tail wagging the dog

16 Jun, '07

According to Fadhlalah, Isa Qassim and a bevy of other religious scholars taxes are haram.

With this opinion, our largest parliamentary bloc has been falling all over itself yesterday and today to distance themselves from their unanimous decision to adopt and approve the “Unemployment Benefits which automatically deduct 1% of everyone’s salary which will be jointly administered in a fund between the Ministry of Labour and the General Organisation of Social Insurance. This fund will exclude the security services – including the military – ministers and members of parliament of course, all of whom are regarded by the scheme as foreign to our society and not part of it.

What is the objection, I hear you ask? Simply that in Islam you cannot force people to give up their hard earned money, so if that money is collected from an unwilling participant who should give it up freely, then the receiver would have received “tainted” money, hence haram, should he or she accept it.

So what is a modern country to do, in light of these conflicting fatwas and interpretations thereof? Should we just shut shop or make any law specifically contingent on the acceptance of a disparate Shari’a scholars who can’t even decide to unify when the Maghreb prayer should be, let alone a whole calendar, or should we – as a modern country – turn our backs on them and go along with modern principals and studies to enable us to not only compete but be part of this world?

There is another dilemma of course for the government, they do not want to appear “anti-Islamic” so they will try to find a face-saving gesture to go around this new conflagration, rather than stick with modern principals, turn their backs on religious interpretation on modern economic principals and join the train with the rest of the world. My guess also is that as Bahrain is the “center of Islamic banking” – that chestnut that has been swallowed so readily because every institution therein employs and very handsomely rewards Shari’a enabled scholars who are ready to ameliorate differences of principals set 1,400 years ago with today’s business and economic arenas by creative interpretations and hearsay – the government will opt once again for the short-term gain rather than step up to the plate and for once declare that it is intent on looking way into the future for the benefit of this country and its citizens.

What we need are drastic measures and this is the perfect opportunity to grasp the moment and enact them.

What we need now is an unambiguous declaration to remove Islam from the basis of our constitution and rule the country with modern ways and thinking rather than stay for ever beholden to a bunch of folk’s disparate and desperate interpretation of ancient texts.

But then again, my money is on them taking the short-cut to keep ’em quite quiet.

Until the next time.

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  1. Ok the piece of news published in Al-Waqt never said Issa Qasim said it was Haram. It said Fadhel Allah stated it was Haram, not Qassim. Qassim on the other hand was quoted to say:

    وفي الموضوع نفسه لفت الشيخ عيسى قاسم إلى أن ‘’مسألة استقطاع 1% من رواتب العمال والموظفين المستضعفين عمل غير مقبول، إذ أن المسؤولية حكومية تسبيباً للمشكلة ومعالجة’’

    which translates as I understand into:

    ” the issue of deducting 1% from the salaries of labourers and underpreviliged employees is unacceptable, as the responsibility falls upon the goverment in terms of causing the problem and solving it”.

    Who are the other bevy of other religious scholars you are referring to, besides Lebanese Fadhel Allah?

  2. mr says:

    In Fadlullahcase, a sophisticated fatwa is not being given its dues, dear Mahmood. Not to fall to editor’s rendering of it, here is the exact wording of Fadlullah as appeared in Al-Waqt:

    لا يجوز من دون رضا الموظف إلا مع عدم منافاة تشريع المجلس لعقد العمل بحيث يحق له وفق شروط العقد لذلك”

    i.e. (my reading of/into it): this (deduction) is unlawful unless there is nothing in the legislation of the Majlis (House of Deputies) that is in conflict with its contracted function as stipulated by a valid mandate.

    Now here is the beauty of double negatives: either this Majlis has a mandate which conflicts with its legislation, or it does have one in the first place. Either way, this sohisticated Sayyid (who lives in Lebanon where taxes are levied) is saying this tax is unlawful based on absenceof due and valid mandate by the people.

    This doesn’t take away from your other valid argument about the role of fatwas and the state.

  3. Yvonne Dettwyler says:

    Oh dear Mahmood, ya haram, playing cat amongst the pidgeons? 🙄

  4. Salman says:

    Mahmood, since you seem to consider yourself wiser than the Marja’ea, why do you not become the one and only leader of the Islamic world? Where do you stand between them? And what makes you wiser than them? Why do you not get qualified in astrology and declare the new moons and Eids and Muharrams?

