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Muslims have pent-up demand for financial services – InvestmentNews October 2, 2007

Posted by islamicfinanceaffairs in Uncategorized.
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Muslims have pent-up demand for financial services – InvestmentNews

Muslims in the United States number anywhere from 7 million to 10 million, and many are professionals, according to studies.

Yet for the majority, there are almost no outlets for their financing and in-vestment needs.

The reason is that Islamic law, or Shariah, doesn’t allow the charging or paying of interest, or investment in any industry involved in forbidden areas such as gambling, pornography, alcohol, tobacco or defense.

U.S. institutions have been slow to create an environment for developing Shariah-compliant instruments, due to a lack of legal and regulatory precedents, and a general lack of awareness, but not a lack of demand, observers said.

The pent-up demand is huge, said Akram Sheikh, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Anchor Finance Group in Hauppauge, N.Y., a Shariah-compliant business- and financial-consulting firm.

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