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Sharia-based investing a mixed blessing?

India | Economy

CHRISTIAN POST -- With hundreds of listed Sharia-compliant companies in India’s stock exchanges, Islamic investments from Asia, the Gulf and Europe may soon begin to flood the Indian market.

This will boost India’s economy, but also intensify security concerns.

Sharia or Islamic law prohibits Muslims from investing in companies that earn profits from interest or the sale of goods or services deemed unlawful in the Islamic faith, such as alcohol and pork. Sharia-compliant companies, screened by Islamic finance monitors, comply with Islamic canonical law to allow devout Muslims to invest.

Though known as “ethical investing,” Sharia finance raises eyebrows among security agencies.

“Zaqat (donations for Islamic charity) money is exploited by charities connected with the Jihadis. The Sharia system will boost this process,” a former chief of India’s Intelligence Bureau, Maloy Krishna Dhar, told The Christian Post in an email.

Dhar’s fear is not unfounded. Estimated to be worth over $2.7 trillion globally, Sharia-compliant investment is seen as a security threat also by the United States.

According to diplomatic cables recently released by WikiLeaks, Britain’s support for Sharia banking raised concerns in Washington that London could become a center of terrorist funding, reported Press Trust of India (PTI) on March 16.

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