Sadakat Kadri

Koranic Derivatives

Heaven’s Bankers: Inside the Hidden World of Islamic Finance

By Harris Irfan

Constable & Robinson 347pp £20 order from our bookshop

Mecca’s had a makeover. The city towards which Muslims have been praying for over 1,400 years has a new focal point. Seven skyscrapers now surround its Grand Mosque, and at their centre stands a clock tower similar to Big Ben, only six times bigger and eight million LEDs brighter. Countless balconies now overlook Islam’s sanctum sanctorum, while an air-conditioned shopping mall sprawls across the lower levels of the complex. Open idolatry in Saudi Arabia remains inadvisable – beheadable, indeed – but Mammon at last has its own shrine. 

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