Headlines

SDPI to launch membership drive, fixes target of 10 lakh

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 06 July 2011 | Posted in , , , ,

By Pervez Bari

Thrissur (Kerala): The Social Democratic Party of India, (SDPI), has decided to launch membership campaign drive and has fixed a target of 10 lakh in coming three months.

This was decided among other things at the SDPI’s first two-day National Working Committee (NCW) meeting after the party's reconstitution of NWC and the election of national office-bearers held in May last at Bangalore. The propaganda of SDPI’s basic ideology based on the slogan “Freedom from Hunger and Freedom from Fear” will be perpetuated with all fervour and enthusiasm to give fillip to party’s popularity graph.

The NWC which concluded here at Thrissur on Sunday decided to hold programmes designed to mobilize the positive situations in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh for the strengthening of the party. The party will conduct conventions for leadership and cadres during the months of September and December this year, the NWC also decided. A number of people-focussed issues were identified and plans were chalked out for agitations, public campaigns and public conferences for the redressal of these issues.

At the NWC meeting a resolution was passed which said that SDPI does not consider mere enactment of Lokpal Bill would prove a panacea for the disease of corruption. Ting However, it may be an important instrument for checking and controlling corruption in government bodies, if, appointed through a fool proof method and not as an individual but as a body of competent persons.

This is among the 11 resolutions passed at the NWC meeting. Another resolution on Waqf properties strongly rejected the patchwork in the form of proposed amendment in the Waqf Act as se major recommendations of the Joint Parliament Committee and Sachar Committee Report has been ignored in the Bill. It strongly demanded a proper enactment of law finalized after due consultation with the representative bodies of the Muslim community.

Yet another resolution said the SDPI protests the harassment and persecution of genuinely working organizations and individuals such as Popular Front of India, Tablighi Jamaat, People’s Union for Civil Liberty, (PUCL), Dalit Human Rights Movement, ANHAD and some Christian groups working in Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. The intelligence agencies are being misused to spread rumours and lies against these organizations with the help of plaint media and to implicate them in cooked up cases and prepare a ground for further harassment. The party demanded for purging communal elements from the intelligence agencies of the country especially the IB.

The other resolutions passed on the occasion in the NWC meeting were on (i) Atrocities against Dalits; (ii) Release of Innocent People implicated in Bomb Blast Cases (iii) Nuclear Plants; (iv) Poverty Line; (v) Reservation; (vi) Hajj Affairs; (vii) Film on Ambedkar and (viii) Draconian Laws.

President of SDPI E. Aboobacker in his presidential remarks cautioned that the meeting has several items on the agenda having bearing on the future course of the SDPI. He reminded that since the term of the committee is of two-years, it should vigorously and thoroughly plan for this long period although the honourable members could also deliberate on the long term development of the party work. He reiterated that SDPI has heavy onus for alleviating the conditions of Muslims, Dalits and other sections of society.

At the outset Riaz Azimabadi, vice president of the party, while welcoming the office-bearers and NWC members urged them to undertake the cause of the Party with such a vigour that all could be proud of its achievements and be hopeful of its future prospects at the time of the next meeting.

Hafiz Manzoor Ali Khan, general secretary, read out the minutes of the last meeting held at Bangalore which was approved by voice vote.

On the initiative of A. Sayeed, another general secretary of the party, state-wise review of the performance of the SDPI candidates in the recently held assembly elections in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and West Bengal was taken up.

A number of departments such as political affairs; general administration,; meetings and reports; research, education & training; media; trade unions; women’s wing,; NRI; fund raising and legal affairs were constituted and the responsibilities of each department were assigned to various NWC members.

Meanwhile, the responsibilities as state in-charges of the respective states were given to Dr. Mahboob Sahrif: Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Kerala; A Sayeed: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Goa; M. K. Faizi: Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam & Manipur; Hafiz Manzoor Ali Khan: Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand; and Abdul Rashid Agwan Delhi, Haryana and Punjab.

Afsar Pasha and Abdul Majeed Faizi were inducted in the NWC as the nominated members.

[Pervez Bari is a Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

Islamic Finance: the Banking-Wonder

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , ,

Say what you will but the truth is the Islamic Finance industry’s got a long way to go. Eva Fernandes proves just that.

The business section of the local press is abuzz with news of developments in the world of Islamic Banking. And while many papers are all too ready to jump on the Islamic-banking-is-the-future bandwagon, Kipp will be the first to admit that there are still a lot of challenges ahead of the sector.

But before we burst your bubble, if you are in the pro-Sharia camp, some good news: to begin with, there is the recent launch of a new Sharia-compliant repurchase facility, which will allow banks to borrow money in keeping with Sharia principles. This facility will accept the Central Bank’s Islamic certificates of deposit as collateral. “The objective is to create an instrument where banks can invest in and get liquidity from. By providing this facility it might encourage holdings of Islamic certificates of deposit,” said Saif Al Shamsi, the senior executive director of the Central Bank’s treasury department.

In other Islamic financing news, Dubai Islamic Bank recently announced the launch of its Prudential Sharia Opportunities – Asia Pacific Equity Fund (the Fund), for Sharia-compliant companies within the Asia Pacific region (excluding Japan). Participation in the Fund allows investors to gain exposure across a range of growth countries and industries through a single platform.

Challenges

Dr. Adnan Chilwan, Deputy CEO – Chief of Consumer and Wholesale Banking, Dubai Islamic Bank, said: “The Asia Pacific region has emerged as an anchor for the global economic recovery and, driven by consumption and investment, is poised for further growth. This new product is (…) designed for our valued high net worth customers who understand the opportunities presented by the Asia Pacific equities markets, and would like to capitalise on the same.”

And though it is all looking good for the Islamic bank as TRENDS Atique Naqvi reports, the industry still has a long way to go. CEO of Noor Islamic Bank and Group CEO of Noor Investment Group Hussain Al Qemzi told him that there was a need for ongoing education and creating awareness on the benefits of Islamic finance against conventional models. In addition there is a real need for more qualified Shari’a scholars in key disciplines, such as banking and finance, legal, credit risk and accounting principles, are needed more than ever. One of the major issues is the potential conflicts with the central banks since Islamic banks have been established as separate entities as problems are likely to be further aggravated when an Islamic bank is established in a non-Muslim nation, and is subject to that nation’s rules and requirements.

