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Islamic Finance in Europe

Islamic Finance in Europe

Towards a Plural Financial System

Studies in Islamic Finance, Accounting and Governance series

Edited by Valentino Cattelan

Highlighting the impact of current globalization on financial markets, this topical book challenges the universality of Western property rights and interprets Islamic finance in Europe as part of a plural financial system, where different conceptions of economic justice(s) co-exist and influence each other.

Chapter 13: Managing Islamic finance vis-à-vis laïcité: the case of France

Ibrahim-Zeyyad Cekici

Subjects: economics and finance, financial economics and regulation, islamic economics and finance


Does Islamic finance undermine the French principle of laïcité? The issue may be controversial considering that, on the one hand, Islamic finance mechanisms are still new for French policy-makers and people and, on the other hand, both the definition and the contents of the principle of laïcité are not unquestioned. For a large proportion of the population, French law is intrinsically devoid of any religiosity. This assumption results from the separation between the state and the churches that occurred in 1905 (Act of the Parliament of 9 December: Loi Concernant la Séparation des Églises et de l’État) in the name of laïcité, which later became one of the fundamental principles of the French Constitution of 1958.1 However, neither the Act of the Parliament of 1905 nor the French Constitution of 1958 provide a unilateral definition of the principle of laïcité, whose contents are usually associated (but do not precisely coincide) with the idea of secularism.

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