The British publication “The Banker” has mostly been a cheerleader for Shariah Finance for several years and they have written an article which, while viewing Shariah Finance in a positive light, also points out some of its serious flaws:

• “Greed and selfishness” exist in Shariah Finance just as they do in conventional finance. This basic fact is something that the financial jihadis will never admit.

• There are very few Shariah scholars and this has resulted in the same folks sitting on multiple boards. This is a serious conflict of interest.

• Some Shariah scholars have no financial expertise at all, yet they make decisions involving millions of dollars.

• A lack of uniform standards makes regulation of Shariah Finance problematic at best. Despite denials, some Shariah experts want to keep outsiders in the dark about Shariah.

Of course, there is also one very glaring flaw in “The Banker” article. The article proclaims that Shariah Finance must “benefit society as a whole.” In this case, “The Banker” is quite hypocritical. Each year, “The Banker” publishes its rankings of the Top 500 Islamic Financial Institutions and, each year for the past 3 years, the top Islamic financial institutions are Iranian banks, such as Bank Melli.

Bank Melli is heavily involved in terrorism financing and also financial arrangements in support of proliferation of ballistic missiles and nuclear technology. These activities have resulted in several Iranian banks being put under US, European Union and Australian sanctions.

Exactly how the nefarious activities of the largest Islamic financial institutions in the world fit in with “benefiting society as a whole” is unclear, unless you are on the wrong side and see a nuclear-armed Iran which sponsors terrorism as a good thing.

http://www.thebanker.com/news/fullstory.php/aid/6968/Islamic_banking_must_be_handled_with_care.html?

 

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