Reviewing Malaysia’s Islamic financial system and its way forward
THE year 2003 marks the 20th anniversary of the setting up of the first Islamic bank in Malaysia, namely Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd. Such an important anniversary calls for reflection on what we have achieved over two decades and where do we go from here.
Ibn Khaldun reminds us in his Muqaddimah (opening remark) that social justice, rules of laws, property rights, a culture of tolerance and cooperation among various constituents, a willingness to innovate and economic strategies which target growth and development with equity are all crucial and inter-dependent elements that form the enabling environment to strive for success, both in this world and in the next.
In the context of our pursuit of a well-rounded development in a multi-religious environment, Malaysia adopted the approach of gradually implementing a dual financial system — an Islamic financial system functioning in parallel with the conventional one. Today, we are beginning to see the maturing of the Islamic financial system into a more usable and pragmatic system that goes beyond the textbooks and theories which were popular in the 1970s and 1980s.
Taken From: http://www.emedia.com.my/Current_News/BTimes
Influence of Islamic gardens at the Pasadena Showcase House of Design in U.S
So much of what we take for granted in ourSouthern California gardens - courtyard fountains, fragrant flowers, sweet citrus, geometric path ways, beautiful decorative tiles and urns -- have their roots in gardens of antiquity. And many of the gardens at the 2003 Pasadena Showcase House of Design exemplify this. Inspired by the 1923 Mediterranean Revival two-story, 19-room estate, some of the exterior designers have chosen to portray Islamic pleasure gardens in keeping with Moorish decorative elements of the mansion. Catherine Downes, owner of California Garden Design in Pasadena, decided the mansion's existing sunken garden was the ideal setting for a pleasure garden, an Islamic expression of an enclosed meditative space in which the fortunate owner could experience delight from all the senses.
One faith, many faces
Look out Essence, Marie Claire and Glamour: There's a new magazine competing for women's attention. It's called Azizah. And this multiracial, multiethnic quarterly by and about ''muslimah,'' as Muslim women are called in Arabic, goes beyond the inaccurate but persistent portrayals of them as silent, inactive doormats.In Azizah, a Muslim woman can be aNew York City corrections officer, a business entrepreneur, or a former prime minister ofPakistan. She may dress traditionally in loose-fitting clothes and covered hair, or don Western gear and wear her locks unfettered.The media plays a role in continuing stereotypes by depicting Muslim women primarily as Arabs -- even though statistics from the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations show that most of the 5 to 7 million Muslims in the United States aren't from the Middle East. According to the council, 30 percent are African-American, 33 percent are of South Central Asian descent, and 25 percent are of Arabian descent.
Taken From: http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/
Sheikh Prof. Abdul Ghafoor Al-Busaidy, the chairman of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) has said that his umbrella organization encompasses 50 Islamic societies and organizations that are working for the welfare and well-being of the Muslim community in the country. He said that apart from that, the organization is also concerned with gaining more and more reverts to Islam, adding that the Muslims already form 35 percent of the Kenyan population. He said that his organization has devised a clear strategy for dealing with any anti-Islam and anti-Muslim propaganda.
Prof. Abdul Ghafoor said his organization has been striving to build as many Islamic schools as possible, and is being helped in these efforts by such organizations as the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL) and the Azhar Shariff, adding that the Center for Training Dais is one of them, and it is now training Da’awa activists in the proper propagation of the Message of Islam, in keeping with the contemporary changes that are taking place in the world.
Taken From: http://www.islamicnews.org/english/index.html