As long as there was at least a nominal connection with gold, the credit bubbles created by the financiers and their phoney money were at least tethered to the earth and eventually burst leaving many thousands impoverished at different times and in different places as it became clear that the paper was worth in reality no more than the ink it was printed with. But when, in 1972, President Nixon severed the link between the dollar and gold, a new situation came into existence. There was now no restraint whatsoever on the creation of credit or "banker's money". It was the financier's dream come true but has rapidly become a nightmare scenario for all but tiny percentage of the world's population, even if very few people are aware of it. Egged on by world-wide electronic communication and markets which have proliferated on an unprecedented scale the credit bubble has now expanded to what can only be described as insane dimensions.
The money which has now come into existence and which for the most part only exists as electronic signals winging their way through cyber space from one computer to another can no longer even be counted. To give you some idea of the crazy stage which things have now reached, it has been calculated that the amount of money which changes hands daily on just the international currency exchange market, which is merely one among hundreds of other markets, is in the trillions of dollars and equivalent to the total annual turnover of world trade in real goods. There would not be enough paper to make so much money even if all the timber on the planet was used to do it and if the notes to make such a sum were placed one on top of the other the pile would reach beyond the moon! It would seem like some kind of mad joke were the effects not so desperately serious for individual human beings and nations and indeed the planet as a whole.
There is no person on the earth who does not now live and die in debt whether they know it or not and an ever increasing number know it only too well as their personal debts to banks and credit agencies mount and mount, causing terrible anxiety and stress and not infrequently leading to crime and sometimes suicide. The situation of national debt is notorious. Even the lands wealthiest in terms of natural resources are hopelessly in debt to supranational finance and the total national income of many poorer countries does not even cover the interest payments on the money they owe, much of which has been borrowed to finance vast megaprojects whose incalculable environmental damage to the earth's increasingly fragile ecostructure is becoming more and more evident day by day. Fadlun Khalid, who is here today, has done a lot of work in this field and would I am sure be able to make this general allegation far more specific, if anyone is interested in finding in more detail how the financial system is destroying the very fabric of the earth we inhabit. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of the detrimental effects of the world financial system. And it is all so that an infinitesimal percentage of the world's population, who are virtually unknown but who know how to manipulate the situation, can skim billions off the top of the money mountain, and wield wealth and power to an extent never conceived of before in the whole of human history.
Our shaykh, Shaykh Abdalqadir As-Sufi, graphically sums up the present situation in his recent book, Technique of the Coup de Banque:
We are tyrannised, enslaved, and endebted to an entirely unelected elite whose names we do not even know. With hereditary titles abolished and with hereditary wealth made impossible for the masses through powerful taxation, the case of this elite remains an anomaly. Their wealth and their lands spiral up into almost incalculable statistics, beyond the dreams of Alexander.
They have no racial loyalty. They have no class loyalty. They certainly have no national loyalty. Upholding humanism, it could be said that they have no human loyalty. Insisting on their compassion they uphold the Rights of Man, sure in the certainty that the upholding of that empty rhetoric will distract you from ever attempting to refrain from their monetary system and live without banking. They are an oligarchy. This is not to say they are oligarchic in the platonic sense, for it is in the nature of the modern social nexus that there is a dysjunction between them and the human species rather than that they are at the summit of human society as in the primitive model. All the crimes of all the criminals in the world added together do not amount to the enormity of this crime that they daily commit through their continued application of the usury system. The pollution of the ocean is their achievement. The poisoning of the earth is the result of their programmes. The toxic air of the world's megacities is the direct result of their existence. The millions of dead caused by the sporadic uprising across the globe of the poor driven from their land, who in abject misery turn on their neighbours, the world's poor scavenging on rubbish tips are to them an unfortunate side-effect of their monetary policies.
We cannot sit here and act as if this appalling situation has nothing to do with us. The pesetas in our pockets are not the medium of exchange they pretend to be; they are precisely the financial instrument which has enabled the present situation to come about and which allow it to continue to proliferate. Our willing participation in the process is what keeps it going. We are nothing but usury fodder, actively conniving in the destruction of the planet on which we live.
"But there's nothing we can do about it," I hear people say, "we have no other alternative." That is no longer true. We do have a choice. There is something that we can do but that something can only be found within the parameters of a functioning Muslim community. Islam alone is now able to uphold the authority of divinely revealed law and provide the means for cutting through the magical deception of the usurers all-enveloping web. The divinely revealed legal framework for a commercial environment totally free of the machinations of the usurers is still entirely in place and is just waiting to be re implemented; but our chief weapon is our money itself. The gold dinar and the silver dirham are exactly what they say they are: nothing more nor less than 4.3 grammes of solid gold and 3 grammes of solid silver respectively; they truly are simply a legitimate, divinely sanctioned, medium of exchange. This and this alone can restore balance and justice to the day to day commercial transactions which are the life blood of any normally functioning human society and which play such an important and vital part in the life of every human being.
Just as the staff of Musa, peace be upon him, cut through the sophisticated sorcery of the magicians of Pharaoh and showed it to be the baseless illusion it was, so the dinar of Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, will cut through the equally magical deception of the usurer's monetary system and show it up for what it really is: worthless scraps of paper and evanescent numbers in cyberspace with no real value whatsoever. The gold dinar will put economic power back into the hands of ordinary men and women where it belongs. This is Islam. This is Divine guidance in action. What you see is what you get.