Gulf states are working towards the creation of a single Sharia board for the region’s Islamic financial institutions, said Hussain Hamed Hassan, head of Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC’s Sharia committee and chairman of the Sharia Coordination Committee of the Islamic Financial Institutions in the UAE.

Speaking at the launch of Hawkamah Institute’s policy brief on corporate governance of Islamic banks and Islamic financial institutions, Hassan said creation of a supreme Sharia council will help in co-ordinating the rulings of various Sharia councils and supervisory boards in the region and will reduce the possibility of differences.

There are two obvious concerns about this proposed scheme:

1. Having all Shariah-Compliant Financial institutions governed by a single board creates clear risks for collusion at the very least. A Shariah financial cartel could be a financial OPEC which serves no one’s interests.

2. The fact that this scheme is even being promoted illustrates that Shariah Finance is in fact opposed to free enterprise and naturally gravitates toward centralized economics.



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