Accountability practices in Islamic charities in Scotland a critical and postmodern perspective
Mohamed, Hussain Etbiga
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Some researchers in the field of accounting have studied the interrelationship between religious values and accounting. Little, however, has been conducted on the values of religions that might inspire change and development of accounting in minority contexts. The overall image that emerges from the literature is that its primary focus is on religious organisations rather than the religious values themselves. In Islamic accounting, attention has been paid to the role of accounting and its functions but not on how accounting can be changed by these values. Further, most of the literature focuses on how the Islamic business environment is influenced by Western accounting practices/standards. This thesis investigates the role of Islamic values in shaping accountability practices in the Islamic charitable sector in Scotland. Also, how the adoption of these values could help in advancing accountability practices by empowering the disadvantaged and marginalised stakeholder groups by giving them a voice in the accountability process and the power to demand accountability. As postmodern research challenges the form and the content of dominant models of knowledge, the study adopts a theological position (Islam) that has a dimension that is interested in a project of emancipation. Some forms of accounting and accountability are inconsistent with this theological position while some are. This study adopts an Islamic theoretical position that appreciates the universality of Islamic principles, as well as the particularity of these principles in practice. This theoretical position is based on the dynamic nature of shariah as a problem-solving methodology and guiding force rather than fixed (objective) rules and standards. The study has some implications for the accountability practices of Islamic charities in Scotland. The adoption of new accountability mechanisms would facilitate the participation of the public. For religion to aid the oppressed and marginalised in their struggles for a better life, these people should be consulted and engaged in the accountability process. There is still a need for improvement in terms of the form and content of Islamic charities' reporting and disclosure practices.