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ISLAMIC ECONOMICS - THE PRICE OF PARADISE A film by Nigel McCarthy
Author and Director Nigel McCarthy Idea Pria Viswalingam Director of Photography Roland Wagner Sound Ralf Richter Editor Carmen Kirchweger Composer Gert Wilden jr. Production Manager Moritz Bundschuh Line Producer Franz Hirner Co-Producer Philip Nelson, Fork Films Producer Jörg Bundschuh A Kick Film production in coproduction with ZDF, SRF, arte Financially supported by FFF Bayern
The world’s highest concentration of Muslims is in Southeast Asia. Indonesia alone has 240 million believers, making it the most populous Islamic country in the world. The southeast Asian version of Islam is far more liberal than its counterpart in the Arab states, and as such it seems to play a smaller role in daily life, but it is here that this religion-based Islamic Banking concept is showing its most robust growth – figures that Western banks could only dream of. The basics of the system forbid interest charges, require that money only be invested in tangible goods, and proscribe dealings in industries related to pork products, weapons, gambling or pornography. Another leading role in the overall scheme of things is the belief that a life lived strictly according to the rules of the religion will ultimately help the faithful to a more fulfilled life beyond this earth. “Why wouldn’t I choose an Islamic bank when the infrastructure, the costs, and all of the services are as good as any conventional bank?” is what the modern Muslim will undoubtedly ask. Women taking leading positions at banks, many of them scholars of law or even university professors, are as self-evident nowadays as the Islamic concept of welfare – support of the disadvantaged in the form of interest-free loans, not handouts. THE PRICE OF PARADISE introduces you to the people who are shaping Asia’s booming economies as well as the ones who are skeptical of Islamic Banking. Is a return to an investment model consisting of goats and gold, as Iqubal Muhaimin suggests, really the solution for avoiding the speculation and catastrophes of our global financial market?

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