The Revolution in Islamic Finance
Chicago Journal of International Law
Commercial interests from all religious backgrounds have a vested interest in holding the world together, and it is no surprise that global banking is emerging as an arena for cooperation between Muslim and Western business leaders even as their politicians and citizens seem to drift further apart. Western nations have many good reasons for encouraging the success of Islamic banking and smoothing its integration into a more stable global economy. Progress toward financial harmonization could pave the way for cooperation on other issues, including the far more contentious fields of politics and security.
Islamic finance will need all of the international assistance it can solicit because it is at a crossroads that will force the entire movement to reinvent itself. Five years from now, its landscape will be unrecognizable to the cluster of institutions and personalities that view themselves as today’s unassailable industry leaders. This Article examines mounting pressures that are driving the current revolution in Islamic finance. Islamic bankers must now adapt to simultaneous challenges on three fronts: integration with the global financial system; coordination with the leading international organizations of the Islamic world; and penetration of mass markets in dozens of countries with conflicting cultural, political, and economic conditions. To complicate matters, all of these audiences are moving targets, experiencing upheavals at least as profound as the metamorphosis of Islamic finance itself.
Bianchi, Robert R. (2007) “The Revolution in Islamic Finance,” Chicago Journal of International Law: Vol. 7: No. 2, Article 12.
Capitalism and Islam
The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World
Debates over Islam and capitalism have moved in three different directions. At first, attention focused on Western arguments that Islam is an obstacle to capitalism. Gradually, Muslim and Western writers converged in viewing Islam as a special variety of capitalism. Most recently, Islamic modernists have combined a wide assortment of economic theories and religious programs to portray Islamic finance as an alternative — and potential successor — to conventional capitalism.
Islamic Finance and the International System: Integration Without Colonialism
Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance, Integrating Islamic Finance in the Mainstream: Regulation, Standardization and Transparency, Harvard Law School, April 22 and 23, 2006
Western bankers and lawyers have proven to be some of the most astute innovators of Islamic finance. They have spurred a broad interpenetration of Muslim and Western financial networks and set the stage for their eventual integration in a unitary international system. The upper echelons of the modern financial community comprise an increasingly distinct segment of transnational civil society—a universe of its own beyond nation and culture, based on common training and on socialization to professional norms that grow more explicit and binding each year.
The Battle for the Soul of Islamic Finance — If It Has One
Islamic Finance, September 2007
The great paradox of Islamic finance is that the more it succeeds, the more we wonder what it really is and where it’s going. After decades of asking, “Can it survive?” we now want to know, “Will it make any difference?”