    At the end of the day, I also do not want to pay not even 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001% of my hard earned money for unemployment benefits. It is not my fault that people who do not bother waking up in the morning to go to school to get an education, or do not want to learn and make something creative out of their lives, do not get a job. Why should they leach off my hard work? Why should they enjoy the fruits of my labor?

    There is a saying “he who wants to pray, won’t miss it”.

    It is the governments job to provide its citizens with jobs they are qualified for. Or would they rather employ expatriates to do the work? Instead of utilizing its own citizens?

    Here in the UK, teen moms who get pregnant at the age of 13 and above benefit from council support and get nice houses or flats, all at the expense of taxes paid by the hard working people who live here. And since they cannot receive unemployment benefits until they turn 16, they just laze at home, quit school, and enjoy the free flowing money. Now, do you think the tax payers are happy that someone else is enjoying life out of their hard work?

    This country is turning into a yob culture, all the teens are becoming chavs! I hope you know what i speak of. The government hence sends them to college and gives them an education in something they will then get a job in, and they send them to college to keep them off the streets, and they make them at least learn a thing or two, and even pay them to attend. Paying them from the hard earned money of the tax payers.

    If anyone wants to enjoy life, let them work hard for it, as we are.

    Or is this supposed to be considered charity? Well, it isn’t. For people making 200BD a month, having to pay 80BD in rent, 20BD for fuel, and left with 100BD to spend on food for 2 children, a wife, electric bills, telephone bills, internet bill, fixing the car if needed to be fixed, take his family out and enjoy time with them. You think 2BD out of his salary would not be a lot? Especially to have to fund someone else who might not even be able to write his name from his own hard earned salary which barely helps him survive?

    Mahmood, look at how you live. You live lavishly, a big house, a big garden, your children in the best schools, you eat at the best places, wear the best clothes, drive luxury cars, and provide yourself with the best available. You would not complain, because the heat will not hit you that much. Of course, you worked hard to get where you are today.

    Here is a good experiment. Summer vacation is coming up soon, correct? Its almost the end of the month. I dare you to live July and August on 400BD, 200BD for each month only! Go on, i dare you! Your family would go crazy! You would not be able to afford to give them money for clothes, especially if they shop from shops at the malls. You would not be able to take them out for meals to places that you usually take them to. You would not be able to afford to even put petrol in your car! Not be able to shop at where you usually shop. They won’t even be able to go to the cinema with their friends. And you would have to pay the electric and internet bills as well. Water bills since you garden, and of course, since you have a swimming pool as well.

    1% of 1,000,000,000 dinars salary wont hurt as much as it would be from a 100 dinar salary.

    So, would you like to experiment?

  5. News reader says:

    Did you notice the announcement in the press? It stated that even foreingers had to pay the 1% from their salary too.

    The GDN is at the moment not printing any complaint letters which it recieves although we can guess the context of them; probably ” . . . all foreigners have to pay 1% of their hard earned salaries so as to keep lazy Bahrainis in comfort on the dole”

    Whereas the Gulf News from UAE in their letters pages today printed highly contentious letters which would have had the GDN closed down and all thrown in prison. Even UAE has a fair and balanced press – why not Bahrain?

    Expect retractions in UAE tomorrow and many sackings and resignations from the Gulf Staff.

  6. Proud Bahraini says:

    Well you know what just kills me? the fact that as soon as you say that you are Bahraini everyone just assumes that you are Muslim and i don’t understand why, it feels weird when that people are trying to convince you that you are wrong and you should be like the rest, well all i can say here is that i agree with 1% TAX if it is going to be helpful in other directions.

    for example a better education, or solve some unemployment problems and etc… i don’t have all day to list all the problems that we face everyday.

  7. That’s the problem with a non-laizistic (there’s no English word for it… didn’t think that’s possible) state. Religious leaders allways try to make politics, but that’s – in my opinion – one of the major problems for many states.
    And I believe, this rules had their important meaning so much years before – but must this mean they do today? I don’t think so. Religion must not be so stiff, or it blocks the developement of the society.

    And: I really don’t understand that excitement about 1% Taxes. That’s so little!

  8. doncox says:

    “Mahmood, since you seem to consider yourself wiser than the Marja’ea, why do you not become the one and only leader of the Islamic world? Where do you stand between them? And what makes you wiser than them?”

    Maybe the Islamic World (if there is such a thing) would run better if Mahmood were elected as its leader than it does now. He at least has common sense and a sense of humour, and appears to live in the 21st century.

  9. Salman says:

    Mahmood, why do you not run for parliamentary elections and make a difference since you are confident of yourself being able to? Why do you not work within the system and make the changes?

