The Islamic Bank of Britain today announced a halal business loan program in Bolton. While the loans will all be halal, they will be available to entrepreneurs of all faiths. The £25,000 ($50,365) will be available for business interested in halal financing and those that do not engage in haram activities like selling alcohol or tobacco.
A research professor at the University of Toronto's Wycliffe College provides an interesting insight into the historical prohibition on interest in non-Muslim faiths. Professor Stackhouse also provides a historical warning about the tendency for some to subvert the rules against charging interest through various unnecessary transactions. It is an important reminder that when there is a rule prohibiting something, some people may try to subvert the rule while appearing to be in compliance.