KUALA LUMPUR: Alliance Islamic Bank Bhd launched its first social crowdfunding platform, SocioBiz, to create greater socioeconomic impact for the financially disadvantaged. [...]
The Islamic State group published a picture of eight men it said were behind the attacks in Sri Lanka. – AFP photo
The Islamic State group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for a devastating series of suicide attacks against churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed more than 320 people.
The claim, accompanied by a photo and video of the men the group said had unleashed the carnage, emerged more than two days after the near-simultaneous blasts ripped through three high-end hotels popular with foreigners and three churches packed with Christians celebrating Easter.
Sri Lanka’s government had said initial investigations suggested the attack had been carried out as “retaliation” for shootings at two mosques in New Zealand last month that killed 50 people.
Authorities in Colombo had already pointed the finger at a little-known local Islamic extremist group called National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ), but said they were investigating whether they had international support.
“Those that carried out the attack that targeted members of the US-led coalition and Christians in Sri Lanka the day before yesterday are Islamic State group fighters,” IS propaganda agency Amaq said in a statement.
The group later gave the noms de guerre of seven people it said were behind the “blessed attack” that targeted Christians during their “blasphemous holiday”.
Amaq also released a photo of eight men it said were behind the blasts. Seven of them had their faces covered and three of them held knives.
The authenticity of the image and video could not be independently verified, and the reason for the discrepancy in the reported number of attackers was not immediately clear.
– Brothers involved? –
Sri Lankan police sources told AFP that two Muslim brothers, sons of a wealthy Colombo spice trader, blew themselves up at the Shangri-La and the Cinnamon Grand hotels.
The Kingsbury hotel in the capital was the last one hit.
A fourth attack against a hotel on Sunday failed, sources also told AFP, though it was not immediately clear if the bomber’s explosives had malfunctioned or he had chosen not to detonate them.
He later blew himself up when police tracked him to a lodging in the capital.
Police have detained at least 40 people as they investigate the worst act of violence in the South Asian island nation since a civil war ended a decade ago.
But Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said police were hunting for more suspects at large, including some armed with explosives, and that further attacks were possible.
“We are trying to apprehend them,” he said.
The government has imposed a state of emergency, giving police and the military special powers, including the ability to arrest suspects without a court order.
– ‘Hard to bear’ –
The country observed a national day of mourning Tuesday, beginning with a three-minute silence, as the bereaved began to bury their dead.
Flags were lowered to half-mast on government buildings, and liquor shops were ordered closed for the day.
More than 1,000 people gathered at St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, north of the capital, which was among those devastated in the blasts, to pay tribute to the dead.
An elderly man wept uncontrollably by the coffin bearing the body of his wife, while relatives of other victims stood aghast and silent.
Coffins were carried into the church grounds one by one for services, and then to a newly-established cemetery on church land.
“It’s very hard to bear,” said Father Suranga Warnakulasuriya, who had come from another parish to help conduct funerals.
The attacks were the worst ever against the country’s small Christian minority, who make up just seven percent of the 21 million population.
Officials are investigating why more precautions were not taken after an April 11 warning from Sri Lanka’s police that a “foreign intelligence agency” had reported the NTJ was planning suicide attacks on churches.
Government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the warning was not passed on to Wickremesinghe or other top ministers.
CNN reported that Indian intelligence services had passed on “unusually specific” information in the weeks before the attacks, and that at least some of it came from an IS suspect in their custody.
President Maithripala Sirisena, who is also defence and law and order minister, said he will carry out a complete reorganisation of the security forces and the police in the wake of the attacks.
“I hope to make major changes in the leadership of the security forces in the next 24 hours,” Sirisena said in a nationwide address.
– Identifying the dead –
Work was continuing to identify foreign victims in the blasts.
A Danish billionaire lost three of his children in the attacks, a spokesman for his company said.
Eight Britons, 10 Indians, four Americans and nationals from Turkey, Australia, Japan and Portugal, were also reported killed.
The United Nations said at least 45 children, Sri Lankans and foreigners, were among those who lost their lives.
Of the three churches targeted, two are in the Colombo region and one is in the eastern city of Batticaloa.
Ethnic and religious violence has plagued Sri Lanka for decades. A 37-year conflict with Tamil rebels was followed by a more recent upswing in clashes between the Buddhist majority and Muslims.
