Economic choices may be influenced by religious convictions, and for practicing Muslims, Islamic norms on money are likely to matter. Yet, we know little about howMuslims in minority contexts understand these norms. This article addresses this question with original focus group data from Muslims in Denmark and Norway.We analyse how they understand ‘Islamic finance’ and its consequences in everyday life. We find that the Islamic prohibition of ‘riba’ (translated as ‘interest’) matters, but in different ways. The necessity to take an interest-bearing loan to buy a home is set against the necessity not to, based on religious convictions. Our participants fall into two categories: those who obtain mortgages, and those who do not, either primarily or solely on religious grounds. The socio-economic impacts differ. However, our participants reflect on the two contrasting necessary choices they face, and link this emotionally to questions of inclusion/exclusion in Denmark and Norway.
Borchgrevink, Kaja & Marta Bivand Erdal (2021) The Necessity of Taking a Loan, and the Necessity of Not Doing So: Islamic Finance among Muslim Minorities in Denmark and Norway, Nordic Journal of Religion and Society 34 (2): 117–129.