If a decade ago, someone would pronounce the words ‘Islamic Economy’, people would shrug it off. Fast forward 2012, the keyword gains momentum. In 2013 a remarkable thing happens in the history of Islamic Finance where it marries the idea of Halal Lifestyle and finds itself within the keyword ‘Islamic Economy’. The thought leaders and pioneers of the idea should be named in history when we look back from the future. They present the first of its kind ‘Global Islamic Economy Summit’ bringing seven sectors within Halal lifestyle together: food, clothing, finance, travel, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, media and recreation. Dinar Standard and Thomson Reuters collaborate to showcase a historic report on the opportunities of Islamic Economy sectors in the global context. This report and the summit set a new direction for global halal markets and Islamic Finance. Since 2006, Malaysia based World Islamic Economic Forum also has been pushing this agenda forward, but from Global Islamic Economy Summit, the idea gets a solid foundation to begin with.
In 2014, Zilzar.com, the Alibaba of Islamic Economy was launched continuing with the idea of this connection.
In 2015, Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance (BIBF) launches its first training course collaborating with Dinar Standard that will train on how to leverage Islamic Capital for Halal Lifestyle market. Mastercard collaborates with CrescentRating, a leading authority in Halal travel industry to present Global Muslim Travel Index 2015. With the second Global Islamic Economy Summit to be held in Dubai this year, the excitement rises for the Islamic Economy that looks for a brighter future in the growing markets.
The definition of ‘Islamic Economy’ as a ‘subset of global economy where people consume products and services according to their shared Islamic values, ethics, and morality’ is however a market driven entrepreneurial definition and not an academic one. Academicians would probably define Islamic Economy with a different lens. Scholars would probably define differently than the academicians or entrepreneurs.
In this documentary that was aired on UK based Islam Channel, four primary sectors within Islamic Economy focusing on UK market were showcased : Halal Food, Fashion, Tourism and Islamic Finance. The documentary does a great job in shedding lights on the potential, challenges, underlying values, controversies, government roles, and growing global markets. United Kingdom has been playing quite a supporting role as a western country to promote the idea of Islamic Finance and Islamic Economy. United States on the other hand has been torn between its political endeavors and other challenges which have been working as a barrier to leverage this huge market in its own home. However it’s never too late and all it requires are political goodwill and shift in growth strategies.