The attacks have sparked local and international outrage, and have been condemned by Sri Lankan Muslim groups. – AFP
The post Islamic State group claims Sri Lanka suicide bombings appeared first on Borneo Post Online. [...]
COLOMBO (April 23): Islamic State claimed responsibility on Tuesday for the bomb attacks in Sri Lanka that killed 321 people in what officials believe was... [...]
Malaysia remains as a global leader in the Islamic capital market with RM1.88 trillion as at end-2018, representing approximately 61% of Malaysia’s overall capital market: Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah
The post Malaysia remains as a global leader in the Islamic capital market with RM1.88 trillion as at end-2018, representing approximately 61% of Malaysia’s overall capital market: Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah appeared first on The Malaysian Reserve. [...]
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the over-reliance of the Islamic countries on the developed nations has caused them to be afraid to protest against any wrongful actions by Western countries. — Bernama pic
ISLAMABAD, March 23 — The over-reliance of the Islamic countries on the developed nations has caused them to be afraid to protest against any wrongful actions by Western countries, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.The Prime Minister said that because of this, they had to abide by what the Western countries did.“Islamic countries are too dependent on the developed nations for everything. Their ability is limited.“Because the Western countries strongly support Israel, thus it has caused Islamic nations to be scared to condemn Israel, Western countries will take action against them,” he told a press conference at the end of his three-day visit to Pakistan here today. — Bernama [...]
Dr Mahathir Mohamad
ISLAMABAD: The over-reliance of the Islamic countries on the developed nations has caused them to be afraid to protest against any wrongful actions by Western countries, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Prime Minister said that because of this, they had to abide by what the Western countries did.
“Islamic countries are too dependent on the developed nations for everything. Their ability is limited.
“Because the Western countries strongly support Israel, thus it has caused Islamic nations to be scared to condemn Israel, Western countries will take action against them,” he told a press conference at the end of his three-day visit to Pakistan here today.
On his visit to Pakistan at a time when tensions are running high between India and Pakistan, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia would not take sides as it doesn’t like wars.
“We cannot side with anyone. I think this, allowing terrorists to have this upper hand, is very dangerous. We must stop terrorists, both sides (India and Pakistan) must prevent acts of terrorism. When terrorists fight, they just want to take revenge.
“They cannot conquer. What can they do?…kill people. Is that what humanity is fated for? We don’t want to take sides with anyone, but we appreciate the problems they face,” he said. – Bernama
The post Islamic nations too dependent on developed countries – Dr Mahathir appeared first on Borneo Post Online. [...]
KUALA LUMPUR: RAM Rating sees Islamic finance playing a vital role in supporting the implementation of socially responsible investing (SRI, which includes environment, social and governance (ESG) matters) and funding for the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). [...]
KUALA LUMPUR: Standard Chartered Plc is considering options for its Islamic banking unit in Malaysia, including a potential sale, people with knowledge of the matter said. [...]
Indonesia has the highest number of Islamic fintech start-ups, followed by the US, UAE and the UK
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) leads the Gulf in halal financial technology (fintech) with Bahrain on close pursuit in a space that has the potential to bring better standardisation and transparency to the Islamic finance industry.
Blockchain-based smart contracts, insurtech, big data and artificial intelligence (AI) all offer opportunities, with signs of Islamic banks adopting the technologies, according to a recent Bloomberg Intelligence (BI) report.
Indonesia has the highest number of Islamic fintech start-ups, followed by the US, UAE and the UK, according to the report, quoting an analysis by UAE-based research and advisory firm DinarStandard.
It noted that from the 93 Shariah-compliant fintech start-ups identified globally, 70% were focused on peer-to-peer solutions to facilitate consumer and business financing.
While blockchain-based solutions made up 14% of the identified group, this was largely made up of cryptocurrencies versus smart contracts. The UAE is a leading hub in the Middle East for Islamic fintech companies by number of start-ups, with Bahrain putting in place initiatives to boost its presence, BI reported.
“A greater focus on blockchain smart contracts will support the growth of Islamic fintech, in our view, as this technology improves product standardisation, efficiencies and competitiveness against conventional peers,” the report added.
The report added that takaful technology is a “promising area” that offers the ability to enhance claims handling, pricing, product design and distribution channels.
There has been high adoption within Islamic fintech start-ups of peer-to-peer crowdfunding that targets real estate, and small and medium enterprises, it said.
