates

Posted by: noam chomsky at October 30, 2005 7:11 PM


Yes, they are. No one here has ever said #3.

Posted by: oj at October 30, 2005 8:02 PM

tefta: Far be it from me to disagree with your husband, but I don't know what he means by saying that equity funding involves interest paid and received.

As a general rule, Sharia forbids charging interest; that is, lending money now for the promise of a certain greater amount of money in the future. Sharia does not prohibit investments that are at risk. As a result, Sharia banks engage in transactions that are more like equity investments (the money is at risk depending upon the business' results) rather than the secured loans that western banks make.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 30, 2005 8:04 PM

If it weren't for the oil, they would all be starving to death.

Back to the first point. They must fail in the long run, but we are all dead in the long run and if they kill us first we will be deader than they are.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 30, 2005 9:00 PM

Well, at least Ahmadinejad didn't blame the market woes on a cabal of Israeli stockbrokers. For folks at the State Department, the U.N. and the New York Times editorial page, that can be seen as a sign of his growing moderation.

Posted by: John at October 30, 2005 9:21 PM

sharia is sharia is sharia. islamic government is by definition islamicist. except in your basement.

Posted by: noam chomsky at October 30, 2005 11:25 PM

sharia doesn't require government by clerics.

Posted by: oj at October 31, 2005 6:52 AM

David, with all due respect, this is an exercise in semantics.

Posted by: tefta at October 31, 2005 8:06 AM

just like the pope is optional in the catholic church.

Posted by: noam chomsky at October 31, 2005 10:21 AM


Exactly, Catholicism doesn't require government by the pope.

Posted by: oj at October 31, 2005 10:54 AM