Modernization and Development

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Western patterns of modernization and development, whether capitalist or socialist, are based on secularism, individualism, and commitment to progress through science and technology. In the perception of Islamists, they are also amoral and materialistic, perhaps even atheist. Islamists assert that Islamic approaches to development are superior to capitalism and socialism because of their attention to spiritual and material needs and concern for equity and social justice. Islamic theorists emphasize the connection between spiritual development and material improvement, concluding that institutionalization of religious goals and laws necessarily precedes development. Humans, as God's stewards, are custodians of God's resources, which must be distributed equitably. Personal wealth is permitted, but such accumulation is accompanied by responsibility for the basic needs of the less fortunate. An Islamic theory of development would thus be a set of modernized ethical standards to guide the economic, social, and political development of the Muslim world.

See also Islamic Development Bank

Subjects: Islam.

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