“While each region is at quite a different stage in the evolutionary cycle – from the mature market of Malaysia on the one hand to the more nascent markets of Africa – the needs and challenges are not dissimilar,” said Al Qemzi. Although the Middle East region is viewed as one of the more mature markets and some of the GCC banks are today seeking growth beyond their borders, the players in the region are yet to realise their full potential, said the CEO of Noor Islamic Bank.

(Courtesy: Kipp Report)

M.F. Husain Betrayed: Mother India is Guilty!

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

By Dr. Abdul Ruff

Indian "progressive" Congress government led by Manmohan-Sonia-Madam.Pratibha refused to support or protect Husain not just because of the bogus fear of losing a few Hindutva votes - which is false because more Muslims would have voted for the Congress led parties- but chiefly because Congress party shares Hindutva ideology, but it does not want to be seen as party protecting Muslims in any manner and very cleverly uses the extra communal BJP led anti-Muslim parties to take care of Hinduism interests. This is indeed the essence of Indian secularism.

Notwithstanding its secular facade, India promotes Hinduism and Hindu interests in the country and abroad. Irrespective of political differences, Hindus cannot tolerate nay move to discredit Hinduism, though some of them pretend to be anti-Hindutva, progressive, normal people.

Greatness is defined in India by using differing yardsticks.Muslims in India can also compete for greatness provided they promote Hinduism with complete loyalty to Hindu leaders who effectively control them. More importantly, the Muslims, if they want to achieve anything in life, should not resist Indian pressure tactics to get what they want from you. Indian regime and its agencies including mafias would go to any extend of promoting Muslims who live to praise Hindus and glorify Hinduism. Any deviation would not be tolerated in "tolerant" India.

Indian mindset towards Muslims remains backwardly petrified. One of the world's most celebrated artists, M.F. Husain who popularized modern art in India and put Indian paintings on world map is no more. The international fame Husain who took the world by shock as much by his taking refuge in Qatar as his sudden death in UK was admitted only two days ago in Royal Hospital London for fluid retention in his lungs had otherwise been in fairly good health. They say Husain suffered a heart attack in the hospital. His sons and daughter were with him when he died. His last rites were conducted in London and not in India.

This eminent painter Maqbool Fida Husain was born in Pandharpur, Madhya Pradesh, on Sep 17, 1915. At 95, Husain, India's best known contemporary painter was active and had lots of painting left in him. Committed to art and truth MF Husain earned fame and controversy over his brilliant paintings.

Husian was not anti-Hindu or anti-Indian - he was a genius artist whom mother India skillfully used to promote the false image of Hindu India. On special request from Hindu leaders, Husain had painted series of marvelous art on themes like Ramayana and the Hindu mythological artistic creations by a Muslim were admired and appreciated by Hindus of all denominations for years. After dedicating his entire life in the service of India in the field of art without any mafia support, M.F. Husain had been forced into exile in Qatar and elsewhere since 2006, when he was attacked by extremist and rightist Hindu groups angry with his portrayal of mythological Hindu deities. He lived in Dubai, Doha or London for most of the last two decades because he couldn't paint in peace in his own country. Husain for all his contribution to Indian art was forced to flee after law was misused by Indian Hindu fanatics with tacit state support.

Toward the end of his life in his own country, under severe pressure from all quarters- both state and private- Husain had trouble finding galleries willing to show his work and where he managed he had face ruthless Indian vandalism. While the Hindutva (BJP combine) party which expects Indian courts to rule in favor of Hindus so as to uphold the false image of Hinduism and India, has been the blatant opponent of Husain's work, the other parties have done precious little for protecting the maestro. The rise of fundamentalism fomented by Indian Hindu ideology and fanatic political outfits has tormented the creative mind of Husain who was not anti-Hindu or anti-India artist but in fact he had n ever been an Islamist or supporter of Islamic values; on the contrary, he was deeply rooted in the core spirit of broad Hindu culture, still he has been hounded by Hindus and their organizations while the regimes closed its eyes.

World has paintings and sculptures of all sorts. Semi-nude paintings and nude sculptures are common in Indian temple structures. Husain left India after his paintings of Hindu gods in the nude triggered attacks on his works by rightwing fanatic Hindu organizations who deliberately boycotted him but Indian regime failed, or refused, to protect him. The 2008 Indian Art Fair in Delhi had the works of 300 artists but not Husain's. Delhi Airport visitors’ gallery does not have any space for Husain’s art and they are lying without attention from authorities who want government’s permission for displaying the paintings of genius Husain. Fanatic and basically anti-Islamic India cannot tolerate criticism of Indian system by a Muslims. A large number of books get published in India, hundreds of films get made and galleries hold many exhibitions without incident. But artists like Husain inhabit speech at the edge of acceptability, speech that challenges conventional thought. Today Husain's paintings are relegated to nowhere in Delhi's international airport. But, under whose orders?

Nudity can express vulgarity as well as purity, and that’s where the fundamentalists of all variety show their intolerance for the artistic souls like Husain. Husain pointed out that Nudity is a metaphor for purity in Hindu mythology. The major criticism against him was and is politically motivated. Being a Muslim and drawing these motifs so boldly was unacceptable to the offshoots of Hindu Parivar cutting across political spectrum. Husain pointed out that Nudity is a metaphor for purity in Hindu mythology. Sculptures of many Hindu temple structures in India are extremely erotic. The Khajuraho nude sculpture has immense consequence to Hindu culture and cannot just be dismissed on the ground that people wanted to increase the population so these were drawn. The so-called progressive political formations have been ineffectual or reluctant in protecting him.

Indian courts often throw such art cases out but in Husain's case they sided with Hindu fanatics. However, the Supreme Court ruled in Husain's favor. And thus India’s most powerful artist M.F. Husain died in exile, unhappy with the way his home country, mother India, leaders plus mafias had treated him.

The courts ruled in Husain’s favor saying that his paintings are not obscene and are not promoting enmity between communities in any way. But the court judgments did not stem the tide of vitriol. As the most celebrated Indian artist, Husain had been one of the strongest “probables” for the Bharatratna award but the Hindu fanatics wanted to stop that. Vigilantes continued to file cases against him, attacked his works and damaged the studio of a television network that polled its readers on whether Husain should be given India's highest civilian honor. Exasperated by the lack of support from the Indian state and the continued harassment—both physical and legal—Husain gave up.

