Asep Setiawan: Islam and Multinational Corporations

Asep Setiawan, an Indonesian journalist living in London, has an an article on whether Islamic fundamentalism and Multinational corporations.From the introduction:

This essay assesses whether Islamic fundamentalism is a threat to multinational business. Two variables are applied for the assessment : the Islamic way of thinking and the impact of the manifestation Islamic system on international business particularly banking dan finance sectors. It seems those fields are more affected than, for instance, in extracting or manufacturing sectors. Based on those variables this essay will analyse whether Islamic militant is a hazard to transnational business. In this paper Islamic fundamentalism refers to a search for fundamentals of faith, the foundations of Islamic polity and the bases of legitimate authority.While multinational business is defined as a group of corporation that is operating in different countries but is controlled by its headquarters in a given country. In this essay, the first section deal with Islamic world-view and then, the second part, to assess the Islamic fundamentalism’s impact to multinational business.

The conclusion:

To sum up, generally the Islamic fundamentalism posses an hostility attitude toward multinational business particularly banking and financial services. This is because Islam has its own concept on those fields which is different from the Western notion. This attitude from Islamic militant will become an actual threat if the fundamentalism takes in the form of a state. The experiences in Iran and Sudan are appropriate examples for this case. Indeed, there is small scale of threat posed by the fundamentalist. However, since such a threat usually arises within a secular state, it can be handled by the host government. The difficulties facing foreign companies in encountering actual threat from fundamentalism behaviour lies in their failures to anticipate the emergence of the radicalism which is neither neat nor sudden. So, if transnational business has great interests in Islamic areas, they should understand the Islamic environment and possible risks posed by such environment.

Full paper on The World Politics.  



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