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Passion Islam I November 2008 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 11
Islamophobia escalating in UK
prisons, says human rights group
The Islamic Human Rights Commission reported that a large number
(IHRC) expressed deep concern about of the prison cases ‘consist of
an ever-increasing complaints it has been people arbitrarily and without
receiving from Muslim prisons suffering evidence labelled radical’.
from Islamophobia in British jails. But Shadjareh warned that
“The problem is widespread, our ‘fear of radicalization should
caseload is not limited to Whitemoor, not be used as an excuse
Belmarsh and Frankland (top security for legitimizing the rise of
prisons),” IHRC chair Massoud Shadjareh Islamophobia and racism’.
said. “There needs to be more
Complaints ranged from the cooperation with others in
desecration of the holy Qur’an, strip genuinely identifying problem up in 1997 to work in partnership with
searching male inmates in the presence of areas and finding ways to resolve them,” different organisations from Muslim and
female guards armed with video cameras, he suggested. non- Muslim backgrounds, to campaign
removal of legal papers and use of dogs The IHCR is an NGO with special for justice for all peoples regardless
amongst other mistreatment. consultative status with the United Nations of their racial, confessional or political
The London-based human rights group Economic and Social Council. It was set background.
Islamic finance intermediation
explored in world economic crisis
A landmark two-day conference in London Secretary at the Treasury Stephen Timms
to discuss the potential and opportunities and Communities and Local Government
presented by Islamic and ethical finance Minister Sadiq Khan.
in the current financial crisis. Issues considered is whether the
The Islamic Finance and Trade underlining principals of Islamic Finance
Conference, the second organised by the have the potential to contribute to a more
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), brought stable economy.
together key investors and industry Opportunities are also being examined
figures amid a looming global recession of utilising Islamic financial models, like
in the face of a credit crunch and adverse Sukuk bonds, as a catalyst as a model of
developments in financial markets. regeneration and development due to the
“As the current financial crisis momentum of London staging the 2012
threatens to usher in a global recession, Olympic Games and being replicated in
there is a growing recognition of the need other inner cities.
to explore more robust forms of financial The first international conference was
intermediation,” said MCB secretary launched in 2006 with the support of the the forefront of many developments in
general Abdul Bari. Organisation of the Islamic Conference Shari’ah-compliant financial products and
“Islamic finance, with its emphasis (OIC) and the Islamic Development continues to account for a substantial
on asset backed transactions, offers one Bank and included Gordon Brown as the part of the wholesale Islamic finance
such prospect. The time is opportune for principal speaker, when he was Britain’s syndication market.
the UK to investigate how Islamic finance chancellor of the exchequer. According to Standard and Poor’s
can contribute towards overcoming the The initial aim was to showcase the rating agency, the Islamic Finance industry
many challenges posed by the current UK as the gateway for trade with Muslim controls a massive pnds 2.5 trillion (dlrs 4
credit crunch,” Bari said. Countries and to promote London as a trillion) in assets and continues to grow at
Speakers at the conference included key center for Islamic finance. the recession beating rate of around 15
Justice Secretary Jack Straw, Financial The City of London has been at percent annually.
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