Las raíces del retraso islámico

La guerra en Iraq ya terminó, pero la batalla para transformar las economías del Medio Oriente (la única esperanza de evitar que el fanatismo atrape a una generación de jóvenes desempleados árabes e iraníes) apenas está comenzando.

La lucha va más allá de las estrategias de desarrollo y llega hasta las raíces del Islam. Se cuenta que el Ayatola Jomeini solía decir que "El pueblo de Irán no promovió la revolución islámica para bajar el precio de las sandías". Siguiendo esa lógica, el capitalismo y el Islam son incompatibles. ¿Lo son?

La historia nos puede servir de guía. La revolución industrial comenzó en las regiones centrales inglesas y en los bosques de Bélgica, zonas que contaban con carbón, canales (a través de los cuales se podía transportar el carbón en barcazas), y obreros calificados (quienes podían construir máquinas que utilizaban el carbón como combustible). El carbón, los canales y los obreros fueron las bases para construir, instalar y utilizar las máquinas de hilar automáticas, los telares mecánicos y las locomotoras que fueron las primeras industrias de maquinaria moderna.

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