Contradicting Islam, Some Muslims Are Violating The Laws of the Country They Reside In

Posted on March 15, 2007

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Source: ABC Premium News (Australia)

Australia: Federal Assistant Treasurer Peter Dutton has asked the Tax Commissioner to investigate reports that some hardline Muslim clerics are encouraging people to cheat the tax system. A newspaper report today suggests some extremist clerics are advocating tax avoidance because they say paying tax is contrary to Islamic law.

Mr Dutton says anyone with information should call the Australian Taxation Office.

“I’ve written to the Commissioner of Taxation asking for him to have a look at the matter,” he said.

“I’d call on anybody in the Australian community that has information in relation to people evading their tax or advocating that people should evade their tax to call the tax office to provide them with as much information as possible.”

Note from Rafik Beekun: A primary tenet of Islam is that Muslims are to follow the law of the land they reside in (see fatwa below). It is incomprehensible where these Muslim “clerics” get their justification from.

In response to the following question from one of their readers, “Should a Muslim obey the laws of a non-Muslim country while living there?“, two leading scholars at Islamonline responded as follows:

(1) In answering this question, the eminent Muslim scholar, Sheikh Muhammad Al-Hanooti, member of the North American Fiqh Council, states:

“We have to abide by the law of the place where we live. We are not committed to obey any law contradictory to Islam. You cannot live in a society without complying with its rules and laws. You will be forced to follow those laws. If you want to disobey the laws of that society, you will make yourself liable to penalties and punishments. That liability is against Islam.”

(2) Shedding more light on the issue, Sheikh Faisal Mawlawi, Deputy Chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, states:

“First of all, I would like to correct the question, which should be formulated as this: Is it permissible for Muslims living in the West to obey the laws that are contradictory to Islam? Muslims are obliged to abide by the Islamic laws. However, does their living in the West and submission to its laws allow them to contradict the Shari`ah rulings?

In fact there are two types of positive or man-made laws:

Firstly, there are personal laws concerning which it is up to the individual to comply with or not. In this realm of laws, it is by no means permissible for the Muslim to do anything that contradicts the Islamic rulings and laws such as those that prohibit drinking alcohol, eating pork, committing zina (fornication or adultery), or taking riba (interest). Even though the Western laws permit such things, it is absolutely not permissible for the Muslim to do any of them.

Secondly, there are the laws that regulate the life of and the relations within the society, such as the laws regarding dealings between the Muslim and all other people in the society or those laws regulating the relations between the rulers and the ruled, etc. In this respect, a Muslim is obliged to abide by such laws when he is liable to any of them. For instance, when one wants to sell something, he is to abide by the law of selling; when he is to establish a firm then he is to abide by the laws governing these dealings. Here, we cannot give a general fatwa, as these laws can be in absolute contradiction with the Islamic laws or they can also be contradictory according to one school of fiqh while they are in conformity with the rulings of another school. Sometimes they may belong to matters upon which there is no ruling at all.

To conclude, a Muslim must try his best to abide by the rulings of Shari`ah whenever possible as much as he can. He should not allow himself/herself to be liable to those Western laws that contradict the clear-cut Islamic rulings agreed upon by all Islamic juristic schools. However, when the Western law agrees with the ruling of at least one school, then there is no harm if a Muslim abides by such law.”

To read the whole answer to the above question, please click here.

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