Muslimske studenter i Storbritannia protesterer mot forhøyede studiekostnader og høyere lånerenter, og sier det tvinger dem til å bryte forbudet mot renter.
Hittil har renten tilsvart inflasjonen, men nå skal renten ligge 3 prosent over. Det kaller muslimske studenttalsmenn for åger, og forbudt innen islam. De vil ha ordninger som tillater dem å omgå rentene. Men foreløpig har ikke myndighetene noe slikt på plass.
Det skriver Soeren Kern i hudson-ny.org.
The dispute over interest-bearing student loans follows stepped-up demands for Sharia-compliant banking and insurance as well as credit cards, mortgages and pension funds. Taken together, they reflect the gradual establishment of parallel Islamic financial and legal systems in Britain and other parts of Europe.
A long-awaited review of higher education in Britain, also known as the Lord Browne Report, recently concluded that raising tuition and shifting the financial burden from taxpayers to graduates was the best way to ensure the financial sustainability of the British university system.
As part of the reforms, the new system requires graduates who earn above £21,000 ($35,000) to pay interest on student loans of up to 3 percent above inflation.
According to the London-based Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), this is unacceptable for the estimated 90,000 Muslim university students in Britain. In an interview with the Independent daily newspaper, a FOSIS spokesman said: «Under Islamic law interest is seen as something that is prohibited. Previously, the interest rate was at the market rate of inflation. The problem now is that the interest is above the market rate. Because the rate of interest is above the rate of inflation, it is quite blatant usury.»
Britiske banker har ellers kommet muslimer i møte ved å tilby lån, investeringsfond og pensjonsfond uten renter. Faktisk er Storbritannia et foregangsland innen islamsk finanstilbud.
In June, a British company launched a Sharia-compliant pension fund that will enable Muslims to save for retirement in compliance with Islamic principles. Pointon York, an independent financial services company based in Leicestershire in central England, said it would begin offering four Sharia-compliant Self-Invested Personal Pensions (SIPP) products that do not bear interest or invest in companies that trade in alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco or weapons.
As of 2012, the British government will also begin offering Muslim workers a Sharia-compliant pension fund in the public sector. A new government agency, the National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), will give Muslims who do not already have a company pension the option of investing in the HSBC Life Amanah Pension Fund, a Sharia-compliant pension scheme.
Muslim families in Britain can already acquire Sharia-compliant baby bonds under the British government’s Child Trust Fund scheme. In 2008, Britain’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) authorized the establishment of the country’s first Islamic insurance company as well as the country’s first Sharia-compliant MasterCard, called the Cordoba Gold MasterCard.
The new financial products are seeking to fill the growing demand for Sharia-compliant financial products in Britain in the wake of Muslim mass immigration to the country.
Det bor 2,8 millioner muslimer i Storbritannia, tilsvarende 4,6 % av befolkningen. Tallet er ventet å dobles de neste tyve år.
With $19 billion in reported Islamic banking assets, Britain’s Islamic finance sector ranks number one in Europe, and number nine in the world. It dwarfs those sectors of some states where Islam is the main religion, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey and Egypt, according to a new report titled «The City UK Islamic Finance 2011.»
More than 20 banks in Britain now offer Islamic finance products and there are five fully Islamic banks in the country. More than 30 Islamic funds are managed from Britain, and over 20 law firms supply services in Islamic finance. In addition, there are 55 colleges and professional institutions offering education in Islamic finance in Britain – more than anywhere else in the world.
Britiske myndigheter stimulerer utviklingen av et bankvesen basert på islamske prinsipper og ser på det som en mulighet til å ekspandere i Det utvidede Midtøsten.
The establishment of London as a global center for Islamic finance is being actively promoted by the British government, which has extended tax relief on Sharia-compliant mortgages to companies and has made it easier to trade in Islamic bonds known as Sukuk. There were five Sukuk listings at the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in 2010 and three so far in 2011, bringing the aggregate total at the LSE to 33 listings worth nearly $20 billion.
A British government investment promotion agency, the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), recently formed the UK Islamic Finance Secretariat (UKIFS), a lobbying group to further the industry’s development and push for the issuance of the first British sovereign Islamic bond. For the first time ever, the UKTI and the UKIFS set up a fully fledged British pavilion at the recent World Islamic Banking Conference (WIBC) in Bahrain.
Bankvesenet og pensjonsfond er bare en side av utviklingen av et sharia-system på britisk jord. Det skjer en tilpasning til muslimske prinsipper innen styre og forvaltning som bidrar til utvikling av et parallellsamfunn.
The growth of Islamic finance comes as other aspects of Sharia law are becoming enshrined in the British legal system. At least 85 Islamic Sharia courts are now operating in the country. A recent study titled «Sharia Law or ‘One Law for All’?» found that scores of unofficial tribunals and councils regularly apply Islamic law to resolve domestic, marital and business disputes, many operating in mosques.
The report warns of a «creeping» acceptance of Sharia principles in British law.
For flere linker gå til orginalartikkelen:
Muslims in Britain Demand Sharia-Compliant Student Loans
by Soeren Kern
August 29, 2011 at 5:00 am