Yet, the use of big data and AI for Islamic financial services, as well as blockchain solutions in areas such as trade finance, are untapped opportunities, based on DinarStandard analysis.
On blockchain in Islamic banking, the report noted that blockchain-based smart contracts allow for better transparency and standardisation of Islamic banks’ services, with tangible signs of these lenders embracing the technology.
Al Hilal Bank PJSC was the first Islamic bank to use blockchain-based technology for the resale and settlement of sukuk bonds.
“This could be the way to transform the sukuk market into digitalised platforms, which come at lower costs to investors, and give greater transparency and standardisation versus the traditional trading methods,” according to the report.
In a statement in November 2018, Al Hilal Bank CEO Alex Coelho said: “The advantages of using smart contracts range from safer transactions with robust Shariah compliance, to the unlocking of new opportunities.”
In its report, BI also noted that Saudi Arabia’s Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector seeks to introduce blockchain-based solutions to help Islamic banks manage liquidity. Al Rajhi Bank continues to perform cross-border money transfers using ripple blockchain technology, which lowers costs and transfer time for customers. — TMR
The post Islamic lenders adopting fintech, recognising advantages appeared first on The Malaysian Reserve. [...]
Education director-general Datuk Amin Senin said the school had previously assumed the pupil was Hindu . — Bernama pic
SEREMBAN, Feb 5 — The Education Ministry today denied a news portal report yesterday that a Hindu pupil was forced to study Islamic Education at a school in Negeri Sembilan.Education director-general Datuk Amin Senin said the ministry found that the girl, now in Year Three, had been taking Moral Education since starting school in 2017.“The school allowed the pupil to take Moral Education based on the information provided by her father without producing the child’s birth certificate.“Based on the information provided by her father, the school assumed that the pupil was a Hindu and allowed her to attend Moral Education classes,” he said in a statement here.Amin said the Negeri Sembilan Education Department gave the approval in 2017 for the pupil to be registered as ‘ a pupil without documentation’.“However, until now, the father has not submitted a copy of the birth certificate to the school as required,” he said.Amin said that a thorough check by the ministry following the news report showed that the National Registration Department had registered the pupil as a Muslim and that her mother was also a Muslim.He explained that under the Education Act 1996, every Muslim pupil was required to attend Islamic Education which was a core subject for Muslim pupils under the National Curriculum.Any Muslim student was entitled to Islamic Education, whether in government schools, government-aided schools or private schools in the country, he said.“Schools adhere to this matter based on the proof that the pupil is a Muslim,” he said, adding that, as such, there did not arise any issue that the pupil was forced to take Islamic Education.Amin said the ministry understood the situation faced by the parents of the pupil.“However, as the religious status of the pupil’s mother is subject to an appeal in the courts, the ministry will leave it to the courts to make a decision,” he said.He said the ministry would take the appropriate action in line with the court decision. — Bernama [...]
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has defended the appointment of Paloh assemblyman Sheikh Omar Ali to the board of Yadim saying he did not see what the problem was. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has defended the appointment of Paloh assemblyman Sheikh Omar Ali to the board of the Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim) saying he did not see what the problem was.Lim, who is the Finance Minister, said the criticisms levelled against Sheikh Omar is likely due to the fact he is a DAP member.“If he is a Muslim, what is the problem? For example, if it is a non-Muslim organisation, why can’t someone serve in it regardless of his or her race, so long as the individual is a member of that faith?” Lim told the press as he was leaving the closing ceremony of the 8TV Chinese New Year Grand Bazaar at KL Sports City, Bukit Jalil.He said if Sheikh Omar is already an assemblyman recognised by both the government and assented to by the Sultan of Johor, there was no reason why could he not serve in Yadim.“The man is a Malay Muslim, and also a graduate in Islamic studies. I mean I can understand the criticism if a non-Muslim was appointed to Yadim, in the same way if a Muslim was appointed to a non-Muslim religious organisation or body.“I think these criticisms are little more than politically-motivated attacks, and it would be wasting time to deal with such remarks,” Lim said.Yesterday, Islamic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mujahid Yusof Rawa defended Sheikh Ali’s appointment to the Islamic propagation foundation’s board, saying the decision was made due to his religious capabilities and qualifications, and that it would not be right to deny him a place merely because he is a DAP member.In his speech at the event earlier, Lim said he is confident the national economy will continue to grow and prosper, since the Pakatan Harapan administration does not steal from the rakyat.“We will do better because this is a clean government which does not steal your money. “Due to this you too can earn money more stably. I am sure this will be proven as time goes on,” he said. [...]
