A good deal of the ongoing economic and financial turmoil on world markets has been blamed on the unscrupulous practices of the international banking and financial sector. Islamic banking, on the other hand, is seen as a fairer and more balanced alternative which has been much less affected by the crisis. Can the Czech Republic benefit from a financial system based on the Islamic law? And can Islamic banking help boost Czech exports into Muslim countries? These are some of the issues debated at an international conference on Islamic banking held in Prague.
Based on the principles of Islamic law, or shariah, Islamic banks are prohibited from charging interests, speculating as well as investing in businesses considered unethical by Islamic scholars. Instead, Islamic or participant banking offers a system of shared risks and profits, and its supports claim it is committed to promoting equity, moderation and social justice.
Islamic banking is today the fastest growing segment of the financial system, and is also considered a more honest and fairer alternative to conventional banking. Cihad Erginay is the Turkish ambassador to Prague, and head of the local group of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation which organized the event.