Aug 2017 – Dec 2020
Money and finance have been regarded as major moral problems in all the world religions. The past few decades have seen a revival in Islamic thinking about banking and finance. Some Muslims believe that modern banks are usurious and immoral and they work to create Islamic banks as an alternative.
While Islamic banking is big in the Middle East and Southeast Asia it has had little success in the West so far.
The research project FINEX is designed to find out to what extent Islamic norms about money and finance result in the exclusion of Muslims from the financial system in the four Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.
Such financial exclusion could have potential consequences for the economic integration and the wellbeing of a significant number of people. For instance, we believe that some Muslims may experience disadvantages in the housing market because they avoid bank loans.
FINEX will combine several types of data and methods to explore this mechanism of exclusion and we will fill an important gap in the knowledge about the economic inclusion of migrants. We will use four types of data.
Four workpackages are organized around the four types of data to be used, while a fifth workpackage is devoted to bringing the data and their interpretation together in 8-10 academic articles in peer-reviewed journals and in several other policy-relevant forms of dissemination.
We cooperate with Muslim organizations and communities across the Nordic countries in our research and we also hope to involve financial regulators and politicians in debates about our results.
Studies of lived religion among Muslims in Europe increasingly analyse how Muslims’ everyday practices are informed by religious beliefs, norms and values. This includes studies about food preparation, hijab fashion and shopping. Yet, religious influence on the economic aspects of Muslims’ everyday lives remains largely unexplored.
In a new article published in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Kaja Borchgrevink and Ida Roland Birkvad examine how the Islamic prohibition of riba – charged interest (on loans) – shapes ideas about homeownership and housing choices among Muslim professional women in Oslo, Norway.
The article is Open Access (no paywall) and available at the journal website.
Survey responses needed: Islamic banking is a growing sector globally, but there is little knowledge about how Muslims in the Nordic region relate to questions of Islamic finance and to the relationship between religion and economy. To learn more about this, we are conducting a survey among Muslims in the Nordic countries. If you are Muslim, over 20 years old, and live in Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Finland, we hope you can take part in our survey: www.prio.org/FINEXSurvey
Kaja Borchgrevink and Marta Bivand Erdal gave a seminar on 'The Pakistani diaspora in Norway', at the Lahore School of Economics, Centre on International Migration, Remittances and Diaspora (CIMRAD), Monday 5 March 2018.
Journal Article in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Journal Article in Nordic Journal of Religion and Society
Journal Article in Open Library of Humanities
Journal Article in Journal of Muslims in Europe
Journal Article in Research & Politics