Young Muslims, one of the newest groups to make inroads in American finance, can face steep barriers to entry. Some obstacles are remnants of a less tolerant era. But prominent, too, are the limitations of Islam itself — a faith whose tenets, Muslim workers say, often seem at odds with Wall Street’s sometimes bacchanalian culture.
Granted, for the many Muslims in New York and elsewhere who have made peace with a more secular culture, working on Wall Street may not pose any problem. And Muslims, of course, aren’t the only ones whose values can clash with the ways of Wall Street. Orthodox Jews, conservative Christians and other faithful working in finance have all, at one point, had to square their beliefs and practices with an environment in which money, not God, is king.
But for observant Muslims hoping to keep the values and practices of Islamic law, known as Sharia, intact even as they climb the ladder, the calculus can be messy.