Islamic Banking: Muslim clerics hit back UJCC

As Muslims celebrated the feast of Eid-ul-Fitri marking the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, bold messages were sent to leaders of the Uganda Joint Christian Council (UJCC) for their campaign against Islamic banking.

Church leaders under the UJCC last week urged government to halt the implementation of the Islamic banking system out of a fear that it is intended to Islamise the country.

Addressing throngs of Muslims who turned up for Eid prayers at Kibuli Mosque, the Supreme Mufti Sheikh Silman Kasule Ndirangwa urged the government not to heed to the UJCC call on Islamic banking.

“Once implemented, Islamic banking will benefit all Ugandans regardless of their religious affiliation. If there is anyone who doesn’t understand the concept clearly, it should not be a reason for denying a chance to those that appreciate its advantages to enjoy the benefits of Islamic banking,” Ndirangwa said.

A cross section of Muslim worshipers at Kibuli Mosque

Citing examples from the western world where the system is already operational, Ndirangwa said that it is wrong for the system to be looked at as intended to promote Islam.

“While it is true that it is an Islamic based system of banking, its benefits are not limited to Muslims but even non-Muslims,” Ndirangwa said.

He called on the government to be just to Muslims who like other taxpayers need an appropriate share of the national cake.

The day’s preacher Sheikh Mahmoud Ssetyabule said that the church leaders under UJCC were being dishonest in their talk against Islamic banking.

“You claim not to understand how Islamic banking works and then turn around and say that it is intended to Islamise the country; isn’t that dishonesty?” Sheikh Ssetyabule wondered.

He urged the UJCC leaders to think about the many businesses that have collapsed and Ugandans who have properties because of debts accrued from unfair interest rates charged by commercial banks under the conventional system.