    Don’t point fingers, do something about it!

  10. Hussain says:

    What we need now is an unambiguous declaration to remove Islam from the basis of our constitution and rule the country with modern ways and thinking rather than stay for ever beholden to a bunch of folk’s disparate and desperate interpretation of ancient texts.

    Thanks Allah that you are neither a decisions maker nor a person whose opinion counts! Enough of your bullshit 😈

  11. isa says:

    Loving the controversy in this post. I am not sure whether to be amused or saddened though. Consider this,

    Reasons to have an unemployment benefit :

    1- Positive externalities : e.g. less crime etc
    2- Egalatarian arguments such as, why should the son of the
    unemployed suffer, whether or not his parents were voluntarly or involuntarily unemployed.
    3- inequality is bad, so perhaps it should be a progressive tax system, with higher tax brackets for those with higher income.

    It is crucial to remember that not all unemployment is voluntary, look up new keynsian labour market model in an economic text book. And an effective unemployment benefit should mainly target job seekers rather than all unemployed.

    From a political theory point of view, a democratically elected council is meant to be representative of the “will” of the population, they are, meant to be, people who are wise and knowledgable, ehem, enough to make decisions that are to the best of the society. Thus, if they decide to install a tax system, then people should in turn submit to the taxes, and henceforth be willing to pay the tax as it is for their own good. Perhaps in reality it doesnt quite work like that, but you should see that there is nothing haram about taxes given that the system in place is efficient and not corrupt.

    On the otherhand, libertarians traditionally gave arguments against such taxation…
    1. taxes alter incentives, so it will infact increase voluntary unemployment by creating a disincentive to work.
    2. dodgy supply-side reganomics arguments, that I wouldnt touch with a stick.
    3. now the maraje3, with their phds in economics and philosophy from MIT and Oxford respectively, not to forget the wide array of Noble prizes and international recognition, have issued the fatwa that it is forbidden. Nice.

    With regards to 3, I think the earlier arguments show why it would be beneficial even for the employed with a low wage to pay such taxes, so 3 should not be given much attention, unless some profound thought that I am obviously missing underlies it.

    Most crucially, 2 and 1 in particular, are nowadays not used to argue that we should have no unemployment benefit, rather they are employed in the more subtle debate of where to draw the line, as in how much, to whom and how! It is almost goes without saying that some form of a welfare state is necessary.

    Thus, if Salman and Hussain and others represent the voice of the educated slice of this country, then perhaps we should all give up and move somewhere else.

    Any criticisms are welcomed.

  12. mohd says:

    What we need now is an unambiguous declaration to remove Islam from the basis of our constitution and rule the country with modern ways and thinking rather than stay for ever beholden to a bunch of folk’s disparate and desperate interpretation of ancient texts.

    I hate to have to bring this up, but I feel compelled to do so. Haven’t I read in one of your posts where you state that you consider yourself to be a Muslim? or am i wrong.

  13. isa says:

    mohd, islam is not the problem. The problem is all these people that use it to do the wrong thing or prevent doing the right thing. As one cannot execute nor unbrainwash these morons, those who see the errors of their ways and suffer from them can only express there frustration by asking for secularity. It does not necessarily entail that Mahmood, I or anyone else, are not muslims, rather just people who are sick and tired of this malarky.

  14. moonshallow says:

    check out this piece in the Bahrain Tribune today on the 1 per cent deduction –
    http://www.bahraintribune.com/ArticleDetail.asp

  15. isa says:

    Salman= “It is the governments job to provide its citizens with jobs they are qualified for. Or would they rather employ expatriates to do the work?”

    No. The government’s job is to not get in the way.

  16. mahmood says:

    I’m glad that this topic tickled your fancy. I’m sad; however, that some of you have taken to resorting to personal insult rather than logically going through the problem to try to offer a solution. I’d invite you to mull over what you have written and what I have stated as a personal opinion for a few days in the hope that you will question your beliefs which you believe are cast in stone.

    I also welcome different points of views than mine, especially those through which I can better myself.

    Cradle, if Isa Qassim and Fadhlalah oppose such measures then you can bet your bottom Dinar that there is a train of supporters who would do so too. I hardly have to list names to arrive at that conclusion. Or did you forget the 150,000 march against the Personal Status Law?

    MR, noted. The essence of what I said; however, remains true. If these respected figures qualify their opinion as to the religious position of these laws, then you will probably agree with me that that will scupper any attempt to establish such a scheme.

