Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Slipped through the cracks

I missed an article last Wednesday on FT.com about Islamic investing. The article is particularly interesting because it tackles headon the issue of whether Shari'ah-compliant products are viewed as Islamic by most Muslims. With the advent of Islamic credit cards and hedge funds, the differences between Islamic and conventional financial products becomes blurred. One revealing detail from the story is a comment from Rushdi Siddiqui, Global Director of the Dow Jones Islamic Market Indexes. Commenting on Shari'ah Capital's Shari'ah-compliant hedge fund for which Sheikh Yusuf DeLorenzo, a member of the Dow Jones Shari'ah Board, serves as Cheif Shari'ah Officer (CSO), he says, "“Islamic finance is about addressing inequality, inaccessibility, justice, preventing the ‘debt trap’ etc. I, and many others, do not see how an Islamic hedge fund addresses the plight of Muslim men and women on the street.” The challenge of all ethically-based investments is that the final call about permissability has to be made by the individual and thus one size will not fit all.

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