Richard KerbajÂ Â The Australian
HARDLINE Muslim clerics are encouraging their followers to cheat the tax system because they consider paying income tax contrary to Islamic law.
Muslim leaders have warned that fundamentalist imams who put sharia law ahead of Australian law are also condoning welfare fraud and the cash economy as tax-evasion methods.
Sydney-based Islamic leader Fadi Rahman told The Australian that the extremist clerics who were preaching messages against paying income taxes were also staunchly opposed to Western ideologies, including the Australian way of life.
He said he had heard hardline clerics at Friday sermons in Sydney highlight 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 who are telling them to dodge the tax system,” said Mr Rahman, a youth leader and the president of the Independent Centre for Research Australia.
“Tax, itself, is 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.”
The Australian understands that the clerics pushing for taxevasion espoused a fundamentalist form of Islam called Wahabbism.
* Which is not to say that other Islamic sects are better taxpayers. ‘Wahabism’ is a red herring, but hey, its encouraging because it would be the first time one Muslim criticizes another, which is ‘haram’- forbidden in Islam…