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Islamic Banking in India- a Wrong precedence with dangerous consequences

More than financial impact, Islamic banking might be an adverse step towards secular ethos of the Hindu majority India

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Faisal Islamic Bank , Khartoum, Sudan. Wikimedia Commons

Amit Srivastava

As the year 2016 began,the decision to allow Islamic Banking was cleared up by the Reserve Bank of India. Reason: To honor the concept of financial inclusion.

In essence , the Committee on “Medium-Term Path for Financial Inclusion”, headed by Deepak Mohanty, has recommended “interest free windows” in existing conventional banks. It was done to pave ways for Islamic Banking in which the interest rates are banned. Now, India will get its first taste of sharia-compliant banking when the Saudi Arabia-based Islamic Development Bank launches operations in Gujarat. Let us go back a few years. In year 2007, the RBI working group had recommended that India must not permit Islamic banks to operate in the country. Now the RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan  has reversed the institution’s earlier stand on Islamic Banking. Needless to say, the central government headed by BJP Prime Minister Narendra Modi is equally keen on implementing the Islamic banking.

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Dynamics of Islamic Banking?

As per Sharia Laws, the interest on principle is ‘Haram’. Hence, Islamic banking doesn’t have concept of interest-rates. It may adversely affect the entire financial ecosystem of the nation. More than financial impact, Islamic banking might be an adverse step towards secular ethos of the Hindu majority India.

Before we analyze the socio-economic impacts of Islamic Banking, let us know about the various aspect of Islamic banking. Basically, Islamic banking has concepts of: Riba (interest), Haram (Non-Islamic), Halal (Islamic), Gharar (uncertainty), Maysir (gambling) and Zakat (Charity). Riba is the most important aspect of interest-free banking, and means prohibition of interest. Haram/Halal is a strict code for interest-free financial activities and its implications on Muslims and non-Muslims. Ghrarar/Maysir bans gambling in all forms. And Zakat is an instrument for Islamic charity.

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These aspects of Islamic banking strictly make it exclusive for Muslims. As per Sharia jurists, riba transactions with non-Muslims in Dar-ul-Harb (a Non-Islamic State) are not permissible. An Islamic bank also impose Gharar and Maysir on non-Muslims (Kafirs). As per Hadith 8.24, it is not permissible to give zakat (charity) to a Kafir (Non-Muslim).

Even though few non-muslim economists have praised Islamic Banking, it has serious repercussion on the conventional financial system. There is intentional financial fraud being practiced by Muslim gangs. They intentionally provoke Muslims to harm the existing haram banking system. No wonder why, there is a huge number of small and medium loan-defaulters among Indian Muslims. They take loans from Public Sector bank and never repay. If Islamic Banking would be allowed everywhere, this process might get more in practice. Such defaulters will borrow from public sector bank (non-Islamic banks) and deposit in Islamic banks. This will increase the funds in Zakat. And Zakat is used for Islamic terrorists’ organization and Wahabi radical organizations. As per some reports, even ISIS is being funded indirectly by Zakat contributions from India.

In this context, it is also important to note that Sharia laws are only safe guard for Muslims. They allow Muslims to exploit Kafirs (non-Muslims) in all form, even those which are Haram for Muslims. For example, Because Allah hates non-Muslims (Qur’an 40:35), Koran commends Muslims to mock the non-Muslims (Qur’an 40:35), betray (86:15), terrorize (Qur’an 8:12) and behead Kafirs (Qur’an 47:4), snatch their wives for sex-slaves and captives (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50).  Such hatred of Quran against Kafir is being preached to Muslims every day. If the demand for Sharia laws is fulfilled, they would be encouraged to do the gruesome crimes against non-Muslims as their holiest book prescribes so.

There is a risk of Terrorism funding via Islamic Bank

The logic of financial inclusion and few benefits by Islamic banking are just farce against the potential damages to be done by it. More than destroying non-Islamic banks and funding the Islamic terrorist, Islamic banking poses serious threat on the ethics of policy formation and the common good of the society. Now, when polygamy and marrying off the minor girls are allowed by courts of law in India, the upcoming Islamic banking would led it to a place from where Sharia rule India would become a reality. The same Sharia rules have made wife-beating legal in many Muslim countries. If wife-beating, sex-slavery are allowed in India tomorrow, it won’t be a surprise because such things are very much legal under Sharia Laws. Islamic banking sets precedence toward such horrific Sharia law. In above context of Islamic approach towards, non-Muslims it is imperative to safe-guard the welfare of the citizens. Just for 15% Muslims, government must not ignore the safety of 85% non-muslim population of India. Self-proclaimed secular and liberals are silent on this heavily communal move, because it would hurt the vote-bank of their masters. And right-wingers won’t prefer to speak against it as their government is implementing it. However, as vigilant citizens, we must oppose such regressive moves and save India from becoming another Syria or Pakistan.

Amit is a freelancer based in India. Twitter: @amisri

  • Apeksha

    Stop posting rubbish content if you have no knowledge about particular things

  • Abrar

    Now, we have a guy who is more knowledgeable than Mr. Raghuram and Modiji. Why don’t you apply for RBI governor post ;). Stop this trash talks if you have no idea of financial system, Joker.

  • Mack K

    Get you basics right.
    I doubt your knowledge in finance.
    And please do no misquote.
    The reference you gave are not legitimate or are half statements which eventually change the message.
    So just don’t write for the sake of it.
    Just writing as article to create disharmony is not ethical, if you are a genuine writer.

  • Danny

    Disgusting article, this is simple common sense, if you are involves in profit and loss sharing then there will growth and loss for all, now in all the banks which deals in interest never goes down in loss but we have already heard that most people are bankrupt.