The three officers had allegedly received RM600 from a member of the public to not take action against a khalwat case. — Picture by Hari Anggara
PETALING JAYA, Jan 9 — Three Selangor District Islamic Religious Department (PAID) enforcement officers were arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) today after receiving a bribe of RM600 to not take action against a khalwat case.Sinar Harian quoting a MACC source reported that the three enforcement officers aged between 32 and 37-years-old were arrested at Selangor MACC headquarters at 6pm today.The source told Sinar Harian that the three officers had allegedly received RM600 from a member of the public to not take action against a khalwat case that took place in an unidentified location in Selangor.The source said all three suspects will be taken to the Klang Magistrates’ Court tomorrow where a remand order will be obtained.Selangor MACC director Datuk Alias Salim confirmed the arrest to Sinar Harian.The case is being investigated under Section 17(a) of the MACC Act 2009, which carries a fine of five times the bribe amount, or RM10,000, whichever is higher, or a jail term of not more than 20 years. [...]
Isma members show the 'C' handsign in support of the Malaysia Negara Islam campaign. ― Picture via Twitter/Malaysia Negara Islam
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 27 — Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) is initiating a campaign for Malaysia to be recognised as an “Islamic state”, citing among others the position of Islam in the Federal Constitution and influence of the religion here.It is employing the handsign of letter “C” to symbolise the crescent moon, one of Islam’s symbol.Objektif kempen Malaysia Negara Islam ini ialah untuk mempertegaskan hakikat bahawa Malaysia adalah sebuah Negara Islam berdasarkan sejarah, budaya, perlembagaan dan syarak.Ayuh laungkan #MalaysiaNegaraIslam !*simbol tangan C menunjukkan bulan sabit. pic.twitter.com/65MFZK7UbT— Malaysia Negara Islam (@MyNegaraIslam) December 26, 2018The five-month campaign called “Malaysia Negara Islam” (Malay for “Malaysia an Islamic State”) aims to gather one million signatures to support its claim, which will then be presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.Promotional materials for the campaign also employs the Jawi script — where Arabic alphabet is used to spell Malay words ― rather than the Roman script, ostensibly to direct it exclusively to those who can read it and are most likely to be Malays.A thread on Isma’s Twitter account listed eight items on its agenda, most notably the rejection of Malaysia as a secular country, and to stress that Malaysia is “Tanah Melayu” or “land of the Malays” with the Malays its native citizens.In addition, it called for stronger role for Islamic jurisprudence in the national justice system. Currently, Shariah jurisprudence is under state jurisdiction instead of federal.The campaign urged Malaysians to fight in implementing Islamic obligations in the national context.It also wishes to promote the assimilation of Islam into the Malay culture, among others in its language, tradition, clothing and food.8 MESEJ KEMPEN MALAYSIA NEGARA ISLAM*thread1. Menolak seruan yang mengatakan Malaysia negara sekular.2. Menegaskan Malaysia adalah Tanah Melayu & bangsa Melayu adalah penduduk asalnya.#MalaysiaNegaraIslam— Malaysia Negara Islam (@MyNegaraIslam) December 26, 2018In a promotional video of the campaign, Isma listed the Putrajaya Mosque, the Islamic architecture of the Prime Minister’s Department, congregational prayers, the Malay martial arts of silat, daily calls to prayer and Muslim women covering their heads as “proof” of Islam’s influence in the country.Malaysia continues to debate whether the country is secular or Islamic as the Federal Constitution does not explicitly state either, but the Malaysian Bar and Attorney-General Tommy Thomas have both previously affirmed the country’s status as secular.Article 3(1) of the Constitution states that Islam is the religion of the federation, but the Reid Commission that drafted the document wrote that the Article “...shall not imply that the State is not a secular state”.At the launch in Kuala Lumpur International Hotel yesterday, Isma president Aminuddin Yahaya claimed there is a concerted effort to declare Malaysia as a secular country following Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) win on May 9.“We see these evil attempts still continue, and more dangerously when those who believe in that are among the country’s leadership,” he said.Aminuddin also leads Gerakan Pembela Ummah, a coalition of Malay-Muslim groups that have held several rallies against the PH administration this month — on December 8 against an anti-racial discrimination convention, and last Friday over the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Muhammad Kassim.“Islamic state” is a modern Muslim political concept that can be defined as a government that base itself on the Shariah code, with Islamic scriptures as the ideological foundation of the state and its constitution.Modern Islamic states include Saudi Arabia, Iran and Afghanistan. [...]
