Thursday, June 22, 2006

Islamocapitalism?

Many of us have expressed the hope that Islam can refom itself, that it can effect its own Renaissance from within. One important ingredient of such a renaissance would be the ebracing of economic liberalism, in other words: capitalism. Turkish writer Mustafa Akyol asks if such a thing is possible -- could Islamic culture really embrace capitalism? It's sorely in need of capitalism's results, but could it support the values that capitalism needs to flourish?

Akyol's answer is a guarded yes.
Most Islamists would reply to this question with a resounding "no!" Since they perceive Islam as an all-encompassing socio-political system, they regard capitalism as a rival and an enemy. The struggle against both communism and capitalism has been one of the standard themes in Islamist literature. Sayyid Qutb, the prominent ideologue of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, wrote a book titled Ma'arakat al-Islam wa'l-Ra's Maliyya (The Battle Between Islam and Capitalism) in 1951. At an Islamic conference held in the Spanish city of Granada on July 2003, attended by about 2,000 Muslims, a call was made to "bring about the end of the capitalist system."

However such radical rejections of the capitalist economy don't seem well-suited to the theological attitude and the historical experience of Islam towards business and profit-making. As a religion founded by a businessman -- Prophet Muhammad was a successful merchant for the greater part of his life -- and one that has cherished trade from its very beginning, Islam can in fact be very compatible with a capitalist economy . . .
Read the whole piece here. [Hat tip Joe Duarte]

LINK: Islamocapitalism - TechCentralStation

TAGS: Religion, Multiculturalism

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