    The essence of the deal is that religion should not interfere with how a country is being run. We have seen ample examples of how that interference ends and I do not have to repeat myself in support of this argument.

    Having unemployment benefits is an important social function. 1% is not going to kill anyone. It should be deducted universally regardless of what religious edicts. It is better and it is for the social good. End of story.

    I would also suggest that any money collected from Zakat or Khums or any other “religious” tax should be collected exclusively by the government and that revenue should be applied for the development of the country and its people. That must be audited and accounted of course.

    And let’s call things with their proper names; these are all TAXES, and as taxes, people should know how their money are being spent, on what are they spent, and how could they better be spent. It should be audited and accounted. And as none of that could be effected without direct and proper representation, we should – now more than ever – have direct and proper and correct representation in a parliamentary body that must be given a proper mandate to rule.

    And how is that proper representation even approach being correct without divorcing religion from the state? That is the crux of the problem that should be discussed.

    Salman, that rant does not become you, nor your choice of personal attacks on me personally. As you are in the UK, I suppose that you are either a student or somebody who found his way there to work, suggesting further that you are privileged much more than those “people who do not bother waking up in the morning”.

    As for your suggestion that Islam should have priests who stand between man and his maker, those you call Marji’ for instance, let me put you to right: Islam is a religion which encourages personal interpretations without the recourse to any middle man. Taking that into account, I would suggest that I am at least at an equal footing with everyone else of God’s human creation.

    Beyond that, I don’t think that your comment in this thread is worthy of my consideration. Once you have gotten over the ranting phase and want to discuss things without resorting to personal insults and childishness, I would be more than happy to pick up the thread again.

  17. mahmood says:

    Mohd, you amuse me. So I’ll answer you:

    1. Have you seen anywhere in any post or comment that I have written any encouragement that Islam should be removed from personal lives?

    2. Have I ever suggested that Muslims should stop being Muslims?

    3. Have I ever negated a person’s right to religion regardless of whatever that religion may be?

    4. Have I ever intimated in anything I have written that religion is not a personal choice between a person and his maker?

    5. Have I written anything in this post specifically anything that suggests that Islam should be canceled?

    Of course not.

    My simple suggestion, for a simpleton such as yourself, is simply divorcing religion from the state.

    Now by what right do you have to question my Islam and my beliefs? Especially for one whose only notion of self is a supposed first name without the courage to declare his (or her) full name and personality?

    Don’t waste our time and save yours. Go find a life, one that has access to a brain that can think rather than parrot overused second-hand misunderstood notions of religiosity.

  18. Cradle, if Isa Qassim and Fadhlalah oppose such measures then you can bet your bottom Dinar that there is a train of supporters who would do so too.

    True, but my objection was to the inaccurate translation of Alwaqt’s article. I was merely pointing out that Qassim never spoke of any Haram with regards to payment deduction, and that it was Fadhel Allah who did. No where did the article say there were lots of others who support them, and if that was a conclusion that you deduced, that’s totally fine, except you can’t make it sound as if the article said something it did not.

    According to Fadhlalah, Isa Qassim and a bevy of other religious scholars taxes are haram.

    The statement above as it’s referenced stands inaccurate. It does not imply that this was a conclusion of yours but rather something that was plainly stated as it appears in the reference, which it does not.

    Sorry for deviating from the topic, I found the opening liner more intriguing than anything else!

  19. Mahmood, it’s Askimet again. Sorry! 😳

  20. mohd anwar says:

    look mahmood the points you made were not why i said what i said. i said that because i was shocked i didnt expect something like that to some out of you. i said that because you want the country to be ruled with modern ways and thinking! whats up with that? you are a muslim man as far as i know so if you post something like that and many non-muslims read that what do you think they will perceive about islam? they will think its a retarded badiun/jahliya religion, and you realize to be a scholar you need something like 10+ years of studying islam.

    What we need now is an unambiguous declaration to remove Islam from the basis of our constitution and rule the country with modern ways and thinking rather than stay for ever beholden to a bunch of folk’s disparate and desperate interpretation of ancient texts.

    also i would like to add that bahrain is not an islamic state, an islamic state is ruled by the full shariah law.

    althrough i think you bring up a valid point. Islamic law is meant to be implemented totally, not in a peacemeal way. If zakat is not being distributed, it aggrevates the level of theft. If Shariah doesn’t force males to financially support females, this distorts the differences in inheritance laws.

