On 18 January 2012, Dr Mehmet Asutay, Reader at Durham University, delivered the first of this year’s Public Lecture Series at AKU-ISMC. The talk, entitled ’Islamic moral economy as a foundation of Islamic finance’, attracted a global audience via an online webcast.
In his lecture, Dr Asutay examined the social failure of Islamic banking from the perspective of an Islamic moral economy. He argued that the idea of an Islamic moral economy is to embed finance into the real economy by providing a ‘moral filter’ in order to deliver human-centred development. An Islamic moral economy thus deals with traditional economic considerations such as production, consumption and distribution but also takes into account ‘din’ (religion) for a holistic view in making financial and economic choices.
Dr Asutay pointed out that there is much more to Islamic finance than the simple prohibition of interest, speculation and gambling, and that all economic activity needs to be in harmony with the environment. Islamic finance is based on sociably responsible investments and anything that undermines human well-being is unacceptable.
Dr Asutay is a Reader in Middle Eastern and Islamic Political Economy and Finance at the School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University. He is also the Director of the newly established Durham Centre for Islamic Economics and Finance, the course director of the MA/MSc in Islamic Finance, and the Director of the Durham Islamic Finance Summer School.
Ms Anne Czambor
Professional Programmes Unit