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Is Islam Bad for Business?

In this week’s New Yorker, John Cassidy asks whether Islam may be to blame for slow economic growth in the Arab world. It’s a commonly held theory, popularized by academics like David Landes and Bernard Lewis. “No one can understand the economic performance of the Muslim nations without attending to the experience of Islam as faith and culture,” wrote?Landes, the Harvard economic historian. Ultimately, though, Cassidy disagrees: “[D]ay-to-day worship of the sort practiced by hundreds of millions of Muslims is no more what is holding back the Middle East than Hinduism was what held back India or Roman Catholicism was what held back Ireland. Despite the arguments of new Weberians, people have always found a way to serve their gods and Mammon, too.” [%comments]