The United States spent much of the 20th century lecturing the world about how to run an economy. Clearly, we’ve lost some credibility in that area. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wants Islamic banks, with their abhorrence of interest and gambling, to fill the void.
Banks run in accordance with Muslims laws on interest payments and the sharing of credit risks are seen by many as fairer than traditional banks, less focused on profit and kinder to the communities they work in.
Demand for Islamic financial products has been growing in the Muslim world for years but Mr Yudhoyono said that many in the West were now ready to learn from them.
Islamic law prohibits the payment and collection of interest, which is seen as a form of gambling.