    However, the solution to a peacemeal application of Shariah is NOT to abandon all aspects of the Shariah, but rather, to maintain anything that can be retained of it, taking into consideration that injustices are likely because it is not being applied totally (and being considerably merciful because of this) and to strive even harder to implement the rest.

    If someone has not perfected their wudoo, they must still pray AND in conjunction with this, work to improve their wudoo. If he abandons his prayer until he perfects his wudoo, he has fallen into a trap of committing an even bigger sin than having an imperfect wudoo. If we continue to abandon what we DO practice well because of what we don’t practice well, we will be further erasing progress and make it even more difficult to achieve the level of sincerity required to implement all aspects of Shariah in our life and society. It is unrealistic to expect to wake up one morning and apply everything perfectly, so we have to apply as much as we can each day, and in the meantime, be considerate to others and compassionate.

    Don’t waste our time and save yours. Go find a life, one that has access to a brain that can think rather than parrot overused second-hand misunderstood notions of religiosity.

    🙂 mashkoor a5oy, Jazak allah alf 5air. anyways i think i wasted enough time i have to go back to studying for my exam. :mrgreen:

  21. Munther says:

    I have to agree with mahmood ! The only way for Bahrain to move a head now is to have the whole religion and government issue sorted ! I have to say although this might offend some but what’s wrong with divorcing the religion from the state ? Will you all as people be less muslim ? I sure won’t ! Look at the 70s-80s and you’ll fined that when scholars had minimal power on the people, Bahrain used to lead the gulf on every front ! Ever since the mid 90s, we’ve had a very clear slump which came hand in hand with the scholars gaining more power ! Look at Dubai for a clearer indication on how splitting religion from politics would have very positive implication in the economic growth of the country ! Qatar took that into prospectus too hence the huge leaps ! These are my two pennies go a head and shoot me !

  22. mahmood says:

    The statement above as it’s referenced stands inaccurate. It does not imply that this was a conclusion of yours but rather something that was plainly stated as it appears in the reference, which it does not.

    First, sorry about the Akismet trouble, I wish there was a “whitelist” I can add wrongly marked comments as spam, but the action of marking them as such should – in theory – send a signal to whitelist that address to Akismet. It does not help anything of course that virtually the whole of Bahrain are on the same IP address. Blame Batelco.

    Back to the topic at hand. I don’t agree with you that my statement diverts from the truth at all. It is MY interpretation that both respected scholars deduced that the to be introduced taxation – at best – is unwarranted and does not have any Shari’a precedent as they seem to be saying – as far as my understanding is concerned – that if the money is “forcibly removed” in any way then it cannot be received (not given) by Muslims, as those moneys are regarded as tainted.

    My choosing to link the words “taxes are haram” to the originating article does not imply – and shouldn’t – that it is anything but my own interpretation of the situation at hand, and by me linking to the originating article I am providing the source material the reader can peruse and make up their own mind themselves.

    So no, I do not agree with you at all that my intention was to willfully divert and misconstrue the spirit of the the situation.

  23. Salman says:

    As you are in the UK, I suppose that you are either a student or somebody who found his way there to work, suggesting further that you are privileged much more than those “people who do not bother waking up in the morning”.

    I would like to thank God for blessing me with parents who sacrifice all to support me here. Mostly my mother for giving me her whole salary to the last dinar to supply me with an allowance, my father for paying the rent every month and my bills, and a very generous person who God has blessed me with, an angel to look over me and help me, and he deserves most credit for showing me life outside of what my family could barely afford, and for paying for my tuition fees from his own hard earned money, and asks not for one Fils in return for all that he has given us. These people invest in me, because i have proven myself worth their sacrifice from the start. I studied hard, got the best grades i could achieve, and proved myself worthy. That is why i am here now pursuing the education i wanted.

    I must admit, in intermediate school, i got fed up of studying, and i just wanted to stay at home and laze around. And i thought of technical school as my easiest way out with a high school certificate,
    and just laze at home. I did not want to utilize the skills i possessed, because i was too lazy. But when i got into technical school, i came to my senses, and my parents made me a promise that if i worked hard, they would do the impossible to get me the education i desired. Hence i worked hard again, and proved myself still worthy.

    Many parents have sacrificed more than mine, by a lot! Just to provide the best education for their children, and to make something out of them. But if their children had not proven to be worth the effort and sacrifice, do you think they would have even considered giving him 50fils to get himself an ice-cream?