In this secular India, progressive minded Muslims are groomed to promote Hinduism and Husain became one of such unfortunate Muslims. Indian syncretic traditions have the strong synthesis of plural religious and cultural ethos of the country and Muslims promoted Hinduism as Indian nationalism. Muslims have contributed generously to Indian art, music and literature. The best examples include the work of poets like Raskhan or Rahim, the musicians like Ustad Bismillah Khan or Ustand Zakir Hussain, the religious traditions of Kabir or Nizamuddin Auliya, the magic of Indian mixed culture propounded by Muslims mesmerizes the scholars to no end. During his childhood years he was very impressed by the staging of Ramlila and along with his Hindu friend used to enact it. Husian also went to study the Valmiki and Tulsidas versions of Ramayana. His quest for understanding the society led him to study Gita, Puranas and other spiritual texts. His rooting in "liberal" Hindu culture, not the Hindutva caste/Brahmanical variety of those attacking him, was very deep but Hindus kicked him as an extra Indian. Indian Muslim Dargahs are favorites of Hindus as well but some selfish political Hindus make full use of them by employing Muslims as their post-paid agents. . .

India is known for its pseudo patriotism and flawed anti-Muslim sentiments and has betrayed Muslims in all walks of life. Now this great nation has betrayed even its own greatest artist son MF Husain because he was a Muslim. Created by Indian imagination, Indian goddesses, as portrayed by Hindus, are huge piles of either charming or ugly. Many temple structure sculptures depict nude India goddesses. That is funny. Also, funny is the fact that India's top Hindu gods are rich and possess unaccounted funds. Gods have more wealth than goddess, except the US made "Amma" (mother of Indian goddesses) fixed in Kerala with a large assets of wealth, at the feet of her politicians, administrators and even judges prostrate to gain favors from the regime. One of the richest Hindu gods Sri Satya (truth) Baba of Puttaparty village in AP with a modern international air port and railways terminal from the “devotee” government of India, who died recently has apparently left behind huge unused and unaccounted cash for this disciples to take care of and a bag full of big cash was caught on 19th June in Andhra Pradesh. But fanatic Indians argue that Husain has no right to criticize fake beliefs even artistically!

An artist with weaker convictions would have stopped painting altogether, but Husain continued to portray the many colors of this pluralist democracy. Besides painting creations, Husain also took intense fascination for film making. In recognition of his international status, Husain had been offered Qatari citizenship in 2010. His life & work in India and his end abroad is yet another example of how Muslims in India could be treated if they do play only pro-India games as foreign cricketers do. Husain’s contribution has been ignored by criminal Indians who harassed him because he used his art to express himself but the Hindu fanatics found him a problem because he exposed hypocrisy in Hindu faith artistically and forced him seek shelter in a Muslim nations.

An Observation

Indian "progressive" Congress government led by Manmohan-Sonia-Madam.Pratibha refused to support or protect Husain not just because of the bogus fear of losing a few Hindutva votes - which is false because more Muslims would have voted for the Congress led parties- but chiefly because Congress party shares Hindutva ideology, but it does not want to be seen as party protecting Muslims in any manner and very cleverly uses the extra communal BJP led anti-Muslim parties to take care of Hinduism interests. This is indeed the essence of Indian secularism.

One has no idea about how many Muslims have fallen helpless victims to Indian anti-Muslim policy. However, from what has happened to Husian and some more prominent Muslims in the country, it is quite clear that Indian rulers and their network agencies - both at the centre and regions - must be harming genuine interests of Muslims as a top Indian ideology.

A bold artist Husain always insisted on truthfulness in art creativity faced a lot of opposition from the Hindu fanatics and extremist Hindu terrorists even threatened to kill him. He exceedingly faced acute problems in attending functions and exhibiting his paintings and his appeal to government clearly failed to invite its attention to come to his rescue. Indian electronic media and TV channels paraded Hindu fanatics to condemn Husain while the Indian regime deliberately avoided the issue altogether and decided not to call Husain back to his country from Qatar.

Like Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Husain was not too intimate to Muslims. His close friends were Hindus and other non-Muslims. So, when he was attacked by Hindus Muslims did not raise voice in his support. That is the state of mind as well as fate of Hinduised Indian Muslims. Not every persecuted Muslim in India is able to comprehend the crude truth that they are an ill-fated race in the nation.

Would Indian Sonia-Manmohan-MadamPratibha led "progressive" regime have behaved in similar manner forcing him to leave his country had a Hindu artist painted the same? Obviously, not. There would have been patch up efforts by the regime and Indian "civilized" society to help India's greatest artist resume his creative endeavor without any fear or intimidation. There is no need for a crash course on history of arrival of Indian gods and goddesses, but these goddesses had come into existence when Hindus had not even entered the "pants" culture. In offending Indian's greatest artist in the worst manner, India has very skillfully removed Husain from the Bharatratna prize list- what a small nationhood and what a shame!

Last year, Husain was generously offered Qatari citizenship. But his heart remained in India, and in interviews, spoke fondly of what this country meant to him. An Indian with a Qatar passport after serving his country entire his life used say that the Passport is a piece of paper and he remained an Indian at heart. He longed to come back to a free India. But mother India looked the other way round searching new strategic partners.

Art has always been the subject of controversy because it generally depicts truth which annoys many who love falsehood and prefer hypocrisy. Indians felt proud of Husain when his paintings provided good news and feel good factor for the fanatics. MF Husain was a friendly human with the high quality of humor and humility, who preferred to walk barefoot. Similarly, Husain is too transparent in his thoughts painted in colors!

Finally, this globally renowned artist has died abroad an unhappy man. That is the true nature of Indian "secularism" and "tolerance" and the plight of creative Muslims in India who refuse to glorify Hinduism and Hindutva in the name of promoting Indian greatness. It is a case of betrayal of a Muslim genius by the complex, pseudo-secularized Hindu majority. India is guilty!

