Whither Foreign Investment In Iraq

Whither Foreign Investment in Iraq under Islamic Law?

Doug Ireland covers how the US media covered the story that the Bush administration acquiesced in enshrining Islamic canon law in the Iraqi constitution.

What is amazing to me is that no one has brought up the issue of commercial law. Islamic law has three parts: 1) ritual acts and personal status (`ibadat or what the human individual owes to God) 2) commerce and other human interactions (mu`amalat or what human beings owe each other); and 3) government regulations beyond the text of revealed law (as-siyasah ash-Shar`iyyah or public law).

If no law may be legislated by parliament that contradicts shariah or Islamic canon law, then may corporations operate in Iraq? Traditional Islamic law does not recognize corporations as persons, and stops with partnerships. Moreover, presumably banks would not be allowed to charge interest on loans. (Islamic banks typically offer depositors something like mutual funds, on which there could be returns but there is also risk of loss). Mr. Bremer’s hundred laws are likely to be replaced with fiqh or Islamic law manuals (that discuss things like Islamic contract law. Halliburton had better hire some ayatollahs as advisers.

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