In this episode, we discuss the subtitle of Professor Jared Rubin's book: 'Why the West got Rich and the Middle East did Not.' We consider the Golden Age of Islam against the Western European backwater, facing its long dark age. Jared offers an original political economy framework to help understand why the latter eventually pulled ahead, in terms of economic performance. We look at the context of the birth of both religions and their subsequent relationships with contemporary political elites and legal systems. We also review how the path dependent processes emanating from these had long lasting economic effects. Finally, we discuss the divergence in the political cultures of some Catholic and Protestant states in post reformation Europe and reflect on some current parallels in the Middle East.