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Eleventh Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance

CALL FOR PAPERS TAKAFUL AND ALTERNATIVE COOPERATIVE FINANCE: Challenges and Opportunities April 26-27, 2014 Harvard Law School | Harvard University,  Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.   The Harvard University Forum on Islamic Finance was introduced in 1997 in order to engage scholars, practitioners and regulators in productive dialogue about the then-nascent field.  Previous forums have focused on recent economic and political developments in Muslim-majority societies; innovation and authenticity; the global recession and points of contact between Islamic finance and other types of ethical finance.   Islamic finance literature frequently refers to economic justice, equitable distribution of opportunity and wealth, ethics, morality, equity and fairness in business dealings. Critics, however, contend that the current practice of Islamic finance is not adequately informed by such ideals. Can cooperative financial models such as takaful facilitate the development and growth of financial solutions that more clearly reflect the ideals of Islamic finance?   The Eleventh Forum seeks to reassess and critically engage with issues of risk sharing, mutuality, solidarity, and socio-economic welfare in the context of a discussion about takaful and other types of cooperative financial solution.   Papers are requested in the following areas:   MUTUALITY: CHALLENGES AND ISSUES Mutuals and cooperatives are relatively rare in the Islamic financial services sector. Is there a need for a greater number of mutuals and cooperatives to replace the debt based products predominantly being offered? What factors (profitability, business models, legal/regulatory frameworks, government support, etc.) could problematize the development and growth of Islamic financial products and institutions based on ...

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Omaruddin Don Mattera Honoured

The Muslim Youth Movement (MYM) of South Africa in conjunction with AWQAF South Africa recently held an event in Johannesburg in honour of Dr. Don Muhammad Omaruddin Mattera for his contribution to social justice, peace and reconciliation in South Africa and the world. Held at the Nana Memorial Centre, the event was a culmination of an MYM organised tour to the Eastern Cape’s Nelson Mandela Bay area that Dr. Mattera undertook. There, he spoke at a public lecture on “Youth and Social Justice” and spent a full week addressing learners at various high schools in Uitenhage, Despatch, Port Elizabeth and at a LoveLife centre in Kwa-Nobuhle. Carrying a message of compassion and self love, Dr Mattera expressed his sadness at seeing the conditions under which the learners were made to attend school, the levels of poverty, drug and alcohol use and the high rates of teenage pregnancy in one of the schools, but he encouraged them to find solutions within themselves and not to wait for salvation from the government. He also urged them to “find someone to take along in the race of life, for you may need help along the way, you may need someone to pick you up when you fall. But the first thing you need to do is to find yourself, know yourself, love yourself and then be yourself. For you cannot be better if you are anyone or anything but yourself.”   At the emotionally charged event in Johannesburg, Dr. Mattera was lauded for ...

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