    As for your suggestion that Islam should have priests who stand between man and his maker, those you call Marji’

    They are merely a reference, as their title states. They live their life studying Islam, and they do not issue Fatwas just in a day and night. If you seem to be able to interpretate Islam better than them, contact them and debate with them, and see if you can. You wouldn’t be surprised if they were even better at gardening than you yourself are 😛

    I do not understand why you consider this a personal attack. I asked you you live off 200BD as an experiment, and you will understand how valuable 1% can be. And to pay your hard earned money to someone who is a lazy ass staying at home eating seeds outside the shop person, so he can enjoy life out your labor?

    You know what? The 1% tax? How about i stay at home, and you give me 1% of your income every month? Fair deal? You would not like that, because you work hard to earn the money, and i enjoy the fruits of your own hard work.

    At the end of the day, anything that is taken from me by force, is Haram, because it is without my consent. And i will refuse, especially if the money is not even going to be used for a good cause.

    God only knows how much of that money will get swindled anyway.

  24. mahmood says:

    You once again miss the point by a mile. Re-read all the arguments and then come back with an intelligent response Salman.

    Better yet, just concentrate on your studies and come back, work hard and be a productive member of society.

  25. isa says:

    Salman, I am sorry to go to this length, unfortunately you are being ignorant.
    You know what people invested in me too. so Well done. I am sure we all enjoyed the romantcism of the story of your life, but that is not what is being questioned here.

    As you clearly know jack all about economics, and have chosen to ignore what I have been trying to say in the last message, those who are seeking employment but fail to find an appropriate job, and thus are involuntarily unemployed, clearly are not those you are addressing in your story of the poor and pissed off 200bd earning worker. There are people who are seeking unemployment but fail to find a job, and others go through such fazes temporarily searching for jobs. Now do you not think these people deserve the help? it is not like they are being paid enough to drive around in a nissan 240 let alone ferraris. If you think these people should not get such payment then you are simply being selfish, so much for the whole cohesion chat of islamic society.

    You talk about the UK, the Job Seekers Allowence have endured many changes and now require fairly strict conditions. I see no reason why a similar system cannot be employed in Bahrain.

    Another feature of the UK tax system, is that it is progressive in income, the higher your earnings are the more you have to pay in taxes, this takes into account why the 1% of the 200BD matter more to your aforementioned worker than 1% out of 1500BD for instance.

    So hell yeh I would be up for being taxed to finance unemployment benefits, so long as there is a transparent mechanism that insures efficiency.

    Much love.

  26. Costa-guy says:

    What we need now is an unambiguous declaration to remove Islam from the basis of our constitution and rule the country with modern ways and thinking rather than stay for ever beholden to a bunch of folk’s disparate and desperate interpretation of ancient texts.

    لا يا شيــــــــــــــــــــخ :mrgreen:

    بس هاي حلوة

    Should we just shut shop or make any law specifically contingent on the acceptance of a disparate Shari’a scholars who can’t even decide to unify when the Maghreb prayer should be

    اللي يسمع انت صاف أول واحد في المسجد :mrgreen:

  27. Costa-guy says:

    anyway, the ending of your post kept saying.. “what we need”, “what we need” as usual.. with the same broken record..

    Instead of telling us what to do “like the scholars”, why not take the responsibility and lead the people and the nation in forcing us to do whatever you think is right??

  28. Salman says:

    those who are seeking employment but fail to find an appropriate job, and thus are involuntarily unemployed, clearly are not those you are addressing in your story of the poor and pissed off 200bd earning worker

    Only those who have worked hard and put in the effort, and did not get the job they rightfully deserve, according to their qualifications, should be eligible for the financial support.

    So, if the law passes, does that mean that i will have 120BD running into my bank account every month? Its 120BD for high school graduates, 150BD for degree holders. Since i have graduated from high school, and have yet to achieve my qualification, which will not be a degree anyway, i am still eligible for the 120BD. So, that is 120BD of hard earned money of others going into my pocket for doing nothing! Would be nice for when i get back to Bahrain. Could pay a dowry with it after 2 years. Now, lets calculate….120 x 24 months = 2880BD. I would be 120BD short of 300, but i think i can wait one more month. Not bad if you ask me. And since my qualification will never provide me with a degree like a diploma or a bachelors, i will remain eligible for the 120BD support until i am employed. Unless they will also employ me, in which my qualification will get me a job where the starting salary is 6 times the amount of the allowance, thats even better. And then receive full qualifications, which results into my base salary being 10 times the allowance (at least). I would then enjoy doing the job i love doing, and on top of that, get paid well, and then pay 1% to the rest of Bahrain. Saves me having to even file papers to get my job.

