The topic “Wither Islamic Economics?” for INCEIF’s latest public lecture held at Bank Negara Malaysia Auditorium today invited discussion on Islamic economics including the question of its popularity and relevance in today’s financial scenario that is dominated by Islamic finance.
The Public Lecture at BNM.
Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Mohamed Ariff, who is with INCEIF’s Economics and Governance Department, in picking the topic said Islamic economics as it is known today has evolved over the years from straightforward theological principles to sophisticated theoretical constructs. Yet, it is unclear if Islamic economics can or should unshackle itself from mainstream economics. Islamic economics has been viewed as value-loaded in contrast to mainstream economics, but one must question if the latter is really value-free.
“Regardless, no one can deny that Islamic economics and mainstream economics share common platforms, notwithstanding methodological differences,” he added.
According to him, such considerations raised several pertinent questions including, ”does Islamic economics differ so much from mainstream economics that it can exist on its own. If economics is all about human behaviour, can it be surmised that Islamic economics is about Muslim behaviour? Is there a serious disconnect between these two? Is there also a similar disconnect between theory and practice?”
The Lecture attracted 100 attendees from the financial services industry, government agencies and universities.