Policy Recommendations

IAIS works to provide pragmatic advice based on sound knowledge regarding issues facing Islamic societies and governments. Here are excerpts of policy recommendations from research articles in our Journal Islam and Civilisational Renewal.

Vol. 5 No. 2 April 2014

Policy Recommendations from the ICR 5.2 (April 2014)

Tengku Ahmad Hazri, Conceptions of the Political in Islamic Thought: Reconciling Legal and Philosophic Approaches to Siyasah

  • A conceptual framework for analysing the constitutions of contemporary Muslim states should be produced based on juridical-philosophic synthesis on siyasah, so that each state can only be understood as part of and in reference to Islamic civilisation as a whole, from whose philosophy and history these states cannot be divorced.
  • The said framework must be able to accommodate or explain – without necessarily conceding to – present realities, such as democracy, the nation-state and the market from its own principles and premises.
  • The said framework must offer the conceptual tools to analyse constitutional shifts and transformations within states which can be applicable ultimately to other states.

Ahmad Badri Abdullah, An Analysis of Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) As Applied Islamic Ethics

  • The government should assist the society to establish an institution similar to the classical Íisbah institution, whose role will be to promote and observe ethical practices in different life arenas such as banking and finance, medical services, food production, and environmental protection. This institution should be led by members of society themselves in their own locality and region, rather than by the government.
  • It is important for both jurists and scientists to be well informed of the concept of applied Islamic ethics together with its principles and methodologies so as to provide better consultation to governments in searching for solutions to problems facing Muslim societies.
  • It is also necessary for governments to seek sound advice from informed scholars who are specialists in ethics, specifically in Islamic ethics and the ethical way to administer strategic national companies or revenues. It is worthy to note that Norway, one of the richest oil-exporting countries in the world with the highest living standard, hired Henrik Syse, a philosopher as an ethical advisor for the Norwegian Government’s Petroleum Fund, in guiding the national company to spend its USD250 billion annual revenue.
  • Applied Islamic ethics should be introduced as a compulsory subject for Muslims, and even for non-Muslim students, within various fields of study in institutions of higher education.
  • Intellectual discourse in the form of conferences, colloquia, and workshops may be organised on the national level, in specific localities and in certain institutions to elaborate and explore applied Islamic ethics relating to its scope and applicability in various practical areas.

Sekoni Abiola Muttalib, Islamic Money Market: An Instrument for Managing Liquidity Risk in Islamic Banks

  • Efforts should also be made to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the present IIMM instruments, as almost all the currently available Islamic financial instruments in IIMM are either long-term or fixed in nature and thereby creates risk of funding mismatches.
  • It is recommended that special and urgent attention should be paid towards developing Islamic money market instruments that would be Shari’ah compliant and at the same time facilitate meeting the liquidity requirements as well as preventing Islamic banking institutions from liquidity problem vulnerability.
  • There should be greater standardisation of fatwas on the Shari’ah compliance of some Islamic money market instruments and remove the existing controversies surrounding them.

Marjanie Salic Macasalong, The Impact of Militancy on Liberation Movements: The Case of Mindanao

  • The researcher highlights the importance of strong armed forces to the liberation movements in Mindanao on their quest for self-determination.
  • This proposition does not only help their voice to be heard, and to have a strong bargaining position during the negotiation, but it also helps them to uphold the supremacy of law should they succeed in gaining independence or autonomy.
  • Achieving peace also needs strong governance that can eradicate corruption in society, despite the presence of powerful clans who maintain private armies. Most importantly, this can also help to deliver justice to everyone regardless of status in the society.

Hikmatullah Babu Sahib and Asiah binti Yaacob, Issues in Human Rights: The Plight of Muslim Minorities and the Lessons therein for Muslim Majorities

  • It is recommended that in order to contain and manage the dilemma faced by minority Muslims, nations must improve the general physical living conditions and basic material welfare of their citizens irrespective of their creed—through undertaking health, education and socio-economic infrastructural and manpower developments.
  • It is also recommended that Muslim majority countries and in particular their governments must begin to view their human resources as assets to be consolidated and treasured, and not as liabilities to be liquidated and disposed of – as one country’s liability could easily be another’s asset. Efforts must therefore be made to improve the basic political dynamics of their societies through a process of increasing democratisation, and according greater freedoms within the framework of the sharÊ‘ah. There is a need these days to continually reconcile the sacred principles of sharÊ‘ah within evolving realities.
  • Muslim majorities should first be able to see readily, witness and sample justice delivered to them under the principles of sharī‘ah in their own countries. When the physical, legal, material and spiritual situations of Muslims in Muslim-majority countries are thus improved, it will give them the moral strength to voice concerns regarding the situation of Muslims in minority countries and responsibly back this up with material strength. They could link trade agreements and other economic opportunities between them and non-Muslim countries with the degree of rights that non-Muslim states accord to their Muslim minorities. Muslim-majority countries must develop the necessary templates to ascertain and ensure noble objectives are accountably achieved.
  • Muslims in minority countries must also play their responsible roles as citizens of their own countries especially if they have secured all the rights due to citizens and do not as a community feel blatantly discriminated against. However, several non-Muslim countries have clearly ignored and violated the basic rights accorded to their citizens upheld by the UDHR by keeping their Muslim minority as an underclass. This does not mean that minority Muslims should partake in unjust war of attrition against fellow Muslim countries. They must not hesitate to responsibly and properly take to task their own governments when and if they believe that they have been misled into believing that their forces are in Muslim lands to liberate Muslims from the tyranny of their past. The post–9/11 world has helped to highlight the plight of targeted Muslim majorities and increasingly pressurised the minority Muslims to exercise their responsibility as citizens of their respective countries and as citizens of the ummah to play mediatory roles in conflicts between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds. This is a challenging task for which the Muslims are as yet ill-prepared.

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