chapter  8
8 Pages


Through research and analysis of Islamic development in the occupied Palestinian territories, there is little in the way of evidence to suggest a new development paradigm is emerging. We should not be surprised by this and if we look at the comparative models used in this book, we can see that Islamic mechanisms in other countries are constrained by rigid national policies, political interference (particularly charities) competition in the broader framework and macroeconomic restraints. In the Islamic financial sector in general, a tension exists between the need to fulfil ethical obligations based on Islamic principles and a desire to be part of the macroeconomic framework. To affirm, then, Islamic development through the mechanisms identified in this book has evidenced several core features: adaption to the dominant framework; imposing rigid methods based on a perceived historical notion of Islam in defiance of the dominant paradigm; having minimal effect due to the conditions in which they exist; and through the application of hierarchical ‘development’ framework, an inability to adapt to the conditions. In the case study, due to the imposition of policies related to the occupation, Palestinians have no control over border access, resources or movement within the oPt. This has been compounded by the application of a ‘development’ model based on neoliberal principles, which instead of promoting a balance as seen in Malaysia per se, or attending to local needs, has reinforced the rigidity of the framework. What this means is that under occupation where the framework is controlled by Israel, bouts of violence, international intervention or periods of economic growth occur within the limited boundaries of the equilibrium, as there is little potential for dynamic interaction (positive feedback) to occur given Israel’s ability to adjust the framework. Instead of helping to break this, the application of a rigid development strategy that includes a series of conditional regulations has therefore reinforced rigidity and ultimately restricted the steps that Palestinians can take when attempting to adjust to the already constrained framework. This has ensured that large parts of society are unable to gain full access to financial mechanisms such as Islamic finance, Islamic microfinance and Islamic charity, as they exist within the same parameters. The imposition of such policies does not support self-organisation and this has placed Palestinians of the West Bank and Gaza within a ‘rigid stable attractor’.