It is important to put in mind the implications of religious beliefs and rules when dealing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Two Turkish imams have been fired due to their involvement Bitcoin activity. This is a strange turn of events, but not entirely surprising.
The Fatwa Against Bitcoin Trading
For the sake of anyone who may be unaware, buying, trading and using Bitcoin is legal in Turkey. Currently there is no law prohibiting these activities in the country. However, there are several re repercussions for engaging in this type of business. This is mainly applicable to people who hold religious leadership positions. There are several rules to consider in such cases.
Currently, Turkey subscribes to a fatwa which is against Bitcoin plus other cryptocurrencies. This fatwa was launched in 2017and is against the use and trade of cryptocurrencies. The decision was arrived at after religious leaders determined that altcoins and Bitcoin are against Islam. Although it may sound very strange especially in the western world, such types of fatwa has a lot of implications in Turkey as well as other countries and subscribe to Islamic religion and culture.
As a result of this fatwa, two Turkish imams have been fired from their jobs. The two were found to be using Bitcoin on internet and they later became subject to an ongoing probe by the Directorate of Religious Affairs. As expected, the investigations found the two imams to be in violation of the fatwa and hence recommended their firing.
This is the first time such a crude action has been taken in the country. However, it may have opened a window for many to come. Many Islamic countries are very strict when it comes to matters finance and going against the agreements and the rules attracts serious problems for the perpetrators. It is however a good thing to see that the guidelines apply to all people and in the same magnitude, even if they are imams.
It remains unclear if the two imams will appeal the decision. There are however no grounds that would support an appeal. This is complicated by the fact that they were well aware of the consequences but still went ahead to use Bitcoin for their own financial gain.