By Ehsan Masood
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Extra resources for British Muslims, Media Guide
Many Muslim media institutions survive on little more than adrenalin, a sense of serving an important cause, and a frequent turnover of staff. Born in an environment where readers often feel under siege from the mainstream media, they try hard to promote Muslim role models among a readership where such individuals are badly needed. But at the same time the editorial content of many (Q News is a clear exception here) tends to be low on selfcriticism – a price perhaps of the close access that their writers and editors have to leading players in British (as well as international) Muslim life.
How does Islamic finance work in practice? There are a variety of ways of organising finance without interest. Indeed, it is this potential for research and innovation in financial planning that attracts many (non-Muslim) financiers to the idea. In one type of Islamic mortgage, for example, the bank (and not the borrower) will buy a house, and will lease it back to a borrower at a higher price. Both HSBC and Lloyds TSB have an Islamic mortgage product in which the borrower repays the bank what is in effect a fixed monthly rent for a defined period of time (such as 20 or 25 years).
Marriage in Muslim societies is traditionally a decision that is made with the consent of families, and is not ordinarily regarded as a decision that two individuals will make on their own. In wider Britain the reverse is mostly true. One effect of this is that children from Muslim families in Britain who choose not to involve parents in identifying future spouses often need to embark on a process, not unlike a negotiation, to convince parents that offspring can be trusted to make the right choice.