SHARE
  • Apeksha

    Stop posting rubbish content if you have no knowledge about particular things

  • Abrar

    Now, we have a guy who is more knowledgeable than Mr. Raghuram and Modiji. Why don’t you apply for RBI governor post ;). Stop this trash talks if you have no idea of financial system, Joker.

  • Mack K

    Get you basics right.
    I doubt your knowledge in finance.
    And please do no misquote.
    The reference you gave are not legitimate or are half statements which eventually change the message.
    So just don’t write for the sake of it.
    Just writing as article to create disharmony is not ethical, if you are a genuine writer.

  • Danny

    Disgusting article, this is simple common sense, if you are involves in profit and loss sharing then there will growth and loss for all, now in all the banks which deals in interest never goes down in loss but we have already heard that most people are bankrupt.

Next Story

RBI’s Governor Quits After Months of Pressure From The Central Government

The timing just before this week's board meeting suggests that there's still a huge gap between the government and RBI positions on key issues

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Urjit Patel, Bank, BJP
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel attends a news conference in Mumbai, India. VOA

The Governor of India’s central bank, Urjit Patel, resigned abruptly Monday after a months-long tussle over policy with the government that has raised concerns about the bank’s independence as a national election nears.

Government officials have been pressuring the Reserve Bank of India to allow some bad-debt-laden public sector banks to lend more easily, and pushed for it to hand over some of its surplus reserves to help fund the fiscal deficit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which must call national polls by May, faces anger in rural communities because of slumping farm incomes, and broader concerns about a lack of jobs growth in small businesses that are finding it hard to get banks to lend them money.

Getting control of the reserves would give the government more flexibility in spending on welfare policies and farm support schemes.

Patel cited “personal reasons” for his decision to immediately step down.

His resignation came four days before an RBI board meeting, and at a sensitive time for the government.

Bank
Reserve Bank of India. VOA

 

On Tuesday, votes in key state elections are due to be counted, with exit polls suggesting the BJP could suffer some major defeats at the hands of the opposition Congress party.

That scenario, and Patel’s resignation, are expected to roil Indian markets. On Monday, forward contracts tracking the rupee against the dollar outside of market hours posted their biggest fall in more than five years.

That added to earlier losses caused largely by concerns — triggered by the state exit polls — that next year’s election might end with a defeat for the pro-business Modi and a weak coalition government, leading to policy uncertainty.

Investors will want to know quickly who Patel’s replacement will be, and how that will affect the direction of financial and monetary policy, analysts said. There was no clear front-runner, but one name being mentioned was former Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia who retired at the end of November.

While not commenting directly on Patel’s exit, Moody’s Investors Service said on Monday any signs the government was attempting to curtail the RBI’s independence would be a credit negative.

“We currently assume that the RBI will continue to pursue price and financial stability and implement policies towards these goals,” the agency said in an emailed statement.

Modi, Bank
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a gathering in New Delhi, India. VOA

 

Patel announced his departure in a short statement on the RBI’s website in which he said that “on account of personal reasons, I have decided to step down from my current position effective immediately.”

Modi suggested he had not wanted Patel to leave. On Twitter, the Indian leader praised Patel as a “thorough professional with impeccable integrity.”

“He steered the banking system from chaos to order and ensured discipline. Under his leadership, the RBI brought financial stability,” Modi tweeted. “He leaves behind a great legacy. We will miss him immensely.”

Building for months

Even before Patel’s announcement, the 10-year benchmark Indian government bond yield rose the most since September, and stocks posted their worst close in four weeks, with the broad NSE index losing 1.9 percent.

The pressure on him had been building for some months.

The government has made clear it was not happy with the RBI’s policies and stacked its board with pro-BJP representatives.

Former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, who did not take an extension after his term ended in September 2016, said Indians should be concerned about what was happening.

farmers, Bank
Police try to stop farmers during a protest demanding a better price for their produce on the outskirts of New Delhi, India. VOA

 

“We should go into the details on why there was an impasse which forced (Patel) to take this ultimate decision,” Rajan told the ET NOW television channel. “The strength of our institution is really important.”

Within the RBI there was a combination of anxiety and relief at the announcement.

“It was very shocking. … Morale of employees is very down,” said one RBI official who has been with the central bank for more than a decade. “This is very sad moment.”

But another official said Patel was often inaccessible to key financial market players and had stifled discussion within the RBI, and that now it might be possible to open up more.

“Finally things will come to peace. I can talk more openly,” this official said.

The officials asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Urjit Patel, Bank
Urjit Patel’s resignation signals dangerous trend: AIBEA. VOA

 

Argentine warning

The rift between the government and the central bank became very public in late October when RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya warned in a speech that undermining a central bank’s autonomy could be “catastrophic.”

He referred to a meltdown in Argentina’s financial markets in 2010 after a struggle between the government and the central bank over who controlled the bank’s reserves.

Last week, Patel declined to answer reporters’ questions about the rift with the government, which former government officials and analysts said they were convinced was a major factor in his decision to quit.

Also Read: Arvind Kejriwal Accuses Modi Government of Betraying Farmers

There was speculation a month ago that Patel might quit over the government pressure, but the rumors eased after the two sides reached an uneasy truce ahead of last month’s RBI board meeting.

“The timing just before this week’s board meeting suggests that there’s still a huge gap between the government and RBI positions on key issues,” said A. Prasanna, head of research at ICICI Securities Primary Dealership in Mumbai. “Markets will now hope that the government has a plan of action ready so as to restore calm.” (VOA)