March 3, 2024

MURIC urges FG to provide non-interest loans for Nigerian Muslims amidst palliatives announcement

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an Islamic human rights organization, has called on the Federal Government (FG) to provide non-interest loans specifically for Nigerian Muslims. This is in response to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recent address to the nation on July 31, 2023, where he offered several palliatives including interest loans.

MURIC’s Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, emphasized that it is forbidden (haram) for Muslims to give or receive loans with interest. Instead, the organization requested soft loans for the Muslim community, which would be compliant with Islamic principles.

While acknowledging President Tinubu’s concern for the citizens during these challenging times, MURIC highlighted that interest-based loans could create a divide between Nigerian Muslims and their religious beliefs. Quoting from the Glorious Qur’an, Akintola emphasized the religious prohibition against interest, urging the FG to consider alternatives to accommodate the more than 130 million Muslims in the country.

The organization suggested that the government seek Islamic scholars’ counsel and include an expert in Islamic finance within the National Economic Council (NEC) to ensure policies are aligned with the principles of Islam and promote fairness, equity, and justice.

As the nation grapples with rising food prices and economic challenges, MURIC stressed the importance of introducing Islam-compliant palliatives promptly to cater to the needs of the Muslim population while interest loans are made available to others. The organization hopes that such measures will alleviate the hardships faced by citizens and foster understanding between the government and Nigerian Muslims.

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