Qadir Barkatullah (second from right) addressing media persons
at India Islamic Cultural Centre on introduction of Islamic
Banking system in India
London, Singapore and Tokyo can have Islamic banks, why not India?'':
"When London, Singapore
and Tokyo can have Islamic banks, why not Mumbai and Kochi", asked H
Abdur Raqeeb, general secretary of the Indian Centre....
'Decision to establish
dangerous for India'
New Delhi: The Islamic Banking
and Finance system will benefit the development of India more than
the Muslim community here, said Mufti Abdul Kadir Barkatullah,
Islamic Shariah Advisor to several banks and financial institutions
in Britain. He was interacting with media persons Wednesday at India
Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi.
“The rank and file
of the Indian bureaucracy has deep prejudice against Muslims. By
allowing Islamic Banking they don’t want to give Muslims undue
political capital although it will benefit the development of the
country more than the Muslims,” said Mufti Barkatullah, Member,
Shariah Supervisory Board at Islamic Bank of Britain, United
National Bank, Lloyds TSB and Alburaq of ABC Bank International
A trained mufti
from Darul Uloom Deoband where he also did Alim and Fazil courses
before doing B.Sc. (Hons) in Economics in London and M.Phil. in
Informatics from the University of Wales, Mufti Barkatullah is on a
30-day visit to India meeting individuals and groups and visiting
institutions with an aim to pave the path for Islamic Banking in
Asked if Reserve
Bank of India can introduce Islamic Banking or it can be done only
by the government, Mufti Barkatullah said: Though lawyers have both
opinions but the RBI can do it if it has a will to do. RBI can
sympathetically interpret the current banking law of the country to
introduce Islamic Banking. The British example is there. Fifteen
years ago the Bank of England rejected introduction of Islamic
Bnaking citing it will harm the current banking laws of the country
but around 2000 they were able to find out a way to introduce
Islamic Banking in the country without changing the law. They just
sympathetically interpreted the law to accommodate Islamic Banking.
who has also advised Indian financial institutions like Bajaj
Allianz, Taurus Ethical and General Insurance, talked to
TwoCircls.net on related issues:
What are the blockades in the way to
the introduction of Islamic Banking system in India?
blockades: First is the mindset of resistance to change. The
financial world and banks are the last ones to change themselves in
response to the needs of the society. Second hurdle is bureaucracy.
Bureaucracy is overburdened with current regulatory task, and they
don’t want to learn new things. Third is the political bickering.
The government and the opposition will use Islamic Banking as a
football. So they don’t want to bring this issue in the public and
introduce legislative changes to allow Islamic Banking.
Britain introduced Islamic Banking
about a decade ago. What important role did the British Muslim
community played in this regard?
It is difficult to
assess their role but the Muslim community has been very much
participatory within the ranks of the ruling Labor Party. So
lobbying for Islamic Banking was very much there. Besides, the Labor
Party is thought to be traditionally very soft to immigrants. More
importantly, the terror attacks in America and UK also gave the
feeling that the Muslim community is uncomfortable with current
situation, so the UK government designed inclusive financial policy
to include every section of the society in the economy of the
country. Muslims on religious ground were not participating in the
financial system. Most importantly, as US, Europe and Far East were
stealing the global economic importance of London, so the British
Government wanted to reassert their financial position at
international stage and they did it by opening up the Shariah
complaint finance. Today there are one retail bank, two retail
windows and five investment banks in the country.
Efforts have been made by individuals
and groups in India also to impress the government to introduce
Islamic Banking system. They have met Finance Minister Pranab
Mukherjee and even Prime Minister but these two have shied from
giving any clear indication about opening Islamic Banking system in
the country. What do you think is lacking with the Muslim community
I can guess that
there is not enough pressure from the Muslim community as a united
front on the current Congress government. Muslims and non-Muslims,
financial world and politicians they all are in the same category as
far as their getting convinced on the issue is concerned. I am not
surprised that Muslims also need to be won over for the Islamic
finance. That’s why Muslim community is not putting enough pressure
on the government.