[Dr. Abdul Ruff is Specialist on State Terrorism. He is Chancellor-Founder of Center for International Affairs (CIA). He is former university Teacher, Analyst in International Affairs and an Expert on Middle East. He can be contacted at abdulruff@gmail.com or on his Mobile # +91-9961868309]

GUEST EDITORIAL: Taliban, Are they Good or Bad? The American Somersault

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | 04 July 2011 | Posted in , , ,

By Kaleem Kawaja

The Taliban phenomenon in Afghanistan first came into being as a definitive foreign policy initiative of US President Ronald Regan in the early 1980s, as an effort to drive out the Soviet military machine from Afghanistan where at that time they were well entrenched. The ragtag Afghan Mujahideen gurillas were fighting with their backs to the wall against the mighty Soviet military machine, often using the nationalist message of Islam to repel the infidel invaders. However being woefully inadedquate in arms and the huge supplies that a war of that proportion demands, they were going exactly nowhere. That is when Regan launched the massive campaign to fund the Mujahideen gurillas with unlimited arms and supplies in order to cow down the Soviet Union, the other superpower then. One key weapon supplied by US to the Afghans was the deadly shoulder-fired Stinger missile that was so effective in knocking military aircarfts out of the sky. Since Pakistani territory was the only route to send those huge supplies to the Afghan fighters, Regan embraced Pakistan's President Gen Zia ul Haq and persuaded him to let northwestern Pakistan be converted into a staging area for sending the war supplies to the Afghan Mujahideen and to serve as a sanctuary for them.

Living in Washington DC in those days I have vivid recollection of frequent media reports complete with photographs of visits by the military and political leaders of the Mujahideen to the White House, audiences with President Regan and photo opportunity sessions that were emblazoned across the TV screens and front pages of newspapers. Despite a huge cultural gap between the low brow orthox-religious Afghans and the secular high brow Americans, the Regan Administration praised the Afghans profusely describing them in glowing terms as Freedom Fighters. Those Mujahideen fighters who were the first Taliban were glorified by the Regan Administration in superlative terms. At the same time a huge influx of Afghan refugees arrived and settled down in major US cities including in Washington DC. I recall how a large number of Afghan kabob restasurants mushroomed in the metro Washington DC in the mid1980s, where earlier there was only one Afghan restaurant by the name of Bamiyan in Georgetown.

As the decade of the 1980s drew to a close, the Soviet army withdrew from Afghanistan, and President Regan retired, the US Administration lost interest in Afghanistan and left it to the infighting of the local warlords. That decade long civil war played havoc with huge sections of ordinary Afghan people. Each warlord ran a brutal local regime. abducting anyone's daugher or sister at will, killing civilians just to show their power and cultivating huge poppy crops that were used to make hashish and other drugs that brought them bug money. To show their power they ransacked schools, often shooting down and brutalizing the teachers. In the major cities of Kabul, Kandahar, Jalalabad, Mazar Shareef people were afraid to step out in the streets in daylight. There was neither any government nor police nor court, nor any fear of the wrath of Allah. And worst was the fact that the civilized world and America that had shown so much concern when the Soviet military was occupying Afghanistan, could not care less at this daylight mayhem.

That is when in the mid-1990s some of the erstwhile Mujahideen - Taliban who had earlier fought to liberate Afghanistan from Soviets, even though low on funding and means, decided to make a push and fight the warlords to restore basic law and order. They were eminently successful and soon drove out the warlords and thugs into a northern corner of the country. They put a stop to brutalities, lawlessness, growing of poppy, sale of drugs, abduction of women etc. I recall that in those mid-1990s many senior policymakers in the government in Washington praised the Taliban for their efforts at eliminating the civil war and bringing in some law and order. During the first term of President Bill Clinton, government agencies held many parleys with the Taliban Afghan government in partnership with the Pakistan government.

However, for all the good that Taliban did in improving the lives of ordinary Afghans they made several blunders. The mainstream of Taliban though religiously orthodox at that time was not extremist in its thinking. That mainstream kept the extremist elements at bay. But soon the extremist Taliban overpowered the mainstream and in the name of Islam unleashed an intolerant regime. The worst was the subjugation of women, preventing them from schools/colleges and employment outside their homes. It should be noted that in the 1960s-1970s durng the reign of King Zahir Shah when the government was under Communist influence a lot of women were enouraged to acquire professional education eg medicine, engineering etc and were working in government departments. The sudden confining of all women to their houses was not only mindless it also caused much economic harm to the country.

Soon the extremist elements in Taliban went berseek, hobnobbing with Al Qaeda and other undesirable and violent elements and enacting insane actions like the disfiguring of the ancient Buddha statues carved in a mountainside in Bamiyan. Overt opposition of Shia Muslims was practiced. The same Taliban that had brought so much good name to the Islamic system by implementing simple social justice for the powerless and poor people of Afghanistan, gave an opportunity to the enemies of Islam to decry the Islamic methodology. More than anything their harsh actions became a mockery of the egalitarian core of Islam. Also they gave an opportunity to the enemies of Islam in America to launch a decade long war on Afghanistan that has caused so many deaths and so much destruction. America declared that the Taliban were an evil force that must be subjugated for the betterment of mankind.

But after a decade of war, 2000 of its soldiers dead and a trillion dollar of the war expenditure that has hurt the US national economy, the American people see neither any benefit from this senseless war nor any end in sight. In America itself there are few takers of the propaganda that this war is about bringing democracy in Afghanistan. Indeed most Americans have realized that the culture and way of life of Afghanistan is a centuries old, and very different from the modern culture of America. Most of them are questioning why should Afghanistan not be left to its culture and way of life as long as it does not harm other countries, rather than make it adopt the American model?

As he came into power as US President, President Obama played a strange game. Because of him being a colored person and his reputation as a liberal and facing much opposition from the conservatives he adopted many of the agenda items from them. Like Ronald Regan before him, he tried to show that he too wants America to be militarily victorious in the world. But the only thing he managed to do was to transform America into a warring nation that continues its war machine, and that too much against the wishes of majority of Americans. Surely Americans do not see their nation as a warrior nation.

In the war in Afghanistan itself for a couple of years now there are no reports of victories against the Taliban or the killing of a sizeable number of Taliban soldiers. Other than talk continually about strategy the Pentagon seems to be largely in a defensive posture and has very little to show for real military gains on the ground. Meanwhile seeing the direction in which the wind is blowing Afghan President Karzai himself has talked increasingly of a reconciliation with the Taliban for over a year now. And to get ready for the 2012 US election Obama is very keen to start drawing down the Afghan war and bringing troops home.