    I actually love the 1% idea now. Your money into my pocket, awesome! I might as well just remain here and get employed, and still have the 120BD deposited into my account.

    Yes, now i support the idea, since your hard earned money is going to be mine.

    1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1% 1%

  29. Mahmood

    No worries about Askimet, I tried my best with them, now it works most of the time except when I quote anyone. I do blame batelco too!

    Translation:

    Well, Qassim was not speaking religion. He didn’t not mention religion whatsoever. For you to say he said it was Haram is inaccurate. He only said it was unacceptable that the unpreviliged employees would have to pay this task. I don’t see any Halal, Haram, Mustahab or Makrooh here. Unacceptable – he didn’t even said “Not Allowed” which might mean Haram.

    Fadhel Allah, yes, he did say Haram, but no other Shaikh the article mentioned, and you said A BEVY of shaikhs say it’s haram.

  30. exclamation mark says:

    The issue is not that the 1% tax is haram … it is on taking that 1% of the money without the owners’ acceptance , it is the employees’ money they have earned to get not a giveaway gift.

    The other issue is deducting this 1% from salaries of unpreviliged employees.. So when the minimum wage was supposed to be 200 BD, after the 1% it would be 198 BD and therefore back to square one ..

    FYI .. Saudi Arabia has a plan to fight poverty within 10 years, and recently has offered to pay married couples 700 Dinars as a giveaway gift, of course the 700 BD is a minimum .. This also depends on age other categories and number of family members. A relative of mine has applied to be paid 2400 dinars. ===> NOT A LOAN

    Saudi universities pay salaries to good achieving students, and yet we don’t hear that one of those universities needs to make some rationing ! Unlike the University of Bahrain !!

    In Bahrain, we don’t want the government to be giving away money. But it should accountable and responsible of the problems in the country, we have unemployment and a big share of the problem is because of the government itself, so why should the employed people suffer solve problems caused by the GOV ??

  31. mahmood says:

    Cradle, my motives and intentions are not as dark and nefarious as you make them out to be.

    Let’s move on.

  32. mahmood says:

    Costa:

    Instead of telling us what to do “like the scholars”, why not take the responsibility and lead the people and the nation in forcing us to do whatever you think is right??

    In a way, this is what I am and have been doing all along, questioning what some people regard as taboo and push the envelope a little bit forward. Like what YOU are doing too and others.

    WE have to learn to criticise, and not take things too personally. It is for the better of everyone.

    Now, I know you don’t agree with me on things, but does that give you the right to question my beliefs? No. So grow up, please, as I expect a lot better of you than cheap shots like those.

  33. Mahmood

    I never said you’re intentions nefarious, I only said your translation was imprecise. I put the line and translated it, I don’t know how that implies I meant cruel intentions on your side.

    So should I say now that you are making my intentions seem nefarious?

    We can go on forever, it’s was nothing more than one opinion versus another with regards to a text written in one language then translated into another.

    If anything I only added a different “view” on how that article could be interpreted for the readers.

  34. mahmood says:

    Fair enough, we both made our points and now we need to move on.

  35. jasra jedi says:

    We do need to separate the ‘Mosque’ from the ‘State’.

    Sharia is not the answer to the problems of the 21st century. Not when it comes to ruling citizens and not members of a tribe. Not when it comes to women and marriage/divorce/inheritance/child support. Not when it comes to alot of things.

    Salman in the UK, you really do need to get a grip. You may work hard and sacrifice and all of that, but your tone and method of communicaion will be a liability in any work environment from day 1. There is arrogance and anger, and an issue with authority. Prime candidate for misguided revolutionary zeal.

    Cradle of Humanity. If Qassim has an opinion, whether he uses the word haram or not, most people assume that he is speaking from a religious standpoint, because he is viewed as a religious man. You wont see my comments making the newspaper, I dont represent anything. So, saying that a prime religious authority figure finds something ‘unacceptable’ implies that he is doing so based on religious grounds.

  36. Jasra Jedi:

    I agree, totally. That’s exactly where the problem lies- when a religious man speaks politics it gets very very messy.

  37. Salman says:

    Hey, i just supported your 1% tax idea didn’t i? I realized that it will benefit me with your hard earned money. So, i will not moan about it, or even debate it. I will just shut up and take your cash 😉

    Thanks for your generosity in advance.

  38. isa says:

    Salman, oh your plan is so clever, you sarcastic stubborn **** 24000 10%

    This should shut up the hardworking 200BD worker.

