The U.S. Embassy in Dublin has sponsored a seminar on Muslim entrepreneurs and business in Ireland. A main point of the conference was the need for Sharia law compliant financial products to be used.

The U.S. Embassy supported the conference as part of President Obama’s outreach to Muslims around the world.

Ambassador Dan Rooney congratulated the organizers on Wednesday and said that the U.S was “solid partners” in the venture.  He gave a copy of President Obama’s book   “The Audacity of Hope “ to  Imam Hussein Halawa, of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, who opened the event.

At the conference, Thomas Cooney, academic director of the Dublin Institute of Technology, stated that 76 per cent of Muslim business people in Ireland say securing finance is their biggest problem and 90 per cent said there is a need for financial products  to be compliant with Islamic law. 

There are 45,000 Muslims in Ireland and Islam is the third largest religion reported on census forms.

Imam Hussein Halawa said the Muslim culture was deeply dependent on ethics in business and that the paying or charging of interest on loans was forbidden.

“The Islamic objective is to avoid all transactions leading to disharmony among people,” he said.

Tayyibah Taylor, the founder of the American Muslim women’s magazine Azizah, said Islam was more than a religion, it was a way of life.

“If you would feel uncomfortable about having the activity you are doing spread across the front page of a newspaper, you shouldn’t do it,” she said.