However to sell this withdrawl strategy and to answer the questions from the American voters as to why America is not trying to liquidate the previously demonized Taliban, the American policymakers have come up woth another smart strategy. That strategy calls for declaring that due to the efforts of US many of the previously bad Taliban have actually become less-bad so that US can negotiate with them. President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Gates and other top US officials are increasingly saying thsat the majority of Taliban are good peoploe with whom US can co-exist. Thus the American policy in Afghanistan is now entering a full circle by painting most Taliban as good or tolerable people. And the American media that prides itself for independence is happily supporting this major policy somersault

Without doubt the nationalist Afghans who presented themselves as Taliban made mindless blunders that gave opportunities to their enemies to cause grievous physical and ideological harm to them and to the Islamic system. America too made serious mistakes that caused grievous loss to the American nation, and that is now forcing it to play this new somersault to extricate itself from further bleeding.

[Kaleem Kawaja is a community activist in Washington DC. He can be reached on: kaleemkawaja@gmail.com]

Muslim trusts are under scanner in Gujarat

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

Ahmedabad: Representatives of different religious and charitable trusts are up in arm against the provisions of the Direct Taxes Code Bill which proposes Income Tax and Wealth Tax on these trusts. Federation of religious and charitable trusts has launched a movement to mobilize public support against the tax proposal.Most of the Muslim trusts are the worst sufferers

Talking to newsmen here, representatives of various trusts said that this would affect public welfare activities of different trusts which are basically set up for the benefit of particular casts or communities. They are of the view that these trusts, in a way, were doing the basic services like health and education which were constitutionally the responsibilities of the government.

Besides, they, say that the provision to tax trusts was against the objectives of the DTC which were to promote activities of these trusts and to keep them away from the tax regime. They clarified that existing laws were enough to check illegal activities of trusts if that was any logic for brining trusts in tax net.

Income and wealth of Religious Trusts established for a particular caste or religious community enjoy income-tax and wealth-tax exemption under the present Income Tax Act, 1961 and wealth-tax Act, 1957.

The Direct Taxes Code Bill, 2010 (DTC) has granted 100% exemption to any Non-profit organisation (NPO) being Religious Trusts or Institutions from the levy of income tax providing exemption under clause 39 of the Seventh Schedule to the DTC.

However, the definition of NPO in clause 314 (169) of the DTC expressly excludes Trusts/Institutions which are established for a particular caste or religious community or which are established for providing benefit to the members of a particular caste or religious community. Thus, all religious trusts and institutions established for a particular caste or religious community (Muslims) will not be considered as NPOs and thus become liable to income-tax and wealth-tax.

The status of partly religious and partly charitable trust is also not clear under the DTC. Tax experts state that the authorities have goofed up in drafting the said provisions. If the above mistake is not corrected, religious trusts / institutions will have to bear the full brunt of taxation.
Charitable Trusts are doing exemplary work in urban and rural India by conducting diverse charitable activities and providing aid to the poor and the needy.

However, the Government proposes to take away various benevolent provisions under the present Income Tax Act and wants to tax Charitable Trusts @15% on the surplus generated by them, under the draft Direct Taxes Code Bill (DTC).

Further, charitable trusts for particular religious communities set up prior to 1st April, 1962 which are currently enjoying complete tax exemption will become liable to pay income-tax at the flat rate of 30% and wealth-tax at the rate of 1% when the DTC comes into force.

The draft DTC does not incorporate the existing provision of accumulation of 100% of income for 5 years as provided under section 11(1B)(2) of the I. T. Act, 1961.

This provision facilitates Charitable Trusts to accumulate funds for capital expenditure to be undertaken in future. The DTC has also discontinued the existing provisions of Income Tax Act, 1961 where accumulation up to 15% of gross income is allowed without any time-limit.

Under the present I.T. law repayment of loan, depreciation and payment of Income Tax are allowed as application of income. However, these provisions are missing under the DTC. Similarly, under the present law deficit is allowed to be carried forward and set-off in future. However, the treatment of deficit is unclear under the DTC.

Presently, capital gains of NPOs is exempt if the same is invested in any capital asset including a fixed deposit as provided under section 11(1A) of the Income Tax Act, 1961. However, the DTC doesn’t have similar provisions.

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]

Launch of Sharia facility in UAE set to boost Islamic investment

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Tom Arnold

Islamic banks are likely to boost their Dh15 billion (US$4bn) of investments in Central Bank certificates of deposit after the launch of a new Sharia-compliant repurchase facility, said a senior bank official.

The facility, which is aimed at developing liquidity management in the Islamic banking system, allows banks to borrow money in accordance with Sharia principles.

In exchange, the facility accepts the Central Banks Islamic certificates of deposit as collateral.

"The objective is to create an instrument where banks can invest in and get liquidity from. By providing this facility it might encourage holdings of Islamic certificates of deposit," said Saif Al Shamsi, the senior executive director of the Central Banks treasury department.

A shortage of devices for managing liquidity is cited by analysts as a constraint to the faster expansion of the Islamic finance industry globally. The introduction of the facility last week follows the Central Bank launching auctions of Islamic certificates of deposit in November. Banks already hold Dh15bn of the certificates, said Mr Al Shamsi.

Repurchase agreements, also known as repos, are common tools used by central banks to inject liquidity into the financial system. Central banks buy securities from a bank with cash on the condition that the bank will repurchase them at a set time for a specified price.

The UAE facility differs slightly in order to meet Islamic requirements banning interest payments. It involves a bank appointing the Central Bank as an agent to buy a commodity from an independent supplier, before then selling it to the regulator on an agreed date for a set price plus profit.

(Courtesy: Gulf Base)

ANALYSIS: Traces of Gujarat anti-Muslim genocide destroyed – Justice be Damned!!

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , , ,

The big question which remains unanswered is: were these extremely crucial records - that could ensure justice to thousands of riot victims - deliberately destroyed, writes IMO Bureau Chief (Gujarat) Abdul Hafiz Lakhani.

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

The Indian government, according to BBC, has destroyed the evidence of the Gujarat anti-Muslim violence of 2002 right in the middle of the investigations. Obviously, it wants to protect the culprits from charges of genocide.

