Friday, February 01, 2008

`Islamic banking deceptive and not interest-free’

* MCC president says Islamic banking an attempt to deprive Canadian
Muslims of benefits

WASHINGTON: Another controversy involving what is being billed as an
“Islamic” practice has sprung up in Canada with the progressive
Muslim Canadian Congress opposing the so-called shari’a-ordained
banking that the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation wishes to
have studied with a $100,000 grant. In a letter to the Mortgage And
Housing Corporation, the president of the Muslim Canadian Congress (MCC)
Farzana Hassan writes, “Islamic Banking is nothing more than an
attempt by Islamists, with backing from Middle Eastern financial
institutions and their Western partners, to scare Muslim Canadians into
believing that they should pay more to the banks and demand less in
return as an act of religiosity. Sharia Banking is an obscene attempt to
fleece an already marginalised Muslim community while promising them the
exact opposite. On the one hand, Imams are warning Muslims of hell fire
if they deal with the existing banking systems, and on the other, the
same clerics are being paid by banks to herd Muslims towards a system
that is based on lies and deception. What we need is a better deal from
the banks for all Canadians, rather than dividing us up into religious
groups and pacing obstacles in the way of better integration of all
Canadians. Our banking system has developed in Canada over the last 200
years, and there is no need to adapt it to the failed economies and
medieval systems modelled on Saudi Arabia and Iran.” Hassan
regrets that some Canadian banks are succumbing to the lure of easy
money that comes from supposed interest-free banking where customers
receive zero interest on their deposits while paying more to the banks.
“While the banks and their paid imams and sheiks will make handsome
returns, Muslim Canadians will end up as losers, with promises of
rewards in the afterlife. Religion has no place in the banking or
mortgage industry and banks should desist from employing imams or
sheikhs who sanctify so called Islamic bank products and mortgages. We
are not living in the middle ages to get our financial cues from clerics
claiming guidance from the divine.” She quotes from a book by
Muhammad Saleem, a former chief of the Park Avenue Bank in New York, who
wrote, “Islamic banks do not practise what they preach: they all
charge interest, but disguised in Islamic garb. Thus they engage in
deceptive and dishonest banking practises.” Another study by two New
Zeland professors concluded that the effort to introduce sharia banking
“has promoted the spread of anti-modern currents of thought all
across the Islamic world. It has also fostered an environment conducive
to Islamist militancy.” According to them, “Our study, however,
provides new evidence, which shows that, in practice, Islamic deposits
are not interest-free. ” They concluded that the rapid growth in
Islamic banking was “largely driven by the Islamic resurgence
worldwide.” khalid hasan
Courtesy Daily Times

http://www.pakistan Headlines/ feb08/01/ 14.htm
<http://www.pakistan Headlines/ feb08/01/ 14.htm>


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