A marriage of convenience? Islamic banking and finance meet neoliberalization

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This chapter explores the relationship between Islamic banking and finance (IBF) on one hand, and what can be considered a Enuanced and tentative understanding of œneoliberalization in the context of the United Kingdom and the United States on the other. I show that while the UK government has feverishly promoted London and the UK as a center for IBF in the EU, if not the world, the U.S. has more tacitly accepted IBF as a niche form of finance that must be embraced as just another form of banking for its diverse citizenry, whatever the shadow of 9/11. I maintain that rather than seeing IBF and neoliberalization as opposed, it is necessary to see them as intertwined with what practitioners call ‘conventional banking’ or ‘conventional finance.’ In fact, many scholars argue, including Muslims, that there are too many similarities between the two. For some Muslims and those looking for an alternative to the ‘global financial architecture,’ IBF is not different enough, for others, including devout secularists, it is sufficiently different and religious to garner suspicion. I suggest that shari’s compliant banking ought to be analyzed closely for the ways in which it is entangled and practiced and not simply for its doctrinal qualities or formal contracts. In doing so, it might avoid anxious dismissals.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Changing World Religion Map
Subtitle of host publicationSacred Places, Identities, Practices and Politics
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789401793766
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015.


  • Ibf
  • Neo liberalism
  • Shari’s banking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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