Religion and Money: Great Resonance for Conference


Mihas 2021 Banner lang - Religion and Money: Great Resonance for Conference
Photo: IFIS&IZ

Numerous participants and speakers discussed religious financial models, ethical banks and the market leader in Islamic banking at a conference in Mannheim.

Muslim and Christian business representatives, scientists, entrepreneurs, the German supervisory authority BaFin as well as legal, religious and ethical experts discussed the role of belief systems in modern economies. Speakers from Germany and abroad provided information on the latest developments in the religious-ethical banking sector and their impact on the financial markets.

The interdisciplinary debate focused on the upward trend of religious financial models and their potential to change the conventional financial sector. Since 2015, everyone has been talking about the introduction of interest-free and ethical Islamic banking in the euro area.

The event was hosted by the founding director of the Institute for Islamic Studies and Intercultural Cooperation, IFIS&IZ, Hüseyin İlker Çınar, who in his opening statement dealt with the theological foundations of the Islamic financial and economic system. Speakers included Mehmet Asutay from the University of Durham in Great Britain, who spoke on the influence and impact of religion and belief on financial decisions and investments using the example of the “Islamic Moral Economy”.

Islamic and ethical banking

Brigitte Bertelmann from the Centre for Social Responsibility of the Protestant Church in Hesse and Nassau, who explained how ethically sustainable investments work on the basis of Christian values and Ruşen Ahmet Albayrak, Member of the Board of Kuveyt Türk Beteiligungs Bank, introduced the ecosystems of equity banking in Turkey to Ahmet Albayrak. Burhanuddin Bin Lukman of the International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) in Malaysia, the world leader in Islamic banking, examined the Malaysian experiences of M&As from an Islamic perspective.

The German economists Volker Nienhaus from the Ruhr University Bochum and Matthias Casper from the University Münster drew comparisons between Islamic and ethical banking in the conventional sector. Rüdiger Litten of the law firm Fieldfisher answered the question “Is Germany an Islamic Finance-friendly market?

At the conference several parallels between Islamic and Christian and other ethical financial concepts were worked out, from the structural responsibility of individuals as members of society to the balance between profit orientation and social responsibility to common ethical values and common exclusion criteria such as speculation and risk transactions as well as intransparency.

KT Bank AG was the first and only bank in Germany and in the euro zone to offer Islam-compliant financial products. Together with the Kulturhaus der europäischen Muslime KUDEM, a cultural association of European Muslims, KT Bank AG was a cooperation partner of the conference.