|“People of the faith looking for alternative investment destinations”|
CHENNAI: Introduction of Islamic banking in India can attract trillions of dollars belonging to Muslims and now invested in the United States and the west Europe, according to an expert in Islamic banking.
People of the faith, particularly those in West Asia, are looking for alternative investment destinations, fearing the U.S. will continue with its uneconomic retaliatory measures for the September 11, 2001 attacks, said Monzer Kahf, a financial and investment consultant in the U.S.
The flow of such funds out of the U.S. and west Europe had begun.
Though Singapore recently amended its laws to introduce Islamic banking, India would benefit more, since it was a production base, , he told an interactive session on `interest free banking and finance,’ organised here on Friday by Jamaat-E-Islami Hind.
Dr. Kahf had drafted Shariah contents of Islamic finance agreements, by-laws and operational systems for Islamic financial institutions in the U.S. He won the Islamic Development Bank prize for Islamic Economics 2001 and served in the U.N. Institute of Planning in Damascus and the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah.
Though there was no concept of interest on the loans extended under the Islamic banking system, it still was not a case of free lunch or charity.
“We are talking of money … not … of loans,” he said.
The concept was based on a different paradigm. Islamic banking started in 1973. A year later the first bank was formed. The total assets of the Islamic banks world over were $300 billion.
According to Mohammed Ismail Shariff, a director of Kuwait Finance House, which is the first wholly foreign owned Islamic bank in Malaysia, non-Muslims accounted for a majority of the customers of such banks.
The Islamic banks were essentially engaged in major financing.
source : The Hindu