The Gujarat violence was one of the bloodiest chapters in India’s history. Muslims were slaughtered like animals and it is outrageous that this happened under the watchful eye of the police that acted as a happy spectator. Indeed it was Chief Minister Narendra Modi who instigated violence and was directly responsible for the death of over 2000 innocent Muslims. In an affidavit to the Supreme Court an intelligence officer had testified that Modi had himself sanctioned the bloodletting.

It was 2002. Gujarat-the laboratory of Hindutva was turned into bloodbath.powerful politicians and some high ranking police officers who were saffronised iet loose the terror on Muslims. But the conspirators will never been known to the world as Gujarat's narendra Modi government shad destroyed all related evidence of this carnage.

Nine years and on, the victims of 2002 Godhra riots are still fighting for justice and to make the matter worse, crucial riot records including phone transactions, vehicle logbooks and official movements have been destroyed by the Modi government. The victims believe that the records have been deliberately destroyed.

The Gujarat government has destroyed crucial records pertaining to the 2002 riots. This comes from none other than the Narendra Modi government itself. SB Vakil, state government counsel in the Nanavati Commission, said important records like incoming and outgoing call data, log books of government vehicles and officials' movement have been destroyed.

And that IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt is lying about being present in the meeting that Narendra Modi convened then, because he knows the official records no longer exist. “Records of incoming and outgoing phone calls, vehicle logbooks cannot be found,” said SB Vakil, State Government Counsel in Nanavati Commission.

People associated with the communal riot cases have expressed shock at the government's admission.

"Proceedings in all the key cases… The Naroda Gaam case, the main complaint by Zakia Jaffri and other cases are still on. To destroy evidence as important as this is not just shocking, but illegal as well," said Mukul Sinha,Advocate, Jansangharsh Manch.

It cannot be a standard procedure. You cannot destroy the relevant documents when the G. T. Nanavati – Akshay Mehta Judicial Enquiry Commission probing into the Godhra train carnage and the post-Godhra communal riots in the State is yet to submit its final report,” noted advocate, Mukul Sinha, who represent the riot victims before the Commission said.

According to him, the responsibility of deciding the “relevance of a document” was left to the prosecution, which was the State government in the case of the Nanavati – Mehta commission, and it could not have overlooked the relevance of the telephone call register, police vehicle log books and the police movement diary for the Enquiry Commission to be destroyed before the probe panel completed its task.

The retired Gujarat DGP Srrekumar alleged that the police, while following the "standard procedure" and destroying crucial documents, had overlooked the provisions of the Gujarat Police Manual as well as the Indian Penal Code. "The police manual clearly states that any document pertaining to a matter under judicial process shall have to be preserved until the completion of the judicial process," he said, adding that the Supreme Court had been looking into the riots since April 2002, after activist Mallika Sarabhai and the National Human Rights Commission filed a PIL in that connection.

"The Gujarat government has been translating its electoral majority into immunity from legal bindings. This is a dangerous trend," Shreekumar said. He rued that allegations against the high and mighty of the state polity as well as the police department may never be proved, now that the key documents had been destroyed.

Shreekumar had maintained a diary of his own during his tenure as state intelligence chief and had submitted it before the Nanavati-Mehta panel as well as the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT). The diary had the number of key records, but the originals are now destroyed.

Shreekumar observed that the state government had given him a chargesheet for not handing over his semi-official diary when he relinquished his post as the intelligence chief. The chargesheet was later quashed by the Gujarat High Court. "Had I submitted the diary then, they would have surely destroyed it as well," he said. The diary forms the basis of Shreekumar's affidavits, which have significantly embarrassed the state government as they establish the collusion between BJP leaders and the police at the time of the riots.

“The State government is telling a lie that the documents have been destroyed as per the standard procedure,” Hiralal Gupta, the advocate for the Congress before the commission, alleged. He agreed that a rule existed to destroy “irrelevant police documents” after five years as claimed by the State government pleader before the Commission, S. B. Vakil, but the documents in question were not such “irrelevant documents” to be destroyed taking recourse to the “standard procedure.”

“The government is deliberately trying to hide the truth about Chief Minister Narendra Modi's “instructions” to the police to go soft on the Hindus during the 2002 communal riots for which it is now claiming that the records have been destroyed,” Mr. Gupta said.

Fr. Cedric Prakash; Director of Prashant, A Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace reacted that the admission by the Government of Gujarat that all records and intelligence reports pertaining to the Gujarat Carnage of 2002 have been destroyed, should shock no one! This admission before the Nanavati Commission clearly shows the culpability of the Gujarat Government.

The reasoning that these reports were destroyed “according to rules”, defies all logic. Technically (“according to rules”) given the time it takes, for judgement to be pronounced in our country, practically no justice would see the light of the day, if criminals / conspirators whose cases are pending in the various Courts are allowed to destroy evidence.

The judiciary of our country should now expedite the legal process, take ‘suo moto’ notice of this and hold the Gujarat Government (as is widely believed) responsible for the Carnage of 2002, he said in a statement

Vadodara based social activist Dr. Bandukwala said in a statement that This is a serious matter. The court should look into this matter. it seems that Modi wants to prevent justice to 2002 riot victims.

Ahmedabad Based NGO--Sanchetna's director Hanif Lakadawala reacted sharply that it is a deliberate, criminal act to destroy the evidence. By saying that it is a routine procedure, the state cannot exonerate itself of the criminal act.

By summarily destroying the record of his crimes, Modi has not just mocked and taunted those who have tried to bring justice to his victims, he has ridiculed India’s claim to being a secular democracy that believes in justice and equality of all before law.
Modi is not merely guilty of mocking and trampling on the rule of law, he has heaped shame and abuse on the nation’s secular and democratic institutions and their ability to administer justice to all sections of society.

The state government's explanation is that this was done as part of a procedure to destroy 'irrelevant police documents' after five years. Yet, the reported list of what was destroyed - telephone records of the police control room, registers of attendance and movement of senior police officers and vehicles as well as intelligence reports et al - suggests it was crucial evidence about the riots and how the state machinery conducted itself. If this elimination of evidence was deliberate, it would mean a criminal attempt to shield officials who might be guilty of inaction or, worse, complicity in a veritable slaughter.

