October 22

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ISLAMIC ALTERNATIVES to Interest-Based Banking and Finance

Waheed Qaiser - Gohar Bilal - Tarek El Diwany


Today, the necessity of repaying interest-bearing debt has come to dominate the daily affairs of rich and poor societies alike. Many nations face a combination of debt and monetary crises from which, at best, only temporary respite is available. The emergence of Islamic banking and finance has therefore been heralded in some quarters as an exciting new means of competing with interest-based practices throughout the world. Its proponents insist that this nascent industry genuinely reflects both the Islamic prohibition upon usury and the wider requirements of Islamic commercial law. Others see the industry as a dangerous force for compromise, one that will in due course lead to the abandonment of the usury prohibition in the Muslim world.

Is Islamic banking and finance any different to conventional banking and finance? And what does Islam have to offer the world of monetary reform? At this session of the Forum for Stable Currencies, three speakers from a diverse range of Muslim opinions provide their answers on topics from money creation to Islamic mortgages.

Waheed Qaiser is an accomplished Islamic Banker and a management professional. Mr Qaiser is credited with providing Islamic Mortgages to the Muslims and other Communities in the West. He has held responsible positions in CitiBank NA, Islamic Investment Banking Unit, UBS AG and HSBC Republic. Mr Qaiser is currently supporting various other organisations to promote the cause of Islamic Banking globally.

Tarek El Diwany currently runs his own company for business research and software development. After his studies of accounting and finance, he became a derivatives dealer and private financial market consultant, before he was Head of Islamic Finance at one of the largest international broking companies in the City.

Gohar Bilal is a structured finance professional with a focus on Islamic finance. She is the European representative of Harvard Islamic Finance Information Program and a Visiting Scholar of the Harvard Law School's Islamic Legal Studies Program.  Her articles on Islamic Mortgages have appeared in Mortgage Finance Gazette.

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