Authors: Rania Kamla and Hussain G. Rammal
The study examines social reporting by Islamic banks with special emphasis on themes related to social justice. By using critical theory and ‘immanent critique’, the study attempts to explain and delineate reasons for disclosures and silences in Islamic banks’ annual reports and websites vis-à-vis social justice. Using Content analysis of annual reports and websites of 19 Islamic banks, the study finds that Islamic banks’ disclosures emphasis their religious character through claims that they adhere to Sharia’s teachings. Their disclosures, however, lack specific or detailed information regarding schemes or initiatives vis-à-vis poverty eradication or enhancing social justice.
The study fills a gap in both social accounting and Islamic accounting literatures with its emphasis on social justice and poverty eradication. The study contributes to the very scarce literature linking religion (especially Islam), critical theory, social accounting and Islamic accounting. It goes beyond previous research in Islamic accounting literature by exposing contradictions in the Islamic banking industry’s rhetoric regarding their social role in society.