Islam hinders Economic Development — the discriminately pervasive & inconsistently articulated, nevertheless frequently tested contention of Max Weber, a leading thinker in the western religious anthropology. A nonchalant review warrants contextualization of Weber’s work, his claim in the backdrop of his articulation of Islamic and growth – before labelling it as essentialist or orientalist or Eurocentric or wrapping him under Weberism. It was his famous work ‘The Protestant Ethics (PE) and Spirit of Capitalism’ in 1905, where he asserted on the movement of protestants, their puritanism, ascetic morals setting the foundation of the rational capitalism. As J.S Komo puts it, that the central question that Weber pursued his whole life was, as to why anywhere outside the occident, no path of rationalization was followed in art, science or economic development. So, perhaps he was more of Eurocentric essentialist – wherein his verdicts on Islam is just one of the many societies under his lens, lying outside the occident, and the ‘Growth’ as he see it, is essentially an yield of rational capitalism. His bent toward the rational capitalism, was due to its inherent moral spirit of money making act and an ethical duty resting on self-discipline, hard work and self-accountability.
An interesting glitch here is that, out of the two parts of equation i.e. ‘Islam’ and ‘growth’ (presumably rationally capitalistic), the former has been amassing scrutiny, despite of having revealed ontology, in contrast to the ‘growth’ which is taken as immutable (Tripp, 2006). Sociologist in the second half of the twentieth century like that of French Marxist Rodinson, Bryan Turner and Kuran tested Weber’s thesis and attempted to respond to it. Read more → (631)