Is this Why some are Occupying Wall Street?

Why accept

crippling poverty?

inhuman realities ?

the monotony of work?

a mortgage for 25

to own a house and abandon a home?

patience in the face of  a hungry child

for promise of a change the child may not live to see?

We have submitted to the way things are

and given up our free will.

Our “happy ” lives have been scripted for us.

Why?

Why do we put up with

crippling poverty?

inhuman realities ?

the monotony of work?

a mortgage for 25

to own a house and abandon a home?

We submit to the way things are,

the rules and system of law and order which tells us

to be patient in the face of  a hungry child

for promise of a change that will come one day  that the child may not live to see;

To have faith in our institutions, our politics.

We seek to change the system while we have no place to stand without it.

We buy a promise that will never come.

We are blind believers of patient change,

submitting to a system and giving up our free will.

Our happy lives have been scripted for us.

Moiz Billah

The New Economy: An Inspiration from Islam

Our politics today is that of “prison”- what I mean by that is we do not dare to dream. Like a prisoner who is content to live his or her life in the cells, our politics today is more about what we can to make our life comfortable within the confines of our prison, whatever that may be.

The Islamic prohibition on charging interest on loans, and the distinction it makes between trade, which is encouraged, and usury, which is forbidden, is an inspiration to those who dare to dream outside of the box. Imagine if you did not have to pay interest on the mortgage on your home, and developing nations within Africa and other continents did not have to pay interest on their loans? They would flourish. They  would not be working to pay interest, rather they would be working to pay the principal and investing in themselves: food, clothing, shelter and health care. In discussion with a friend he asked the obvious question: Why would anyone lend anyone money for nothing? In other words, why would someone invest in making humanity better off for its own sake instead of profit? This is where the Islamic economic system has the most to offer: it challenges the very assumptions of economic activity; it dares to dream beyond the politics of prison to a different approach to human relations and trade. A whole new way of looking at ourselves. We invest in ourselves for our improvement as humanity.

The distinction between trade and usury in Islamic thought has the potential of fundamentally alleviating the economic and human conditions of millions of individuals by investing in human beings for their intrinsic worth. It is worth serious consideration regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with other aspects of the religion of Islam. The idea was ahead of its time then as it is now: there are no takers from any Muslim or non-Muslim countries even though the world economy is in a questionable state today.

Moiz Billah

Note: I am not endorsing Islam. I am simply suggesting that the idea of an interest free society in Islam is worth serious consideration.

Non-Poetic Rant: Institutionalizing Our Relationships

Whatever happened to human relationships? Now we have an institution for everything. Day Care for children, Retirement Residence for our old folks (we put our children in day care and they will eventually put us in old people’s home), Welfare for a neighbour or friend in need and  Facebook for friends.

What we seek most is safety that we have each other in good and bad times. We have surrendered our lives to a cold system.

A Non-Poetic Rant: Medical Crises in Canada: A Crises of Monopoly?

We are told that our health care institutions and professions are in a state of financial crises: there are not enough doctors, for instance to service the Canadian population.

Isn’t this crises self-generated by the monopoly enjoyed by the Canadian Medical Association? If foreign immigrant doctors were qualified easily and medical school admitted more students, and competition was allowed to determine the prices for the services of doctors, there would be enough resources, savings, and medical services without the exorbitant high cost.

This has already been done in other professions- for example, lawyers- where the market determines the price a lawyer receives for his or her services: why not the medical profession?