The larger question is whether directions to conduct themselves thus were issued to police officers from the top levels of the state machinery. Finding answers to those questions should be the primary aim of investigations into the riots. Not only should the Nanavati Commission probing the riots order an inquiry into this reported destruction of evidence, but the Supreme Court too, since it is directly supervising the investigations through its appointed Special Investigation Team ( SIT )), must act forthwith to probe and punish the culprits.

The immediate worry is how on earth documents and records pertaining to an ongoing investigation, under the supervision of the highest court in the land, can be thus destroyed. But that also posits the larger question the nation faced after the 2002 riots: how to deal with a situation where the entire machinery of a state can be seen to be potentially complicit in acts of communal violence? If existing laws aren't being implemented, or are just being plainly subverted, what course can justice take? Part of the answer would lie in enacting laws as proposed in the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, 2011. Justice and compensation for victims of all forms of communal violence, and actually aiming at eliminating the latter altogether, are critical to preserve the very idea of a democratic and pluralistic India.

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]

Greece blocks aidships for Palestine-Gaza

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

By Dr. Abdul Ruff

In one of the dirtiest pro-Zionist actions, European Greece has blocked the aidships bound for Gaza Palestine to help the Palestinians and free the Gaza from illegal Israeli blockades. In view of the crude fact that US-UK recognized fascist Israel continues to use the blockades to squeeze the defenseless Palestinians, terrorize them and economically cripple them. The notorious UNSC, as usual, is silent on the issue and does not open its dirty mouth to even to condemn Israel terror operations against Turkish aid-ship activists last year, killing many innocent humanists.

Proclaiming their joint duty to defend freedom and democracy in the world, Americans and Europeans skillfully used the post-WW-II terror situation to impose an illegal Zionist regime in Mideast on Palestine lands by kicking or killing the inhabitants. By sung the western terror support, the Zionist regime continues to kill the Palestinians and expand illegally Israel territories in Palestine through proliferation of settlements to house criminal Jews and Mossad agents by employing the terrorized Palestinians on the illegal construction sites.

The ill-fated problem for the Palestinians started with the arrival of Jewish criminals in Palestine and other Arabs. Europeans deliberately kept themselves from Israel, limiting their ties only to supply of aid and arms to Israel. In recent years, however, many European nations upgraded their relations with Israeli state to assure the illegal regime of continued western support.

People of Europe support the aidships for Gaza, but their regime, vehemently pressed by Israel, opposes any assistance to Palestinians who live in Gaza Strip because they do support Israeli terrorism in their nation. Greek, which has caused problems for Euro and EU, has weakened the supposed Obama effort to get Israel freeze the illegal proliferation of settlements inside Palestine, has halted a ship bound for the Gaza Strip on Saturday and arrested its captain.

Greece wages a never ending war with neighboring Turkey and opposes Turkey's entry into EU as a legitimate member of Europe. Since relations between Israel and Turkey soured, the Greek government has exerted strong efforts to build its own ties to the Jewish state.

Greek authorities have denied permission to the aidships to leave their ports. The vessel, “The Audacity of Hope,” which was part of the flotilla aiming to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza, carried 36 passengers. The captain of the ship was taken into custody on charges of endangering the lives of his passengers and for leaving the port without permission.

Eight vessels were prepared to leave Greek ports on July 01 Friday when the government issued an order preventing their departure. The move caused left-wing politicians to accuse the government of caving-in to Israeli pressure. Organizers told reporters that the flotilla plans to sail on 04th July regardless of the Greek order.

In occupied Jerusalem, a Jewish government spokesman boldly denied that Israel is pressing other governments against supporting Palestinians and also said they are not responsible for sabotaging Gaza-bound ships that have developed mechanical problems in recent days.

It is an international shame that a self--proclaimed "democracy" in Europe as well as EU like Greece has misbehaved with freedom-democracy resentments of its own people. UNSC must criticize the anti-humanity trends in Europe and volunteer itself to lead the aidships to Palestine-Gaza, after all this organization has to defend all nations, especially besieged ones like Palestine and Kashmir, and not to aid the NATO invasion of sovereign nations like Libya.

[Dr. Abdul Ruff is Specialist on State Terrorism. He is Chancellor-Founder of Center for International Affairs (CIA). He is former university Teacher, Analyst in International Affairs and an Expert on Middle East. He can be contacted at abdulruff@gmail.com or on his Mobile # +91-9961868309]

Lessons from India’s Partition

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , , ,

By Nasim Yousaf

The partition of India led to slaughter, rape, and countless atrocities in the region; it further resulted in the Kashmir issue and bitter rivalry between a nuclear Pakistan and India. The tragic episode provides a lesson for the world to learn from.

In Pakistan and India, the history of the freedom movement has been written under the influence of the All-India Muslim League (AIML) and Indian National Congress (INC) parties respectively, to which the British transferred power in 1947. According to the traditional narrative propagated by these two parties, partition was inevitable and the two parties were responsible for bringing freedom to British India and the creation of Pakistan and India as separate states. But historical documents strongly suggest that the leaders of both parties did not have the power to demolish British rule. In fact, the reality is that the leaders of the AIML and the INC were playing into the hands of the British rulers. Ultimately, partition has only produced harsh consequences and unending hostility within the region.

In order to understand why partition was ill-advised from the outset, one must first understand why Muslim League and Congress leaders, who were responsible for partition, ultimately contributed to British interests. During the years leading up to partition, the British were seeking to maintain their rule over India, and thus pursued a policy of Divide and Rule. In other words, they sought to perpetuate divisions amongst the Muslims and Hindus, so that the Muslims and Hindus would not be able to rise up against British rule.

There are countless examples of the British pursuit of this policy. Rather than forming a united front to undermine the British, Muslim League and Congress leaders instead added fuel to the fire by legitimizing and inflating the political differences between the Muslims and Hindus, ultimately blowing the conflict out of proportion. It is not difficult to see why this policy was in the interests of the Muslim and Hindu leaders. At the time, the British were very powerful and had the ability to sideline any leader who did not fall in line with their agenda. Thus, it was incumbent upon Muslim League and Congress leaders to perpetuate the Muslim-Hindu conflict, or risk losing their own political careers.

