When dealing with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it is important to keep religious rules in mind at all times. Two Turkish imams found that out the hard way, as they have been fired over their Bitcoin activity. It’s a very strange turn of events, although it isn’t entirely surprising.
The Fatwa Against Bitcoin Trading
For those who are unaware, using, buying, and trading Bitcoin is perfectly legal in Turkey as of right now. There is no official law against this type of activity, yet that doesn’t mean there won’t be repercussions for getting involved in cryptocurrency. This is especially true when you are a religious leader of sorts, as there are various rules to take into account at all times.
As it happens, Turkey is subject to a fatwa against Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. This fatwa was issued against the use and trading of cryptocurrencies in late 2017. At that time, religious leaders in the country determined that Bitcoin and altcoins were not compatible with Islam, which is a serious matter. Although it may seem strange to the Western world, such a fatwa carries a lot of weight in Turkey and other Islamic countries.
Because of this existing fatwa, two Turkish imams recently lost their jobs. Both individuals were using Bitcoin on the internet, and they eventually became people of interest in an ongoing investigation by the country’s Directorate of Religious Affairs. As one would expect, this investigation made it clear that both imams were in violation of the fatwa, and thus firing them was the only logical outcome.
Although it is the first time such a harsh course of action has been taken, it may not be the last. Islamic countries take a very strict approach to finance, and any violations of agreements and rules will cause problems for the perpetrators. It is good to see these guidelines apply to everyone in the same manner, even if they are an imam.
It is unclear whether both imams will appeal this decision, although there are no grounds on which to do so. After all, they were all too aware of the fatwa against trading cryptocurrencies, yet they still decided to enrich themselves and use Bitcoin for financial gain. Although it is possible that they might have evaded the authorities with a bit more luck on their side, it is evident the Turkish Directorate of Religious Affairs doesn’t take kindly to such violations.
It will be quite interesting to see how other Islamic countries approach Bitcoin trading in the future. As of right now, it seems the fatwa against cryptocurrency trading only exists in Turkey, but that may not be the case much longer. It creates some very interesting discussions regardless. At the same time, it also shows the allure of cryptocurrency leaves no one untouched, which can only be considered a good thing.