During the revolutionary period the Soviets came into political and cultural conflict with Russia's Muslims. Despite indications that the majority of Muslims desired political unification based on their Islamic heritage, the Party divided them into separate "nationalities" along narrow ethnic lines, incorporated most into the RSFSR, and attempted to uproot traditional Islamic institutions and customs under the aegis of class war. Resistance took the form of pan-Muslim nationalism, a reformist political conception with roots in the Near East. This conflict not only aborted the export of revolution to the Islamic world, contributing to the passing of the revolutionary era in Russia, but aided Stalin's rise to power. Soviet policy succeeded politically, defining the terms of interaction between Russians and Soviet Muslims for the next 70 years, but failed culturally in 1921-22, when the Party was forced to suspend its "war on Islam" as the price of political control.
The delayed development of the Islamic world, in defiance of the formulaic approaches long favored by economists, suggests that the traditional Sharia and Islamic values and principles are at least partially responsible for the region s persistent backwardness. By analyzing the impact of the legal regime of the Sharia on Saudi Arabia during the Arab Oil Bust of the 1980s, this thesis concludes that Islamic social values and the Sharia s de facto role as an uncodified pre-emptive Arab common law implemented with high regard to precedent by ulama with extraordinary power of judicial review had the effect of accentuating the effects of the Oil Bust, making the theory of the Petrocurse a subset of a larger Cost of Being Muslim. On the other hand, the author concludes that not only is the Sharia not constrained by its nature to playing a deleterious economic role, but that it has broad commercial application, both domestically and internationally, and a new generation of more flexible Muslim economists, lawyers, and financial theorists have pointed the way toward a possible comprehensive modern adaptation of Islamic laws and principles.