First Published: 2010-04-18

 
Islamic finance restores 'transparency' to banking
 

Islamic banking offers 'accountability', to become 'more acceptable' in non-Muslim countries.

 

Middle East Online

Tun Musa Hitam, head of World Islamic Economic Forum

BRUSSELS - The missing ingredients of "responsibility, transparency and accountability," glaringly absent throughout fraudulent Greek reporting to the EU, were instead to be found in Islamic finance, the head of the World Islamic Economic Forum has said.

"The methodology of Islamic banking will become more acceptable, even without being in Islam," Former Malaysian deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam said.

He cited a surge in the numbers of specialist economic religious ulama, who re-interpret Sharia law for expansion throughout non-Islamic territories.

Sharia prohibits interest on money and re-distributes added value based on goods not paper.

Moody's Investors Service said earlier this month that the Islamic finance industry had a market potential of at least 5.0 trillion dollars -- more than five times its actual 2009 value.

"Seen from the east, from developing countries, we're laughing because they're not doing what they taught us," Tun Musa said of the EU's decision to protect Greece rather than sending Athens to the International Monetary Fund.

"You find that a European nation has adopted anything but good practice, which has resulted in a disaster (and) now the name and the prestige of the European Union is at stake, but more importantly, its economies," he added.

"The normal way of resolving these issues is to go to the IMF. Developing countries do that, but not the EU.

"It's yes, no, maybe every day," he said.

Tun Musa maintained that the Western system where "anything goes in terms of lending and conduct" lay behind the Greek fiscal disaster.

A host of countries, led by Britain but stretching from Italy to Japan and Russia, are planning joint Islamic finance ventures, seen as filling a perceived vacuum in confidence.

The march of Islamic finance will form a major plank of the WIEF's sixth annual conference in Kuala Lumpur next month.

Tun Musa even blamed default in Dubai on the penchant in the Middle East to "look West". A heavy hit endured by Singapore during the Asian financial crisis of a decade ago, was due to the same problem, he added.

"Malaysia was hit least because we did not put our money in the West," he insisted.

Tun Musa said the onus was on Europe to find the political will to face down anti-immigrant, anti-Islam extremists.

Turkey's long-stalled talks on EU accession represented the perfect test if Western and Islamic financial and economic models were to be successfully fused post-crisis.

Europe was "going to lose a huge stabilising community that is playing a very important role as a bridge between the Muslim and the Western world," he warned of a move, led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to pull back from full membership talks.

"There will come a time that the Turks say 'enough is enough, we're going our own way'", he stressed.

 

Erdogan urges world to recognise Jerusalem as Palestinian capital

Gulf pours funds into West Africa anti-jihadist force

US skeptical about Putin's declaration of military victory in Syria

US-led air strikes kill 23 civilians in Syria

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy

Israeli air strikes target Hamas military facilities

Israel union calls nationwide strike over pharmaceutical giant job cuts

UN envoy urges Putin to press Assad for elections

Yemen's Huthi rebels release pro-Saleh media staff

Israel intelligence minister invites Saudi prince to visit

Saudi-led strikes kill 30 in rebel-run Yemen prison

Saudi king says Palestinians have 'right' to Jerusalem

Saudi King says determined to confront corruption

South Sudan needs $1.7 billion humanitarian aid in 2018

UAE oil giant floats 10 percent of retail arm to strong interest

Growing concern about rise of far-right in Austria

Saudi, UAE seeks to help West Africa fight terrorism

Somali journalist dies after Mogadishu bombing

Israeli sentenced to four years for arson attack on church

Erdogan risks sabotaging fragile relations with Israel

6.2-magnitude earthquake strikes Iran

Two Gazans killed by Israeli ‘strike’, Israel denies claim

French FM accuses Iran of carving out ‘axis’ of influence

Over 170 dead after South Sudan rival cattle herders clash

Russia begins partial withdrawal from Syria

Russia weary of returning IS jihadists before World Cup, election

EU accused of complicity in Libya migrant rights violations

Pentagon skeptical about Russia's Syria pullout claims

EU says Syria war ‘ongoing’ despite Russia pullout

Istanbul nightclub gunman refuses to testify

Integrating Syrians in Turkey carries implications

US opinion views Muslims and Arabs more favourably but political affiliation makes a difference

Iranian conservative protesters say Trump hastening end of Israel