An Open Letter To the King of Saudi Arabia, The Prime Minister of Turkey and the President of Indonesia on their attendance at the G20 Leaders Summit in London on 2 April 2009
Since 1999, the G20 has been at the forefront of designing the financial architecture that has now crumbled before our very eyes. It has been complicit in the financial and economic policies that has fostered the worst international economic crisis since the great depression. It not only averted its gaze while financiers ran amok but positively encouraged the free and unfettered markets that has led to the horrendous situation before us. Yet today it claims to be the organisation that will rescue the world from financial ruin, a claim that would be laughable if it wasn’t for the grave situation that we witness today. It is deeply ironic that the latest G20 summit is being held in the part of London which comprises the spiritual home of the world’s largest banks and the derivatives capital of the world, both instrumental in bringing the world to its knees. Instead of tackling the underlying causes of the modern capitalist system the G20 nations today are engaged in cosmetic changes while the world burns. Instead of seeking to restore worldwide financial stability, their policies increase instability in global markets day after day. Instead of securing a sustainable future for all countries, the G20 continue the politics of helping the elite at the expense of ordinary people. While trillions have been found at short notice to bail out banks and insurance corporations, the world’s poor are getting poorer and the world’s sick are getting sicker.
The financial markets and the global economy continue to face serious global challenges and the severity of the crisis and ongoing uncertainties demonstrate the need for urgent action. Yet the action that is required, is not to repeat the mistakes that got us into the crisis in the first place. What got us into this mess was reckless lending, yet today the G20 states are begging banks to resume such lending. What got us into this mess was a reckless monetary policy, yet today central banks through quantitative easing and printing money are debasing their paper currencies as if there was no tomorrow. What got us into this mess was a culture of greed and excess, the financial equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah, yet today special interests are being given billions by taxpayers to buy cheap assets from banks already bailed out by taxpayers. What got us into this mess was regulatory failure of a massive proportion, yet the same regulatory authorities of finance ministries, central banks, financial supervisory agencies and the IMF are now being presented as part of the solution!
What we must truly understand are the roots of the international financial crisis and identify the lessons that we must learn to avoid this happening again. Instead we are being fed an anaemic diet of rhetoric and cosmetic policies. Yet what we need to desperately do is to take this opportunity to completely revamp the entire international financial system. Your countries are also facing economic meltdown, Saudi Arabia faces deficits and significant overseas losses despite having a glut of oil, Turkey a once proud nation has to rely on IMF bailouts while Indonesia the most populous Muslim nation has to beg the west for foreign currency to pay its bills. The Muslim Ummah cannot continue the same disastrous economic path. The Islamic economic model is tried and trusted, it balances the instincts of individuals with the needs of society, it puts economic progress alongside spiritual enhancement, it promotes trade while not forgetting that society’s greatest wealth is its values and beliefs. Hizb ut-Tahrir calls upon the Muslim world to do three things:
1 The Muslim world must establish an alternative economic model. The Khilafah State is the only vehicle to establish the Islamic economic system and today provides a unique opportunity to show the rest of the world that there is a better way to manage economic affairs. The Muslim world when it implemented Islam in its entirety and was united was a giant in global affairs, it led in science, prosperity, healthcare and was responsible for dragging Europe out of the dark ages. Today we constitute a quarter of the world's population, we have two thirds of the world's oil, we have a combined military of over 5 million yet our voices are insignificant and our lands are occupied. It is the rulers of the Muslim world including you, who are the obstacle to this revival, you prefer to be followers of the west rather than be real leaders, you prefer short term survival rather than making sacrifices for long term success, you value narrow nationalistic issues over the common problems that the Muslim world faces. Yet political unity today would allow us to come together stronger, a prerequisite if we are to be successful in challenging the global powers of the 21st century.
2 Establish a new currency based on the gold or silver metallic standard. The Islamic principles of sound and tangible money cannot now be disputed, nor should you ever allow your own economic well being to be tied to an overseas government’s reckless monetary policy. Your fiat paper currencies today either shadow the US dollar or you, for foolish reasons have decided to invest substantially in overseas dollar, euro or sterling assets, currencies so debased that they have caused financial distress all across the globe. This will only get worse with record deficits and the budget debauchery that the US and other western government are now involved in. End your dependence on the US dollar and other paper currencies now before it is too late and the Chinese government decides, as it will inevitably do, to abandon the dollar. At that time all your investments will be worthless as they are fast becoming now.
3 Close down the financial casinos that purport to be stock exchanges, investment banks or other avenues which sell toxic financial assets. Islamic economics prohibits interest and would not have allowed the kind of excessive borrowing sometimes at 30 times a bank’s overall capital, that we saw done repeatedly by western banks. Islam also prohibits speculation and hoarding which are core staples of the western financial system. Our economies must be restructured around real engineering not financial engineering, based on real manufacturing not phoney accounting. Invest in real projects at home not in idle financial assets abroad, tackle poverty as a priority, not just bail out the rich, invest in long term infrastructure not entertainment venues for western tourists.
We know that you as rulers have come to this summit offering no alternatives, rather you have come to sing the praises of this collapsed capitalist system. You have proven to be nothing other than accomplices in the global capitalist crime that is now affecting millions of people including the Muslim world. What the Muslim world needs today are not rulers who slavishly and shamelessly follow the west but visionary statesmen, not puppets who will do the west’s bidding but lions who will drag the world’s population into a bright new world. The G20 that you are proud members off will not propose any fresh thinking, nor does the world need another model of capitalism, the system is so bankrupt it needs to be completely replaced. What the world needs are radical new alternatives intertwined with new values, this is the essence of the Islamic Economic System.
This Friday, the 3rd April 2009, 8th Rabi` al-Akhar 1430 Hijri, Hizb ut-Tahrir is launching a new book in London and Beirut, a compilation of a series of papers delivered at its landmark international economic conference in Sudan in January 2009. The book, titled 'Towards a Tranquil Safe World under the Shade of the Economic System of Islam', deeply examines the causes of the crisis and outlines the Islamic alternative, the only alternative.
Allah (swt) says “Verily we have revealed the book to thee in truth for instructing mankind.” [Translated Meaning of Qur’an 39:41]
Hizb ut-Tahrir Britain
31st March 2009
5th Rabi` al-Akhar 1430 H