By Mustafa Acar & Bahadir Akin
Market economy and free trade are keys to create wealth, peaceful sharing of resources and minimize political disputes between nations. The collapse of the socialist system combined with the globalization has triggered a change and transformation process all over the world. The Arab world has also joined this process recently pushing towards more freedom and openness under “Arab Spring.” The Muslim world in general, Arab world in particular is at the crossroads with regard to political and economic reformation and reorganization. At this point, the choice between free market and command system is extremely important for the Muslim world. This paper argues that Islam is not inherently in contradiction with free market economy. None of the 5 pillars of free market economy (private property, freedom of choice and entrepreneurship, competition, free trade and limited government) is rejected or outlawed by the basic teachings of Islam. On the contrary, Islam promotes and supports free market institutions. Besides, social justice provided by the government is not prioritized in Islam; state is the very last competent authority with regards to social justice.
Mustafa Acar, Prof. Dr., Aksaray University, Turkey
Dr. Acar graduated from Middle East Technical University, Department of Economics (1986). He worked for State Institute of Statistics (1986-87) and Isbank Economi Research Division (1987-93) before he decided to pursue academic career. He received his masters (1996) and Ph.D. (2000) degrees from Purdue University, Department of Economics (USA). He has been serving as the Rector of Aksaray University since May 2011. His areas of interest include agricultural policy analysis, regional economic integration, general equilibrium analysis, Turkey-EU relations, globalization, free market economy and economic freedoms.
He has published several articles in the refereed national and international journals on agriculture, policy analysis, globalization, economic debates, and Turkish-EU integration and has published a number of books.