By HABHAJAN SINGH
Financial inclusion can be channelled to enhance living standards and alleviate poverty, as well as address the suspicion and reluctance of the low-income segments to avail formal financial services.
At the same time, financial inclusion can also assist in developing practical roadmaps for enhancing capacity and competitiveness of Islamic financial inclusion products.
Financial inclusion can also reinforce social objectives of the Islamic economy and finance with a view of addressing the challenges of the poor.
These were among the takeaways at a recent public seminar and workshop on financial inclusion and Islamic finance in Surabaya, Indonesia, according to an Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) statement.
Jointly organised by IFSB and Bank Indonesia (BI), the seminar carried the theme “Broadening Economic Frontiers and Reducing Income Gaps through Inclusive Finance: The Islamic Finance Solution”.
It was one of the events that made up the 5th Indonesia Shariah Economic Festival (ISEF) held from Dec 11-14.
The issues were raised in a panel session entitled “Unlocking Economic Opportunities and Enabling Livelihood Creation: The Islamic Finance Proposition” moderated by BI Institute economist Dr Prayudhi Azwar.
One of the panel members were Dr Aida Othman, a partner at Kuala Lumpur-based law firm Zaid Ibrahim & Co and an MD of ZICO Shariah Advisory Services Sdn Bhd.
The other panellists were Hajj Pilgrims Funds Management Agency executive board member Dr Hurriyah El Islamy and Financial Services Authority of Indonesia (OJK) deputy director Luci Irawati.
In the opening remarks, IFSB secretary general Dr Bello Lawal Danbatta said it is important to improve the economic conditions of the Muslim-majority countries which experience high levels of poverty in many instances.
In the statement, he also noted that some of the countries have high levels of financial exclusion, and with voluntary exclusion due to religious beliefs often being cited as a factor.
In the keynote address, BI communications ED Agusman said among Indonesia’s initiatives aimed at addressing the financial inclusion challenge is its collaborations with international partners to support
the development of Islamic social finance policies such as zakat and waqf.
In October, BI governor Perry Warjiyo said Indonesia continues to back Islamic economics and finance towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Islamic economics and finance have vast potential — considering the underlying principles of ethics, fairness and equality, the bank said in an earlier statement.
Islamic economics and finance have penetrated non-commercial instruments such as zakat and waqf as instruments of social finance to support various productive activities, redistribute wealth to the poor and simultaneously help towards achie- ving the SDGs, the statement added.
var VUUKLE_EMOTE_SIZE = "90px";
VUUKLE_EMOTE_IFRAME = "180px"
var EMOTE_TEXT = ["HAPPY","INDIFFERENT","AMUSED","EXCITED","ANGRY","SAD"]The post IFSB, BI explore financial inclusion and Islamic finance appeared first on The Malaysian Reserve. [...]
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s biggest Islamic bank is setting up its first overseas branch to meet the demand for financing in the us$6.4 trillion global halal economy. [...]
Richard Makepeace, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Datuk Afifi Al-Akiti pose for pictures outside the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in Oxford December 6, 2018. — Bernama pic
LONDON, Dec 6 — Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today visited the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies (OCIS), an independent centre of Oxford University, 83 kilometres from here.On hand to receive her upon arrival at the centre were Richard Makepeace, Registrar of the centre and Fellow at St Cross College and Datuk Afifi Al-Akiti, KFAS Fellow in Islamic Studies OCIS and Basil AJ Mustafa, Senior Bursar and Nelson Mandela Fellow in Educational Studies OCIS.Dr Wan Azizah spent about an hour touring the centre, which was established in 1985, that contributes to the multi-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary study of the Islamic world.During her visit, the deputy prime minister was accompanied by Deputy Foreign Minister Senator Datuk Marzuki Yahya and Malaysian High Commission Charge d’Affaires ad interim Mohd Suhaimi Jaafar and other government officials.Dr Wan Azizah, who arrived in London yesterday for a three-day official visit, later attended a luncheon discussion with scholars at the centre.This is her maiden visit to United Kingdom since being appointed to the Malaysian cabinet on May 21 following Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the country’s 14th general election. — Bernama [...]