The IEA’s Islamic Foundations of a Free Society, written by a range of Islamic scholars, sheds a great deal of light on questions about Islam’s compatibility with a free society and a free economy.
This book aims to inform those in the West who view Islam with fear and suspicion, while encouraging Muslims to remember and learn from their history of rich and pluralistic Islamic civilisations.
Muslim majority lands were once the most advanced regions on earth in the areas of tolerance, freedom, science and medicine. Today they are shown as laggards in most international indices covering economic freedom, human development and human rights. The economic failure of Muslim countries is not caused by incompatibility between the tenets of Islam and the principles of a free economy, but the deviations from the liberal tradition of early Islam.
Islam not only wants freedom of the individual from theocracy, but also from control by the state. Islam emphasises the role and responsibility of the individual; freedom of faith is a fundamental principle.