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Islamic finance 'associated with radical Islam' and UK government should not be promoting it

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Issued by the Christian Concern

 

News Release
Christian Legal Centre
03 November 2016
 

Islamic finance 'associated with radical Islam' and UK government should not be promoting it 

"ISLAMIC finance is associated with radical Islam and should not be promoted by the British Government."

So claims Christian Concern, which in a new resource ('What’s wrong with Islamic finance?') published today (03 NOV) outlines ten key problems with Islamic finance.

The publication comes against the backdrop of the UK's growing embrace of Islamic finance. The UK government has been promoting Islamic finance for a number of years, and in 2013 then Prime Minister David Cameron said:

"I want London to stand alongside Dubai and Kuala Lumpur as one of the great capitals of Islamic finance anywhere in the world."

In 2014, the UK made history by becoming the first non-Muslim country in the world to issue a sovereign Islamic bond. Britain is now the largest provider of Islamic finance courses in the world and today there are over 20 lenders in the UK offering Islamic finance services.
 

'Uncritical and concerning embrace'

But this embrace has been uncritical and raises serious concerns, says Christian Concern's Tim Dieppe, who wrote the booklet.

Mr Dieppe, who is Director of Islamic Affairs at Christian Concern, says that so-called 'Islamic finance' is in fact based on a recent interpretation that the Qur'an prohibits all forms of interest. The real agenda is to promote Islamic segregation, he says:

"In fact, Muslims have borrowed and lent money with interest throughout history, and most still do so today. The idea that the Qur’an prohibits interest is a modern radical interpretation of the Qur’an which is intended to promote Islamic segregation and to create a separate, rival financial system. It also aims at increasing the influence of sharia law more generally."
 

'Rival financial system'

In light of his analysis, laid out in the 24-page booklet, Mr Dieppe is calling on the British Government and Western financial institutions to face up to the problems of Islamic finance and reject it, saying:

"We aim to expose the deceptive nature of Islamic finance. Deceptive because it is based on a modern radical interpretation of the Qur’an, and because it is not supported by most Muslims.

"Islamic finance aims to create a separate, rival financial system and work against the integration of Muslims into Western society. It increases the influence of sharia law which is inherently discriminatory against both women and non-Muslims. Islamic finance disadvantages Muslims through increased complexity of financial products and transaction costs. It is not supported by most Muslims.

"It is time for the government and our financial institutions to wake up to the pitfalls and problems with Islamic finance and to stop promoting separate Islamic financial products.

"Islamic finance was a key component of the Cameron-Osborne approach to the economy, but it came with huge risks. It promised easy access to finance, but built on dangerous foundations.

"Theresa May has already signalled her willingness to look at large-scale financial commitments made under the previous leadership. Now we need the prime minister and chancellor to review the UK's promotion of Islamic finance and the resulting, subversive effects of supporting the influence of sharia law in our economic system.

"There is no separate Christian finance, Jewish finance, Hindu finance or secular finance. Why have we allowed Islam to claim a separate form of finance which works to hinder the integration of Muslims in our society?"

Copies of the booklet and a short video outlining the issues involved are available at: www.christianconcern.com/islamicfinance

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