Iraq's Islamic Bank and the Islamicity of Interest

Recently, the president of Iraq - Jalal Talibani - gave his apprval to the new law establishing a state-owned Islamic bank. The name of the bank is "The Islamic Bank of Mesopotamia." According to the law, the bank starts with an initial working capital of 50 billion Iraqi dinars (about $43 million). Resources developed by the bank itself can later be used to raise that sum. The law further states that the purpose of the bank is to provide financial and banking services which are to be in accordance with Islamic shari'a and the development of the Iraqi economy. The law marks the first public effort of the country's government to enter into the rapidly developing and expanding field of Islamic finance.