Malaysia To Host 2nd World Conference On Riba

"Riba is no longer an 'Islamic' issue.The term could be different, some may call it interest, some may call it usury,but the effect is felt by everyone, irrespective of their race or religion,"Professor Ahamed Kameel, International Islamic University Malaysia.

The 2nd World Conference on Riba scheduled to be held in Malaysia on 26 and 27 July 2011 will set the stage for an in-depth and comprehensive deliberation on Riba (usury) from all perspectives.

With the theme "The Riba Conundrum: Impartial Outlook from Accounting,Legal and Religious Perspectives", the conference will be held at the TunHussein Onn Hall, Putra World Trade Centre.

Conference Convener, Professor Dr. Ahamed Kameel Mydin Meera said that the conferencewill critically look at the element of interest, commonly known as Riba in Islamic finance fromthe banking and accounting perspectives.

It also aims to take Islamic bankingas it is practised today to the next level and re-visit the legal tender law to mitigate the use of 'fiat' money with gold or community currencies.

"The inaugural WorldConference on Riba which was heldlast November received tremendous support from both Islamic and Westernscholars, as well as industry leaders.

We discussed the issue of Riba amid signals of another financialcrisis looming. This was despite constant reports of economic recovery," hesaid.

"Almost nine months later, wesee turmoil in Arab countries, weakening US$, sharp rise in gold prices,countries going bankrupt and many other worrying financial developments--- allsignalling that the discourse on Ribais even more pertinent in addressing entrenched financial practices whichcorrespond directly to the political and economic upheavals around the world,"said Kameel who is also the Head of Departmentof Finance, Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences, International IslamicUniversity Malaysia (IIUM).

Kameel, the author of the highly critically acclaimed book, The Theft of Nations said Riba is nolonger an isolated term which is relevant only to the Islamic finance.

"Riba is no longer an 'Islamic'issue. The term could be different, some may call it interest, some will callit usury, but the effect is felt by everyone, irrespective of race or religion."

According to the Organizing Committee Chairman, Shirazdeen Adam Shah, thesecond conference will be a continuation of the first especially on thediscussion of the core meaning of Riba itself.

"The conference will continue the discussion on the coremeaning of Riba - from religious, scientific and economic perspectives.

Additionally,this year the discussions by the intellectuals, business community and the policymakers will revolve around one central theme which is the relationship between accountingstandards, legal tender and Riba."

"The key question remains: Can we blame the practiceof Riba for the current global economic and political turmoil? If so, what canbe done to mitigate the issue? This is what the conference is all about," reiteratedShiraz.

Leading speakers for this conference will include Attorneyand President of the Public Banking Institute (USA) Ellen Hodgson Brown, Founderof the Global Exchange Trading Systems (UK) Richard Logie, Founder and Chairmanof the al-Ghazzali Centre for Islamic Sciences and Human Development (Australia)Imam Afroz Ali, former CEO of Bank Muamalat Datuk A. Manap Wahab, Rector of Kolej University Islam Selangor ProfessorDatuk Dr Aziuddin Ahmad, Dean of the Graduate School of Management UniversitiPutra Malaysia Associate Professor Dr Arfah Salleh and many others.

He addedthat there is an overwhelming response for the conference, with participantsfrom all over the world including United States, Nigeria, United Kingdom,Canada, Jordan, Indonesia and Singapore among the 200 who have registered tilldate.

However, he said that there arelimited spaces left.

The two day conference is organised by Thinkers TrendsResources Sdn Bhd, Kulliyah of Economics & Management Sciences, InternationalIslamic University Malaysia and Kolej University Islam Antarabangsa Selangor.

For more information, please visit


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by Ms Manminder Kaur (few years ago!)

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