China and its diaspora are abuzz this month with festivities tied to the Lunar New Year, celebrating the last animal in the zodiac, the pig. And while that may not spark much controversy in many countries, it does at least raise an eyebrow across the Islamic world. Swine are identified as “haram” or “forbidden” in … Continue reading Does the ‘Year of the Pig’ Tread on Muslims?
The ability to live freely, according to a chosen faith, is a core American value. But for US Muslims, there is an inherent conflict between religion and citizenship, given hostility toward Islam. Threading My Prayer Rug adds a deeply personal—and uniquely Pakistani—twist to resolving this dilemma. With this heartfelt memoir, Sabeeha Rehman actually wrote three … Continue reading Pakistani Diaspora Thrives in America
Populism may sustain stock prices on the Istanbul stock exchange, despite the 45% gain in US dollar terms since the beginning of the year. Our logic is tethered to the view that President Erdogan is looking for a decisive victory in the November 2019 election. That vote seems like a distant prospect. The campaign, however, … Continue reading Investors Find Comfort in Turkish Equities
Vietnam-based Vietjet is no ordinary airline. It has carved out consumer awareness of its brand by featuring bikini-clad flight attendants. The gimmick has worked for its female founder; Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao became a billionaire after the airline’s initial public offering in February. But minimalist uniforms are not export-friendly, at least to the Islamic world. … Continue reading Bikinis Deflected From Indonesian Airspace
Currency-depreciation rumors are playing out in Pakistan, with the rupee tumbling over 3.0% in mid-week trading. The realignment is provoked, at least fundamentally, by a deteriorating external account. But it is exacerbated by faltering confidence in the government. Prime Minister Sharif is under investigation for money-laundering allegations. There is good news behind the veil of … Continue reading Pakistan Lures Bargain Hunters
Institutional names worldwide appear to be resisting an anticipated mega-sukuk to be offered by Saudi Arabia. If successful, the $10 billion sale would be the largest-ever, dollar-denominated Islamic bond offering. The problem is a complex hybrid structure, more commonly understood in Bahrain or Kuala Lumpur, than London or New York. The Kingdom wants to see … Continue reading Saudi Sukuk Delay Signals Investor Unease
Muslim-friendly dining apps are a logical extension of the internet economy. But companies may quickly discover that their niche market is being overwhelmed with competition from unexpected players. The good news is that there are plenty of case studies on which ummah-focused startups can rely for business-strategy perspective. The bad news is that cities like … Continue reading Looking for a Halal Restaurant?
Modest fashion is the talk of London this week. The haute couture end of the abaya and burkini business dazzled Muslims and non-Muslims alike during the first-ever London Modest Fashion Week. Are there investible ideas to be found in the buzz? The target market certainly exists. The world’s Muslim population may reach 2.2 billion by … Continue reading Muslim Hipsters Transform Garment Trade
Cash-laden Muslim travelers are thinking twice about where they spend their discretionary income. Although US judicial authorities have affirmed a block on the executive order that banned arrivals from selected Muslim nations, the damage to the US hospitality sector may already be done. The lure of new-era tourism centers, like Dubai and Kuala Lumpur, can … Continue reading Halal Tourism Gains From American Exclusionism
Policymakers across the Islamic crescent are boosting their local asset-management industries by developing Shariah-compliant retirement plans. While still nascent, the trend reflects the growing size of faith-based financial planning in increasingly-prosperous Muslim societies. Malaysia is cited as a leader in the field, but that view may belie awareness in other nations, including Pakistan and Turkey. … Continue reading Halal Pension Funds Transform Muslim World