Dr Benedikt Koehler is the author of Early Islam and the Birth of Capitalism. At the Conservatives & Reformists Summit in Antalya 2016 he analysed why the Islamic tradition is important for everyone:
Mohammed started something that had never existed in society before. He was a leader who used economics as a tool to shape society. And ever since Mohammed did that, that has not left.
Koehler proposed the thesis that early Islam made a seminal but largely unrecognized contribution to the history of economic thought: it is the only religion founded by an entrepreneur. Descending from an elite dynasty of religious, civil and commercial leaders, Mohammed was a successful businessman before founding Islam. As such, the new religion had much to say on trade, consumer protection, business ethics and property.
AECR Secretary-General Daniel Hannan added:
It is quite wrong to see free markets as some kind of Western imposition on the Arab world. Islam was the one great religion that was founded by a businessman. […] If anything is a Western imposition in North Africa and the Middle East, it is the failed ideology of socialism.