Learning Islamic finance

A growth opportunity: Sharia-compliant finance is now a $950-billion industry

MOSAB OMAR/REUTERS

Starting in September, students can enrol in Canada’s first university course in Islamic finance. Walid Hejazi, the professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management who is developing the three-day program to begin in January 2011, says it will cater to executives who “want to get an edge to differentiate themselves.” Participants will study sharia-compliant financial instruments (Islamic law prohibits usury), as well as the legal and tax implications of Islamic finance.

Hejazi says Canada has been slipping as an attractive locale to foreign investors and that one solution would be to develop sharia finance, pointing to the growth of this $950-billion industry in places like London, England. “A large portion of the people that are attracted to these sharia-compliant securities are in fact not Muslims,” he says. “These are just securities that have a different set of characteristics that anybody can use.”




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Learning Islamic finance

  1. Pork products, alcohol and Israel may be anathema to Sharia compliant financial instruments but one thing that will never be an obstacle to them is "Jihad". In fact, following the rules of divinely sanctioned Zakat, 2.5% of proceeds must go to acceptable charities – including “Jihad effort in the path of Allah”. Check out a mainstream Islamic website like http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/zakat.htm
    and you'll find that this means “buy arms or some other supplies related to the war effort, Zakat money should be used provided the effort is to raise the banner of Islam.”
    Scratch the surface and everything associated with “Sharia” is retrograde and should have no place in the west. Shame on the U of T.

  2. Islamic finance and Zakat have no relationship. HSBC, CITI Bank, Lloyds TSB have large Islamic finance division and they pay no Zakat. Zakat is paid individually and almost all Canadians who pay Zakat give it to the poor and registered canadian charities to get a tax deductible receipt.

    The connection of Zakaat and Islamic finance is simply fear mongering.

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