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Monday, 10 September 2007

Swedish Banks Urged to Adopt Shari’a

According to Islam, it’s prohibited to receive or pay interest on loans. Therefore Stockholm’s integration council wants Swedish banks to offer so-called Islamic banking to the groups which, for religious reasons, don’t want traditional bank services. Kristina Alvendal of the Moderate party is on the integration council of Stockholm.“We are many Swedes who take cash cards, saving money for our children and buying our own residences for granted. But for many new Swedes this is impossible today. Therefore, it is very important to inspire the banks. It’s about making it possible for people of Muslim belief to act the same way we do.” According to Islam, neither lending nor borrowing money with interest involved is allowed. With Islamic Banking, interest is replaced by permanent installments or by leasing agreements where the customer pays amortization. Today, there is Islamic banking in fifty countries but in Sweden, the interest in this has been weak. Mostafa Kharraki, chairman of Sveriges muslimska råd [Sweden’s Muslim council] hopes that Stockholm’s request will make the Swedish banks change their minds.“I think it’s very good that [Stockholm] is trying to convince the banks”But why should Swedish banks adapt to Shari’a?“It’s not about that. It’s about giving opportunities to citizens who live in this country.”What could this mean?“It means a lot. One gets more involved with the majority of the population, more engaged, and economically takes better care.” - GOV, 9 Sep 07)
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