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The Politics of Islamic Finance$
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Clement Henry and Rodney Wilson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780748618361

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748618361.001.0001

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Islamic Banks: The Rise of a New Power Alliance of Wealth and Shari'a Scholarship

Islamic Banks: The Rise of a New Power Alliance of Wealth and Shari'a Scholarship

(p.17) 1 Islamic Banks: The Rise of a New Power Alliance of Wealth and Shari'a Scholarship
The Politics of Islamic Finance

Monzer Kahf

Edinburgh University Press

The Islamic banking in the Arab World had created a new political alliance that unexpectedly emerged out of the working relationships between the rich and wealthy on one hand and many shariah scholars on the other. These relationships continue to invigorate shariah scholars who influence substantial segments of public opinion in most Muslim countries. One consequence of these relationships is that scholars encourage their followers and the Muslim public to use Islamic banks. This chapter discusses the history of this new alliance. It examines the factors that contribute to the needs of each of the two sides, the transformation of the lifestyle and intellectual outlooks of allied shariah scholars that has become redirected towards business, and their manner of shaping public opinion, which resulted in new clientele for the Islamic banks. Also included in the chapter are the effect of the new socio-economic coherence on de-politicisation and on the removal of political stigma from the several layers of Islamic movement in Muslim countries, as well as the effect of this new alliance on cooperation and competition between governments and Islamist oppositions.

Keywords:   Islamic banking, Arab World, political alliance, shariah scholars, Islamic banks, socio-economic coherence, de-politicisation, Islamic movement

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