Muslim Leaders Warn Of Tax Cheats
Muslim leaders have warned that hardline clerics are encouraging their followers to cheat the tax system because they consider paying income tax contrary to Sharia law. Sydney-based Islamic leader Fadi Rahman says extremist Muslim clerics who were preaching messages against paying income taxes were also staunchly opposed to western ideologies, The Australian reports. Mr Rahman said he had heard Friday sermons delivered by hardline clerics in Sydney which highlighted the importance of cheating the tax system. "I mean, just like how you've got clerics (with) extreme views who are telling the Muslims in the western world to declare war against the very country that they live in and the very country that is paying for their day to day life, you'll find that these are the clerics that are telling them to dodge the tax system," Mr Rahman told News Limited. The youth leader and president of the Independent Centre for Research Australia said tax itself was not allowed in Islam."So they (clerics) encourage them that if there's any way that you can dodge paying the tax, then you should do it." Clerics pushing for the tax evasion espoused a fundamentalist form of Islam called Wahabbism, News Ltd reported. Prominent Islamic cleric Khalil Shami said he had heard of imams encouraging tax evasion. The fundamentalist Ahlus Sunnah Wal-Jamaah Association, which is headed by cleric Mohammed Omran, rejected suggestions that his imams were calling on followers to cheat on their taxes. "Of course we pay taxes and we go as far as collecting money from our Muslim communities and donating it to organisations (such as the Royal Children's Hospital) to help," the Wahabbi organisation's spokesman Abu Yusuf said.