Wanted: Interest-free loans for Australian Muslims

Australian Muslims want interest-free loans for religious reasons, and recognition of sharia law as it applies to banking practices and family law.

These are the main outcomes from a survey of Australia’s Muslim leaders and revealed by the Sun Herald newspaper.

Imam Yusuf Parker, from the Alhidayah Centre in Perth, said Islam forbade the charging or paying of interest “so finding interest-free loans will again help Muslims to practise their Islam better.”

“Other than the two major issues mentioned, I don’t see other sharia law that Muslims would seek to have legally recognised,” he said.

Fellow West Australian imam Sheik Burhaan Mehtar said sharia law often was raised to scare non-Muslims, but a dialogue would lead to better understanding.

“Islamic banking and the non-slavery of humans is a classic example. Interest is slavery,” he said.

The survey also revealed

  • imams are sceptical that Osama bin Laden’s death will benefit ordinary Muslims
  • most Muslims are unhappy with the way the US disposed of bin Laden’s body
  • Muslims are condemnatory of MPs who criticise Muslim women for wearing the burqa / nijab and see these politicians as just playing political games
  • concern that ordinary Muslims are still being linked to terrorism
  • disgust that innocent people in Muslim countries are being killed in the “war on terror”

Victorian imam Sheik Ramy Najmeddine added that Muslims believe the link between ordinary Muslims and terrorism is being broken down by the good work that members of both the Muslim and non-Muslim community are doing.



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