But now, onto some bad news from England, that being how Shari’a is continuing to make considerable advances throughout the country. For example, as told by Accountancy magazine (via The Astute Bloggers):
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, caused a furore recently when he said some aspects of Sharia law were ‘unavoidable’ in the UK.
Only time will tell whether that is the case, but what is happening quietly in the bowels of the City of London is the rise of Sharia – or Islamic – finance.
It is not that the moneymen have had a religious conversion. Rather, there is the realisation that there is profit to be made from in the Middle East and south-east Asia from massive infrastructure projects fuelled by oil-driven financial liquidity.
The last few years have seen an explosion in Islamic finance in the UK. In 2004 the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development saw the establishment of the Islamic Bank of Britain, the first wholly Islamic retail bank. This was followed in 2006 by the European Islamic Investment Bank.
Both HSBC and Lloyds TSB have expanded their Islamic finance in the UK.
Even CIMA recently launched a Certificate in Islamic Finance. It offers ‘comprehensive skills’ in areas including Sharia compliance and ‘the complexities of the contracts that underpin this compliance’.
CIMA’s John Willsdon, who runs the course, said: ‘Islamic finance has caught the imagination of a great many people across the world. There is no doubt that the oil wealth amassed in the Middle East and South East Asia has given a tremendous impetus to this relatively new niche in the market.’
Since the launch in December last year, more than 50 students from 13 countries have studied for the certificate