Edited by Abbas J. Ali
Chapter 8: Ethical considerations in ‘Islamic’ marketing and promotion: a spotlight on the Islamic Bank of Britain
Egypt established the first Islamic bank in modern Islamic history in 1963, followed by other Arab Muslim countries (Saleh, 1992, p._108). The intention was to eradicate the system of ‘interest-based financial product instruments’ (Elfakhani et al., 2007, p._116) and to replace it with one based on the Islamic practices of halal, that is, interest-free loans and elimination of unlawful gain, which is prohibited according to most interpretations of shariah or Islamic law (Saleh, 1992). This philosophy suggests that any product offered by the Islamic finance industry must conform to this original spirit in order to gain credibility and sustainability. This chapter aims to articulate Islamic approaches to the marketing of financial products by a lender, investigate the validity of claiming adherence to Islamic standards and examine the Islamic Bank of Britain (IBB) as a case study. It assesses whether principles drawn from textual discourse and classical Islamic jurisprudence are observed in marketing and promoting of Islamic financial products in the UK and, if they are not, then what are the impeding factors and how can this situation be improved? For an empirical analysis, the chapter will subject IBB’s online marketing and promotion strategies to critical examination. The Islamic financial industry has risen drastically in recent years. The innovation of different products to compete with those of conventional banks, such as Islamic sukuk (the equivalent of conventional bonds), which were worth US$1.9 billion in 2003 and rose to $6.
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