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Computer ethics for the computer professional from an Islamic point of view

Mansoor Al‐A'ali (Department of Computer Science, College of Information Technology, University of Bahrain, Kingdom of Bahrain)

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society

ISSN: 1477-996X

Article publication date: 4 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the ethical behaviour of Muslim IT professionals in an attempt to stop many unethical practices such as software piracy, software intellectual property violations and general software development.

Design/methodology/approach

This study examines the computer ethical principles presented in the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) code of conduct from an Islamic point of view through studying some relevant verses of The Holy Quran and Hadiths of Prophet Mohammed. An evaluation of the benefits of this newly proposed Islamic computer code of ethics is presented by surveying how IT students, IT professionals and software house owners would adhere to it. The evaluation was carried out by teaching different groups of participants aspects of the ACM code of conduct and the proposed Islamic computer ethics code and then surveying their opinions by a questionnaire.

Findings

The study demonstrates that teaching computer ethics in general, and computer ethics from an Islamic point of view in particular, clearly contributes to ethical behaviour of Muslim IT professionals with regards to software development issues.

Research limitations/implications

It is not possible to put participants through real life scenarios and practically observe how they would react to different ethical situations. The empirical research thus relies on what participants said they would do.

Practical implications

The newly developed Islamic code of computer ethics and its proposed implementation method can be utilised by organisations for their benefit.

Originality/value

The study is the first to address the issue of computer ethics and Islam for IT professionals. This paper presents a first Islamic computer code of ethics and presents a methodology for applying it. It also reports a study undertaken in Bahrain of how attitudes might be influenced by teaching computer ethics in general, and computer ethics from an Islamic point of view in particular.

Keywords

Citation

Al‐A'ali, M. (2008), "Computer ethics for the computer professional from an Islamic point of view", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 28-45. https://doi.org/10.1108/14779960810866783

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited