Leicester hosts Islamic banking course

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The Independent Online
A FIVE-DAY intensive introductory course in Islamic banking and economics is to be held in Leicester in November, writes Paul Gosling.

The Koran - the Islamic book of prayer and instruction - prohibits the payment or receipt of interest, requiring Muslims to find alternative systems of lending and borrowing.

Dr Abdelkader Chachi of the Islamic Foundation, organisers of the course, said: 'Islamic banking is interest-free, based on a profit and loss sharing alternative, with no guaranteed return. A bank could get a high return, a low return, or no return. The bank becomes more involved in how a business is run, which cuts down the rate of bankruptcy, and helps the borrower to know that he is not over-burdened.'

Islamic banking can also provide alternatives to traditional mortgages. A property is purchased jointly by an individual and a bank, with the bank holding shares in the property up to 85 per cent of the value. The bank's shares are sold to the individual at an agreed price over an agreed period.

There are no Islamic banks based in Britain, following the Bank of England's closure in June of the Albaraka Bank because of concerns over its structure. However, there are rumours of a new Islamic bank being established and Muslims can use international banks, such as the Islamic Bank of Denmark.

Although many Muslims lost money in the collapse of first BCCI and then Mount Bank, both were conventional rather than Islamic banks.

Details of the course can be obtained by phoning 0530 244944.

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