NAIROBI - Kenya Muslim leaders have protested the government's move to invest their pension funds in haram investments, including alcohol and tobacco industries, launching a campaign across the Nairobi's mosques to reject the plans.
If such a move is planned, the Government should consult with Muslim leaders including Members of Parliament to avoid such a misunderstanding, Sheikh Hassan Omar, the treasurer of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK), told The Standard website on Thursday, May 30.
The issue came to light on Thursday when members of the CIPK held a news conference to protest the government moves.
The leaders, including Sheikh Omar and CIPK national organizing secretary Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa, called for the government to intervene to solve this issue.
They added that the investments of pensions money, including Muslims money, in alcohol and tobacco contradicts with the interests of the Islamic Shari`ah.
The faith leaders also urged the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) to consult with Muslim leaders before making investment plans, threatening to ask Muslims to withhold NSSF contributions until the row is resolved.
Despite Muslim calls, officials ruled out reaching an agreement on this issue.
An official from NSSF who spoke on condition of anonymity, rejected the scholars' requests, saying they have a mandate to register members, collect money from members and invest prudently and pay back to the members with profit.
There are nearly ten million Muslims in Kenya, which has a population of 36 million.
Muslims make up nearly 98 percent of the communities of the North Eastern Province.
Islam forbids Muslims from usury, receiving or paying interest on loans.
Islamic banks and finance institutions cannot receive or provide funds for anything involving alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco, weapons or pork.
Investors have a right to know how their funds are being used, and the sector is overseen by dedicated supervisory boards as well as the usual national regulatory authorities.
The Shari`ah-compliant system is now being practiced in 50 countries worldwide, making it one of the fastest growing sectors in the global financial industry.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net