One small step for Britain; one giant leap for Islam — or something like that. “First sharia-compliant insurance firm launched,” from AFP, July 28:
LONDON (AFP) “” Britain’s first sharia-compliant insurance company was launched Monday, offering motoring policies in line with the Islamic legal code.
Salaam Halal insurance uses Takaful principles, whereby the risk is spread between all policy holders. In contrast, conventional insurance policies shift the risk from the policy holder to the insurance firm.
People taking out a policy with Salaam Halal pay contributions into a pool, with that money then put into sharia-compliant investments — avoiding companies that are involved in alcohol or pay interest.
The central pool of funds is used to pay any claims that arise, and at the end of the year, if the pool is over-funded, the excess will be distributed back to policyholders through a discount on their next premium.
The policies are aimed at Britain’s 1.6 million Muslims, who constitute 2.7 percent of the total population, according to the 2001 census.
“The launch of Salaam insurance — the first independent, fully sharia-compliant Takaful operator available in this country — is a significant step for the growth of Islamic finance in the UK,” said Abdulaziz Hamad Aljomaih, the chairman of Salaam insurance.
Why so modest, Abdulaziz? The “launch of Salaam insurance” in the UK is “a significant step for the growth of Islam,” period.