Morabaha - Islamic mode of financing and its misuse by the banks
Back in 1948, the opening ceremony of the State Bank of Pakistan, father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah has said "The adoption of Western economic theory and practice will not help us in achieving our goal of creating happy and contented people. We must work our destiny in our own way and present to the world an economic system based on true Islamic concept of equality of manhood and social justice. We will thereby be fulfilling mission as Muslims and giving to humanity the message of peace which alone can save it and secure the welfare, happiness and prosperity of mankind".
The structure of Islamic Banking and Financial system revolves around prohibition of any pre determined return derived on loan/debt (Riba) and legality of profit. Riba, commonly known as interest, is a certain increase taken as premium from the debtor or cost accrued irrespective of the outcome of the business. It represents the return on transactions involving exchange of money for money, or the addition, on account of delay in payment, to the agreed price on sale debts. All the three constitutions adopted so far in Pakistan, all reports of the Council of Islamic Ideology and findings of various commissions/committees constituted on the subject of Islamisation of economy/financial system unanimously called for elimination of Riba.
Taken From: http://www.paktribune.com/news/index.php?id=31698
Islamic Scholars Seek Dialogue with West
Worried that Islam is being linked to terrorism, Muslim scholars at an international conference Friday proposed encouraging greater dialogue with the West and banning books that promote extremism.
Egypt's top Muslim cleric, Grand Sheik of Al-Azhar Mohammed Sayed Tantawi - considered by many to be the Sunni Muslim world's highest religious authority - said Islamic nations should "wholeheartedly open our arms to the people who want peace with us" and reject violence against the innocent.
"I do not subscribe to the idea of a clash among civilizations," Tantawi said in a speech to nearly 800 scholars and representatives of nongovernmental groups from 34 countries. "People of different beliefs should cooperate and not get into senseless conflicts and animosity."
Tantawi later told a news conference that people who commit terrorist acts in the name of the Islamic cause were wrong, stressing that "extremism is the enemy of Islam."
Delegates at the three-day conference ending Saturday in Putrajaya, Malaysia's administrative capital, were discussing issues facing Muslim nations, such as disunity, terrorism and misconceptions about their religion.
Taken From: http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/w-asia/2003/jul/11/071106476.html
Australia: New mosque opened in Melbourne
A new mosque has been inaugurated in the Fox locality of Melbourne. The mosque has a capacity for 1,000 worshippers, and cost a total of Aus$1.1 million, most of it donated by the local Muslim community, and part donated by the Dar-ul-Ulum College. The opening ceremony was attended by the imams of several other mosques, head of Islamic societies and a large crowd of Melbourne Muslims and those from the surrounding areas. Muslims in Melbourne and its environs account for 100,000, and they have build 30 mosques, apart from other smaller prayer areas and eight schools, both primary and secondary.
Taken From: http://www.islamicnews.org/english/en_daily.html