Book Review: Islamic Banking – A $300 Billion Deception

Islamic Banking – A $300 Billion Deception: Observations and Arguments on Riba (interest or usury), Islamic Banking Practices, Venture Capital and Enlightenment. arrived shorter than I expected at around 60 pages, and was probably longer than it needed to be. The author outlines his major points early on and supplements them with some interesting real-world examples throughout the work. Unfortunately, he also repeats many of the key messages more times than is necessary.

Typos and grammatical errors are widespread. Seriously, get a decent editor and proofreader.

A key message from the book is that lending is not risk-free as some proponents of Islamic finance purport. Restricting interest-based lending means many transactions simply won’t take place. Somehow, the author misses the extension of this message when he recommends a cap on interest charged to prevent usury – nowhere does he consider that this will similarly restrict lending to high risk borrowers since at times higher interest rates are required to reflect the risk.

Overall, a good read, most importantly for those who have not yet understood the flaws of the adolescent Islamic finance industry