Commerce is no respecter of either brotherhood or any such entity resting on notions such as ‘Muslim bloc’ strung together by the impetuous chord of impulse and emotion. Business is Cartesian and it can be as devoid of emotions as the heartless money-lender Shylock. Fact is that any Muslim country would rather ignore another brother Muslim country to do business with, say, a Christian state when it will see greener pastures. In fact a Muslim nation, so to speak, will have no scruples in blithely ripping apart the jugular of another brother state, where its own jugular is on the line. Consider the example of Bangladesh denying trade concessions to Pakistan at the EU while at the same occasion India’s vote was in our favour.

How far the reality has dawned on the faithful, perhaps time has already told. And it was no different a case with World Islamic Economic Forum in UK attended by thousands of entrepreneurs along with their elected representatives. What was new this time was that it was held for the first time in a non-Muslim country.

Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif, himself having a business background, had a five-point plan to offer to the participants. These points have been repeated for far too long and sadly only to bang into tall walls time and again. That the Ummah has resources lying inert, the youth can make it to the stars but need scientific orientation, the collective GDP needs to be taken on an upward trajectory etc now almost sound like a textbook rant for the consumption of those who have nothing better to hear. And worse, alongside this sermonising problem with our premier, he perhaps thought his sermonising would stand him in good stead with leaders of Malaysia and Indonesia, economic giants standing head and shoulders above Pakistan. And as so far, there has been little to suggest we are even trying to catch up with them, he should not have been so sure of himself as he seemed.

The forum’s saving grace was the host himself who had something no-nonsense to say, something that is worth a thought. Recounting the so many virtues of Islamic finance, Mr Cameron was very clear in his mind he considered Islamic finance to be something of a goldmine. And he made clear UK is just itching to tap the maximum out of it. He announced a plan to make Britain the first country outside the Muslim world to issue Islamic bonds known as Sukuk. Above all else, this is good news for the Diaspora that will see their transactions done in a purely Islamic way.

The fact that UK is reaping riches from this particular kind of finance, there is little doubt there is potential in it, the Muslim nations can also draw. The only way to get down to it is to fix the approach. Brotherhood matters but often brothers do not always make ideal partners. It’s the money stupid!