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10 I LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS Passion Islam I October 2008
Islamic Finance set to
soar in troubled market
The unprecedented market volatility could the UK will also be attributed to their more corporations. In contrast, it claims, their
spark renewed vigour in Islamic banking conservative approach to financing, as the Western banking counterparts hit hard
and Shariah compliant products, BDO risks are shared with the investor, much by the credit crunch continue to constrict
Stoy Hayward says. The accountancy like the private equity model. In addition, their lending policies.
and financial adviser firm claims investors it is more difficult for Islamic financial Currently 20 major international banks
will seek alternative financial products operating in the UK have set up units to
with less risk in markets it describes as provide Islamic financial services and
the most volatile since the 1930s. have been joined by five stand alone
Dan Taylor, head of banking at BDO Islamic banks. There are five Islamic
Stoy Hayward, says: “As the risk profile financial institutions in Switzerland, while
of Islamic banks is generally lower than France and Luxembourg each have four.
conventional western banks, this presents “In light of the market turmoil, we
a more solid option for both retail and could expect the number of stand-alone
institutional investors and suggests that institutions to use leverage; therefore their Islamic financial institutions present in the
dealings with Islamic financial institutions risk profile is naturally lower.” UK to double over the next three years,
will grow dramatically as people According to the firm, Islamic banks further reaffirming London’s position as
switch to more secure products in this are among the few financial institutions the pre-eminent centre of choice for the
environment. that still have significant sums of money provision of Islamic Finance,” adds Taylor.
“Further growth of Islamic banking in available to finance individuals and - IFAonline
Two-thirds of UK media portray
Muslims “a threat” research finds
Two thirds of newspaper stories in the Muslims.”
UK portray British Muslims since 2000 as The notion of Islamophobia was
“a threat” or “problem,” according to new said to have “scarcely featured as
research. a news topic” in 2001 and 2005.
A forty-page report, entitled Images of A significant yet subtle shift in
Islam in the UK, showed that the press in stories involved a steady increase
the UK increasingly utilize negative and in the proportion which focus on
stereotypical imagery about Muslims. religious and cultural differences,
The authors, the Cardiff School to such a degree that by 2008
of Journalism, Media and Cultural these stories had overtaken
Studies, found that British tabloids and terrorism as the single largest
broadsheets sought to engage with the subject matter.
“routine, everyday coverage of British It was argued that this change
Muslims” over and above the coverage in focus reflects the shift in British
which occurred around key events. government policy, under the cloak
Coverage of British Muslims was also of its “community cohesion” framework,
shown to have increased significantly year which quietly insinuates that ‘British’ and
replaced by mosques, and Sharia law
on year, and by 2006 had reached a level ‘Muslim’ are mutually exclusive identities.
would soon be implemented.”
twelve times higher than that in 2000. The consequence was that coverage
The perception of Islam as a threat or a
The authors describe how such a about anti-Muslim racism and attacks on
problem was further enhanced by the
coverage generated a momentum all of its British Muslims has vastly reduced from
choice of descriptive language in the
own, “lasting well beyond and independent 10 per cent in 2000 to only 1 per cent in
articles surveyed.
of” newsworthy events. 2008.
The most common nouns employed
At the same time, the report found that In comparison with four of the five most
in relation to Islam or Muslims were
the context in which British Muslims were common story threads associating Islam
‘terrorist’ or ‘extremist’ whilst the
portrayed was of a consistently negative and Muslims “with threats, problems or
most widely used adjectives included
nature. in opposition to dominant British values,”
‘fanatical’, ‘fundamentalist’, ‘radical’
The main focus for a third of stories only 2 per cent suggested “that Muslims
and ‘militant.’ Overall, “references to
on British Muslims was either terrorism supported dominant moral values.”
radical Muslims outnumber references to
or the ‘war on terror.’ Eleven per cent of In particular, the report highlighted a
moderate Muslims by 17 to one” and was
all stories focused on Muslim extremism, number of articles which frame Britain as
consistently used by both broadsheet and
while in stark contrast, only 5 per cent “becoming a place of Muslim-only, ‘no-
tabloid newspapers.
covered “attacks on or problems for British go’ areas, where churches were being
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