I came across a quote today which might interest those of you who participated in the recent discussion on interest and lending. It’s from Muhammad Yunus’ book Banker to the poor, which one of you fine humans bought me for my birthday last year.
Many Islamic scholars have told us that the Shariah ban on the charging of interest cannot apply to Grameen, since the Grameen borrower is also an owner of the bank. The purpose of the religious injuction against interest it to protect the poor from usury, but where the poor own their own bank, the interest is in effect paid to the company they own, and therefore to themselves.
I recommend the book. It is inspiring. Muhammad Yunus appears to be someone who knows how to get things done, and I like the things he chooses to get done.