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Unite: U.S. Muslim-Christian-Worker Delegation Coming to London to Stress Worker Rights in Islamic Investing

Largest U.S. Muslim Organization Questions Legitimacy of First-ever Shari'ah-Compliant Global Real Estate Company to Be Listed on London Stock Exchange

London-A U.S. Imam, a Christian minister, and a low-wage janitor from Indiana are coming to London to stress the importance of worker rights in Islamic social thought and to save the integrity of Shari'ah-compliant investing, a rapidly growing financial practice that appeals to ethical Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

The delegation will attend the Islamic Real Estate Finance Conference and meet with investors, London-based imams, and British trade union and community leaders to raise awareness about the business practices of Indianapolis-based international real estate company HDG Mansur, which plans to launch the first-ever publicly traded Shari'ah-compliant investment fund, Al-Umran Global Property Fund Limited, next year. Although such funds are designed to promote the social justice goals of Islam, HDG Mansur, the second largest property owner in Indianapolis, is refusing to support good jobs with health care for the city's janitors, leaving janitors employed by their cleaning contractor Executive Management Services (EMS) and thousands of others in poverty.

WHO: Representatives of the Islamic Society of North America, Interfaith Worker Justice, a striking janitor who is a member of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), London-based imams, members of TGWU-Unite.

WHAT: Round Table Discussion on Worker Rights and Islamic Investing, OPEN TO MEDIA, refreshments provided

WHEN: 12.00 Hours, Tuesday, November 6, 2007

WHERE: UNITE, Ground Floor, Transport House, 128 Theobald's Road, Holborn, London

NOTE: THE DELEGATION WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR INDIVIDUAL MEDIA INTERVIEWS ON TUESDAY, NOV. 6 AND WEDNESDAY,

NOV. 7. PLEASE CALL FOR APPOINTMENT.

Since 1996, Islamic investment funds have grown by an average of 30% each year, and now total approximately $72 billion in assets. In 2002, HDG Mansur launched the HSBC Amanah Global Properties Income Fund to cater to this market. Long favored by devout Muslims, such funds are now drawing the attention of non-Muslims who are seeking non-exploitative investments. Given HDG Mansur's record in Indianapolis, janitors and members of the Muslim community are raising the question: Can an unjust company manage a Shari'ah-compliant real estate fund without running afoul of Shari'ah law? The answer to this question is important to all ethically-motivated investors, both religious and secular.

With 1.9 million members, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in North America. SEIU is the largest health care union, including hospitals, nursing homes, and home care; the largest property services union, including building cleaning and security; and the second largest public employee union.

More Articles by Unite - the union (T&G section) ...

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