The global financial crisis that has rocked the entire world, especially America and the more developed countries of Europe, has had a particular impact on Iceland, causing the country to collapse financially. Some sections of the press have described Iceland as a "sunken land," while others have stated that the crisis has "swallowed" Iceland up. But why is it that Iceland in particular has come to the brink of bankruptcy while the crisis has affected the whole world?
The reason for the global financial crisis is that because of their dependence on the interest system, people invested heavily in banks, for which reason there is no buying and selling, production or money flow in the market. But what made Iceland special in this collapse is the relatively high interest rates offered by Icelandic banks. Investors from other countries, particularly Britain, chose Icelandic banks because of the high interest rates on offer, but the banks were unable to keep their promises.
People were misled by these deceptive offers from the banks into thinking that interest would be their savior. They believed that by not spending money, by saving it in banks, they would be able to make profits in the short way. They imagined that the system would be safe from recession and immune to collapse. They may never have thought that they would suffer from applying the interest system that Allah has forbidden. However, our Almighty Lord reveals in the Qur’an:
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, for ever. Allah obliterates usury but makes charity grow in value! Allah does not love any persistently ungrateful wrongdoer. (Surat al-Baqara, 275-276)
If the idea that “the strong crush the weak” is made the moral principle in society, and if moral values degenerate because of that, and if increasing enrichment of the rich and strong out of greed for accumulated wealth becomes the main issue in life, then the economy turns into “savage capitalism.” Savage capitalism is a system, in which no help is given to the poor and needy, and in which they are oppressed instead, and in which social injustice is regarded as a “natural state of affairs” rather than a problem.
As a requirement of savage capitalism, the poor have to be eliminated. Poor countries have no right to life. According to this perverted perspective, the strong must grow ever stronger and ever richer. That is why available cash is kept back in the interest system for the enrichment of the wealthy, rather than being used to help the poor or make production. The basic idea on which savage capitalism is based is, naturally, Darwinism.
Iceland in the global financial crisis is another tragic example caused by the materialist, capitalist system. With regard to Iceland, however, we also need to emphasize that it comes as no surprise that the effects of social Darwinism have appeared very swiftly in the country. According to a public opinion poll conducted by Science magazine in 34 countries in 2005, Iceland emerged as the country with the highest level of belief in Darwinism:
Darwinism has been the worst scourge for years now – one that has inflicted disorder, terror, war, slaughter and insecurity on society. Communist and fascist leaders who massacred vast swaths of people – Lenin, Stalin, Marx, Mao and Hitler – were careful to state how they took the teachings of Darwin as their model. The savage capitalism that came to predominate as a result of this concept of “the strong defeating the weak” that was sought to be adapted to whole societies posited the elimination of the poor, and their exploitation by the rich in order to further enrich themselves. The terrible financial collapse that is now afflicting the whole world, and Darwinist Iceland in particular, is the evident result of the scourge of Darwinism.
In order for the world’s resources to be used in a just and efficient manner, and for the poor and needy, who have been abandoned to hunger and poverty, to live in equality and under humane conditions, it is essential that the intellectual sway of Darwinism over the world be eliminated. So long as Darwinism is preserved, the troubles, difficulties, collapse and tension in Darwinist societies will continue and grow. If societies wish to free themselves from troubles and difficulties, they must rid themselves from Darwinist views and the Darwinist mentality. They must look to the moral values of the Qur’an instead. While social Darwinism inculcates the idea of the oppression of the weak and ruthless competition, the morality set out in the Qur’an enjoins such virtues as helping and protecting the weak, solidarity and compassion. When people live by the moral values of the Qur’an, the scourge of interest will come to an end and money will no longer be kept hidden in banks. Alms will be given to the poor, and the poor will thus come to have their own purchasing power, as a result of which need for production will arise, factories will begin working in a powerful manner, the market will revive, and sales and purchasing will rise to a level much higher than ever. Poverty will come to an end, and the rich will become richer and live in peace. According to Qur’anic moral values, what is of great importance is one’s trust in Allah. It means knowing that all property belongs to Allah, believing with all one’s heart that it is Allah Who protects people now and in the future, and relying solely upon Him. Therefore, societies that live by Qur’anic moral values will enjoy the peace and ease of mind that comes from trust in Allah, and their people will have no worries about the future, and will live in security. Most important of all, because all these things are done for Allah’s approval, because alms are given for His approval, and because people place their trust in Allah for His approval, our Almighty Lord will reward them with abundance and the best recompense in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah knows best.
This is the only solution, for Iceland and for the rest of the world.
As our Lord reveals in a verse:
What you give with usurious intent, aiming to get back a greater amount from people’s wealth, does not become greater with Allah. But anything you give as alms, seeking the Face [approval] of Allah – all who do that will get back twice as much. (Surat ar-Rum, 39)