Focus Point - Islam, The Capitalist Religion

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Just when I thought I knew everything (cue in the laughter) the NCPA's Bruce Bartlett surprises me with a new and timely piece of information.

Contrary to popular belief, the hatred of capitalism behind the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center doesn't come from Islam, but from a perversion of it. Indeed, one could argue Islam is the most pro-business of the world's major religions.

The prophet Muhammad was a businessman extensively engaged in commerce before he devoted himself to religion. After that, he often made comments and took actions that showed his support for the free market: forbidding price controls, refusing to tax businesses and calling the market "a charitable endowment." And the Koran urges believers to "trade by mutual consent."

Bartlett quotes maxine robinson's 1966 book "Islam and Capitalism," which notes, "economic activity, the search for profit and trade are looked upon with no less favor by Muslim tradition than by the Koran itself."

The terrorists need to do their homework.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, burning coal.