IPI HomeEventsSpeakers EventsVali Nasr: Muslims "In Some Ways Raging Capitalists"

 

print print  |  share share back back

Speaker Events - Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Vali Nasr: Muslims "In Some Ways Raging Capitalists"

“Capitalism is the most transformative force of our time,” Vali Nasr, author of a new book on the emergence of a consumerist Muslim middle class, declared before an overflow audience at IPI on January 26th.

Mr. Nasr, a Tufts University professor currently serving in the Obama Administration as a senior advisor on Afghanistan and Pakistan, put forth the argument that “the change agent in the Muslim world will have to be the market, not a cultural debate.”

Indicating how that might bring progress and prosperity to beleaguered Muslim societies and lessen the allure of fundamentalism, he said, “If you are selling leather to Ferragamo in Milan, jihad is not good for business.”

In his talk, and in his book, Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What It Will Mean for Our World, Mr. Nasr cited predominately Muslim countries like Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Emirate of Dubai as examples where a consumerist middle class had transformed society and largely marginalized extremism.

The economic and financial institutions and practices in these countries incorporate the desire of citizens of these countries to live lives of Islamic observance. As a result, he said, you have countries in the Muslim world whose business leaders could be called “pious tycoons.”

For the podcast, click the "play" button:



 Read transcript

 Get IPI podcasts from iTunes

The Global Observatory

CWhat Makes a Terrorist Stop Being a Terrorist?
A close look at terrorist de-radicalization programs shows that it is still unclear whether they work, and if so, how.

Key Global Events to Watch in November
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

November 25, 2014
Independent Commission on Multilateralism Launched in Vienna
The Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM) was launched officially in Vienna on November 25th. The event was held at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs and opened by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.

November 13, 2014
Experts Forum: Assessing Links Between Peacebuilding and Organized Crime
Organized crime and peacebuilding can be seen as separate issues, but recent research and practice suggest the two are deeply linked—conflict is increasingly fueling crime, and crime in turn makes peace harder to achieve.

November 05, 2014
Top-Down Governance Hurts Women, Youth Participation
Governments in the Sahel and Maghreb are still using top-down approaches to governance that make it hard for women and youth to have a say in public life, even though their participation can help their governments’ struggle against instability and extremism.

View More