Morality involves differentiating right from wrong and making judgements. Islamic teaching can guide these judgements, enabling the faithful to appreciate what is halal and avoid the temptations of the haram. This moral code can be applied to economic choices, with Islamic teaching providing guidance for policy makers. In particular those framing economic policy should be aware of the social consequences of their decisions. Economic power, like political power, brings responsibility, and ultimately policy makers will be accountable to the Almighty for their actions. Economic policy making has moral implications and cannot be considered value free. There will inevitably be winners and losers from fiscal policy choices, but it would be unjust if the rich gain at the expense of the poor. Islam provides for wealth redistribution through zakat and has strict rules on inheritance, but the faithful should also be concerned with wider tax and government spending policies in the realm of macroeconomics. Similarly at the microeconomic level competition policy and the workings of markets should be viewed through a spiritual prism. Where the poor get priced out of markets, should prices be reduced through subsidies or is it better to provide social security payments to empower the excluded? If the choices can be validated as being consistent with Islamic teaching, this may make the unpalatable involving sacrifice and short-term hardship more acceptable provided in the longer term the policies bring social justice.
Brandon A. Sullivan, Jeremy M. Wilson and Rodney Kinghorn
Product counterfeiting represents a growing, global risk that poses many negative consequences for consumers, businesses, governments, national security, the economy, and society. Research suggests that the first step in formulating effective strategies to combat such crime is to understand what shapes the nature of the criminal opportunity. The chapter begins with a general overview of the scope of the illicit trade in counterfeit goods, including connections to transnational organized criminal enterprises and terrorist organizations. The consequences of product counterfeiting are then discussed, followed by the factors shaping opportunities for this crime, including global consumerism, cultural awareness, profit potential, technological advances, low-risk crime, supply chain complexity, and lack of awareness. The chapter concludes with a review of the need for further research to better understand the risk of and opportunity for product counterfeiting.