Throughout his political endeavors, freedom fighter Allama Mashriqi repeatedly sought to expose the vested interests of the prevailing Indian leadership. Mashriqi could foresee that the Muslim and Hindu leaders’ divisive words and actions were setting the stage for the partition of the nation. He recognized that partition would be devastating to the nation and would bring about everlasting hostility in the region. In a monumental press statement in early 1947, he categorically warned, “I see massacre of at least one million people.” He also sent a telegram to Lord Mountbatten (Viceroy of India) “foreshadowing murder and ruin of at least ten million Indians…” Envisioning the serious repercussions of partition, Mashriqi worked tirelessly to bring about the liberation of a united India. This struggle almost cost him his life, and he was stabbed and arrested in Delhi, where the AIML was holding a meeting at the Imperial Hotel (on June 09, 1947) to accept a truncated Pakistan.

With the partition of India, Mashriqi’s dire warning came to fruition. Partition brought unthinkable tragedy, as at least one million Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs were brutally killed and countless young Muslim and non-Muslim females were raped or abducted. Parents, children, and spouses witnessed the slaughter of loved ones and were forcefully separated. There are countless heartbreaking stories such as these that speak to the atrocities that befell innocent people as a result of the country’s division; these Muslim and non- Muslim civilians were the unfortunate victims of the politics of the AIML and Congress (their deaths were not a necessary sacrifice for independence, as has been suggested by some writers and speakers). Beyond the direct human toll, partition also produced a host of other far-reaching consequences in the region, including the Kashmir conflict, four wars, countless border clashes, and the spread of terrorism in the region. Perhaps most importantly, a nation comprised of communities that had co-existed for centuries has now been transformed into two nuclear-armed hostile neighbors. The regional and global instability caused by partition has had immeasurable consequences, and the people of the two nations continue to suffer from these consequences even today.

It is clear then that the partition of India was one of the biggest blunders of the 20th century. Yet instead of condemning the policies of the political parties that actually created this partition, historians and writers have presented partition as an inevitable occurrence. They project AIML and Congress leaders as heroes, while ignoring the fact that their actions resulted in tremendous human tragedy and everlasting hostility within the region. Furthermore, writers neglect to mention that partition would not have occurred, had it not been in the interest of the ruling power at the time. While bolstering the pro-partition perspective of those in power, mainstream writers have simultaneously distorted the views of Mashriqi (and others who strongly favored a united India). The print and electronic media (including television) further contribute to this distortion, as they do not publish or allow discussion of facts that are contrary to the traditional narrative of partition. In both Pakistan and India, they promote the leaders of the AIML and Congress respectively. A lack of independent researchers and scholars in these countries has also contributed to the problem. It is no surprise then, that the true history of the nation is unknown to people of both countries. In fact, the history of both countries, as currently written, is biased and does not reflect reality.

Despite the false narrative that has been portrayed in books and the media, it is not too late to change the status quo. The people of Pakistan and India must learn from the errors of the past and stop endorsing partition, as it only leads to continuing hostility between the two nations; the concocted and exaggerated stories regarding the freedom movement must come to an end. History can still be restored through independent writing and thought; educational institutions must also be reformed to encourage new ideas and research. Ultimately, the people of Pakistan and India must strive not only for better relations, but also to unite the two countries. The reunion of over a billion people in Pakistan and India would be an unprecedented action. By returning to Allama Mashriqi’s selfless ideology and vision of a united India, we could undo the devastating effects of partition. The Kashmir issue would be resolved, the potential for nuclear war between the two neighboring countries would disappear, and the threat of terrorism could be eradicated jointly. Unification would thus finally bring much-needed political, social, and economic stability to the South Asian region, and have far-reaching benefits for the world at large.

[Nasim Yousaf is a scholar and historian who has presented papers at U.S. conferences and written many articles and books. He has also contributed articles to the “Harvard
Asia Quarterly” and the “World History Encyclopedia (USA)”. His forthcoming
book, “Mahatma Gandhi & My Grandfather, Allama Mashriqi,” discusses the role of Mashriqi and Gandhi in the freedom movement, their political differences, and the true driving force behind the liberation of British India in 1947. He can be reached at infomashriqi@yahoo.com]

Islamic finance industry grows at 14% annually to RM3.1 trillion

Posted by Indian Muslim Observer | | Posted in , ,

By Edy Sarif

Kuala Lumpur: Islamic finance has achieved a substantial growth in the past two decades, annualising a growth rate of about 14% over the past 15 years.

Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) Islamic capital market executive director Zainal Izlan Zainal Abidin said the Islamic finance industry that was currently estimated to be worth about US$1 trillion (RM3.058 trillion) had made further headway in the Islamic traditional markets such as Malaysia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, while penetrating new markets such as in Europe and Africa.

“While Islamic banking assets account for a large part of this value, the segment that has enjoyed especially strong growth in the more recent years is sukuk,” he said yesterday at the 6th Islamic Market Programme.
Zainal: Sukuk enjoys especially strong growth in the more recent years.

Zainal Izlan said over the last 12 months to May, the value of sukuk outstanding globally increased by 30% to slightly above US$140bil (RM428.1bil) while at for the same period, the size of global Islamic funds was valued at US$48bil (RM146.8bil).

“While the facts and figures for Islamic finance are very encouraging, it is instructive for us to remain cognisant of the challenges facing the industry which, if not overcome, may retard its growth momentum in the future,” he said.

He added that one such challenge was addressing uncertainty, and in some cases disparity in the legal, regulatory and tax frameworks for Islamic finance when compared to its conventional part.

“The challenge becomes more acute when we go into cross-border situations where multiple legal, regulatory and tax jurisdictions apply,” he said.

As a result, Zainal Izlan said, going through the Islamic finance might at times, be less clear or economical than the conventional route.

“Until these issues are satisfactorily addressed, there will be some degree of apprehension among industry players and practitioners to fully embrace Islamic finance,” he said.

Achieving greater harmonisation in interpretation of syariah principles also represented a major challenge for the industry.

He said while the differences in opinion were not prevalent, the inability to achieve complete harmonisation was, to some extent, affecting the industry's efforts to build up scale in terms of product development, distribution and expertise, as well as cost efficiencies.

“The SC has been actively and proactively implementing various initiatives to provide a conducive environment for the adoption of Islamic capital market practices in the country,” he said.

He added that guidelines to govern the issuance and offering of a wide range of capital market products and services had been put in place to ensure orderly development of Islamic capital market, and these guidelines were regularly reviewed to ensure their relevance and effectiveness.

(Courtesy: TheStarOnline.com)

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