Skip to main content

Debate on Islamic Finance: Leading or Following?

Tuesday, 19 June, 2007

Leading experts in the field of Islamic finance recent participated in a debate organized by the UOWD Alumni Association and the Centre for Management Excellence on 12 June 2007. Over 75 attendees had the opportunity to hear compelling arguments on both side of the question: "Is Islamic Finance Leading or Following Conventional Banking?

Majid Dawood, CEO, Yasaar and Saadat Muzaffer, Head - International Wealth Management, Dubai Islamic Bank represented the "Leading point of view; Trevor Norman, Director, Volaw Trust (Jersey Islands) and Khalid Yousaf, Managing Director, International Holding Group argued the "Following point of view. James Hume, Senior Executive Officer, Volaw Trust (DIFC Branch), moderated the discussion and fielded questions from the audience.

Massy Azizi, President of the Alumni Committee welcomed the speakers. She said, "It is a testament to the growing importance of Islamic Finance, that four leading experts in the field, were able to join us for this debate. With the large number of UOWD alumni employed in the banking and finance industries, we felt this was a very timely topic for our members.

L-R: Ms. Massy Azizi, Mr. Saadat Muzaffer, Dr. Ashraf Mahate, Mr. Majid Dawood, Mr. James Hume, Mr. Khalid Youssef and Mr. Trevor Norman
An energetic debate between the panel members, and at times with the audience, followed the brief individual introductions, with both sides of the topic well presented. The "Following team posited that Islamic finance is following traditional banking because there are only minor differences between conventional banking practices and Islamic finance practices, as the Islamic banking model is built upon an existing preface.

They added that many international banks are now including or implementing Islamic banking products as well conventional products. "However, it still a question as to whether they are doing so because of the strength of the product itself or whether its simply to add or adopt the idea to ensure a common product platform, especially for trading companies.

This position was rebutted by the "Leading team who argued that the pre-existence of a conventional model did not imply that a new model cant be a leader, commenting, "Islamic finance is one of the fastest growing products in the industry at the moment. It appeals to customers because it offers ethical banking with social responsibility.

A member of the audience voiced their support with the "Leading team, saying that, "Islamic banking products are most definitely innovative since they have "identified a need in the market and "reacted to it by introducing a product range to meet that need. She compared it to conventional banking saying that, "Conventional banks are acting, while Islamic banks are reacting to the environment, especially post 9/11. As history has proven, people and markets need institutions that "react to a need, rather than "act through age-old conventional methods hence that makes Islamic Banking a leader.

Another audience member commented that, "This argument is going back and forth without a real definition of what comprises a 'follower' or a 'leader'." He added, "From a philosophical standpoint, all that exists today is a derivative of something that has pre-existed.

At the conclusion of the 2 hour debate, Dr. Ashraf Mahate, Head of the Centre for Management Excellence, thanked the panel members, presenting each panel member with a crystal dhow. He commented that, "Islamic finance today is a trillion dollar business which has made a mark in almost every single country in the world. This was a timely debate which provided an excellent forum for Islamic finance professionals and those new to the field to discuss the current issues in the area.

UOWD in the news

Bodour Al Qasimi promotes Mohammed Al Musharrakh to CEO of ‘Invest in Sharjah’

By Gulf Today, Gulf News, Total UAE

Mohammed Juma Al Musharrakh had been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Sharjah FDI Office (Invest in Sharjah). More...

UOWD hosts inaugural Middle East CASE Conference

By Yahind

Conference supports advancement of education in the region through shared insights and knowledge. More...

Indian Billionaire B. R. Shetty Is Now Venturing Into Higher Education

By Dubai Forum, Wealth-X

After building a healthcare empire in the U.A.E., Abu Dhabi-based Indian billionaire B. R. Shetty is entering the region’s lucrative higher education sector. More...

Sarra scoops multiple honours in rowing and swimming

By Khaleej Times, The Middle East North Africa Financial Network

Rising sporting star Sarra Lajnef continues to excel in rowing and swimming championships in the region. More...

Dubai Electronic Security Center Receives Overwhelming Interest From Regional and Global Universities For The AED 700,000 ‘Innovation In Cyber Security Award' Competition

By Dubai PR Network, Total UAE, The Middle East North Africa Financial Network

Call for submission for the ‘Innovation In Cyber Security Award’ has earned overwhelming response from regional and global universities. More...

UOWD logistics students tour Jebel Ali Port in Dubai

By Arabian Industry, Dubai Forum

The Master of Science in Logistics at UOWD has been running in the UAE for the last 10 years and is one of the region’s most popular postgraduate courses. More...

Career focus need not stymie personal advancement

By Gulf News Smart Edition

Commitment to study runs deep in employed aspirants, experts say. More...

Most postgraduate students are working people

By Gulf News,

Most of the postgraduate students in the UAE are working people, said universities in the UAE. More...

Chairman Of Dubai-Based University Awarded Order Of Australia

By UAE Today, YaHind, Dubai Forum, Dubai Informer, Go Dubai

Peter Robson, Chairman of the University of Wollongong in Dubai’s, UOWD, Board, has been awarded the Order of Australia, OA. More...

9th Sustainable Development & Inclusive Growth Congress discusses ways to achieve global sustainability

By Go Dubai

Congress focused on the need to follow the principles of sustainable development and inclusive growth to meet global challenges and global sustainability More...

Copyright © 2018 University of Wollongong in Dubai   | Privacy | Disclaimer | Site map