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Islamic Finance In Western Europe

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Chapter Summary

Islamic finance has grown by 15% to 20% in about two decades with assets evaluated to be worth US$500 billion to US$700 billion in 2008. There are more than 800 Islamic financial institutions in the world. This chapter discusses the birth of Islamic finance, its establishment in Western Europe and its salient features in order to review the situation in France. Islamic finance rests on Islamic law and essentially uses the contractual law of sale or rent to structure Islamic financial products, and this is accepted by European countries. In France, Islamic finance has been subject to consultation after a roundtable organised in the Senate in May 2008, followed by a report. In conclusion, France is increasingly debating the question of whether Islamic finance is compatible with the constitutional principle of a secular state.

Keywords: France; Islamic finance; Islamic law; Western Europe



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