From Islamic Radicalism to Islamic Capitalism: The Promises and Predicaments of Turkish-Islamic Entrepreneurship in a Capitalist System (The Case of İGİAD)
Middle Eastern Studies
144 - 161
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The rise of Turkish Islamic capitalism, and with it an Islamic bourgeoisie and the accompanying lifestyle has profound implications for the Muslim world, since the Turkish Muslims have been backed by a relatively successful democratic and liberal system that has allowed them to integrate more easily into the global system. Focusing mainly on the members of the Islamic-oriented Association of Economic Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics (İGİAD), the aim of this article is to demonstrate the inherent (in)compatibility and contradictions between Islam and capitalism in contemporary Turkey, and by extension in the Muslim world. From the start, for the Turkish Muslim bourgeoisie, the burning questions were 'how to earn' and, more importantly, 'how to consume' within a capitalist system while still not transgressing Islamic boundaries. In order to overcome these challenges, the article argues that, rather than creating an 'alternative Islamic economic system', Islamic actors have reduced - in some cases, even eliminated - this discursive and ideological tension between Islam and capitalism by (a) trying to introduce Islamic morality into capitalism and (b) redefining both Islam and capitalism. Through these mechanisms they have also broadened and deepened Turkish modernity. © 2014 Taylor & Francis.