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Thursday, 29 December 2011

Kashmir Aspires to Islamic Banking

Aspiring for a share of the booming industry, a leading Muslim leader has called for establishing an Islamic banking system in the Muslims-majority valley of Kashmir, reported the Greater Kashmirnewspaper.
“We will not refrain from meeting RBI [Reserve Bank of India] and other government agencies if needed for establishing Islamic Banking,” Mirwaiz Umar Farooq,  chairman of Hurriyat Conference, told reporters.
“We have to make serious efforts for it and soon we will constitute a team of economists to come up with the contours of establishing the system.”
Islamic banks escaped relatively unscathed world economic crisis as the religion prohibits subprime investing.
Islam forbids Muslims from usury, receiving or paying interest on loans.
Islamic banks and finance institutions cannot receive or provide funds for anything involving alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco, weapons or pork.
Shari`ah-compliant financing deals resemble lease-to-own arrangements, layaway plans, joint purchase and sale agreements, or partnerships.
The Islamic banking system is being practiced in 50 countries worldwide, making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the global financial industry.
A long list of international institutions, including Citigroup, HSBC and Deutsche Bank, are going into the Islamic banking business.
“Even non-Muslim countries in Europe and America have established Islamic Banking, why should not it be done here?” asked Farooq, who is also the patron of the Muttahida Majlis Ulema.
“Financial experts in the West opine that economic crisis can be overcome only by adopting the economic system suggested by Islam.”
Currently, there are nearly 300 Islamic banks and financial institutions worldwide whose assets are predicted to grow to $1 trillion by 2013.
“Jammu and Kashmir is a Muslim majority state and we need to speed up our efforts for introduction of Islamic Banking.”
Kashmir is divided into two parts and ruled by India and Pakistan, which have fought two of their three wars since the 1947 independence over the region.
Pakistan and the UN back the right of the Kashmir people for self-determination, an option opposed by New Delhi.
More than 60,000 people have been killed since Kashmiris took up arms against the Indian rule in 1989.
New Delhi has consistently rejected any foreign mediation to solve the Kashmir conflict, leaving Kashmiris empty-handed.



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