  39. isa says:

    that didnt go in fully, sorry..

    Was asking should we not prefer a progressive tax structure….

  40. Capt. ARab says:

    Who knows… One day that 1% i will be paying will benefit others, maybe my children, or maybe even me. When you are down on your luck, and can’t find a job no matter how sincere you are in looking, a BD200 can and will make a difference.
    What people should be concentrating on is the rules and guidelines for that BD200. For how long can one claim, how fast are his papers processed?, will he get help by something similar to a job centre to find a job, can he upgrade his skills, etc…. Who will be the watch dog of this fund, will it create a new wave of “cling-on’s” i.e. people sucking the system dry??
    Too many questions need to be answered…

  41. Ethan says:

    “Sharia is not the answer to the problems of the 21st century. Not when it comes to ruling citizens and not members of a tribe. Not when it comes to women and marriage/divorce/inheritance/child support. Not when it comes to alot of things.”

    Sharia is a pretty poor solution to problems even within a tribe, unless that tribe is headed by Mohammed himself and lives in 8th century Arabia. Any state that has Islamic Law in its constitution has to violate Islamic law [i]prima facie[/i] simply by being a nation rather than subservient to the ummah.

    (This last point, is of course up for contention – give me five scolars, I’ll give you 10 mutually contradictory opinions, choose whichever you like!)

    As Jasra says, the world needs a separation of Mosque and state very much like the world needed a separation of Church and state. On the same note, Most Middle Eastern nations need to embrace other religions as well as Islam. I am not calling for a wholesale cultural reversion to Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism or Arab Paganism – but these options HAVE to be accepted by Muslims. The rules against leaving Islam are just for the period of time when Islam was weak anyway, right? 😉

  42. Salman says:

    Ethan, Islam is not weak, ever. It is completely, and correct in every form.

    This is just basic common sense, and has nothing to do with Islam. Do you think Haram is a word that was created by Islam?

    Haram, if you have no clue of the Arabic language, means prohibited, or forbidden.

    If someone took 100$ out of your salary, without your consent, is it lawful that they do so? Or is it unlawful?

    Answer that, and you will realize what the commotion is all about.

  43. Kidam says:

    One thing seems to be overlooked – insurance is not taxation, a UI premium or contribution is not a tax. If it’s a tax, then so is auto insurance, life insurance, even public health insurance or the public pension scheme.

    Another thing strikes me, despite the understandable reaction of not wanting to suffer any earmnings loss, is its flip side: the solidarity principle, workers getting together to help and protect those who have greater risk of being unemployed.

    Can it be that (some) Bahrainis are not willing to share?

  44. mahmood says:

    Ooooh boy.

    You’re on your own Salman, and I would rather you had your email address published so that you can take the forthcoming conversation elsewhere. We’ve had this particular one more times that I care to remember. Feel free to peruse the archive, or do a simple search.

    Kidam, this is exactly how I feel the situation is at the moment, partly the unwillingness to share, demonstrating the inherent selfishness rather than the generosity which is supposed to be one of our facets and our culture and mores, all of which appear to be just phrases bandied about at the moment; the other, more important factor is the silliness of wanting to score points against the government simply because this is a scheme which emanated from them and should be opposed. So it’s political more than anything else, disguised – of course – in a religious cloak and putting out the cap at the same time requiring the government to fill it up with bounty. Forgetting of course that mantra of “we don’t need no makramah” in this particular case.

    I am more than happy to contribute the 1%. I would give more should that be needed. It is going to a good cause and I might – God forbid – be on the receiving end, if not me, a member of my family, if not them, then a compatriot.

  45. Mahmood

    Would not this 1% unemployment tax possibly limit some of the court verdicts that seem to happen when a Bahraini is discharged? Even with cause. Since some form of compensation would then be in place for displaced workers?

  46. jasra jedi says:

    Cradle of Humanity,

    I agree, totally. That’s exactly where the problem lies- when a religious man speaks politics it gets very very messy.

    And what about when a religious man speaks economics??

  47. Hussain says:

    Most of us are neither politician nor economists. Yet, it’s OK for us to speak politics and economics. While even if a religious person has the ability and the duty to speak, you consider his speech as messy. In all cases, the people of Bahrain would never trust the so called liberals to take his lead, and that’s the reality you must realise. Keep banging your heads to the wall. Keep moaning. But the fact remains so clear; the majority of Bahrainis have chosen their path far away from you!

  48. mahmood says:

    More’s the pity.

    Lemmings, some contend, are right to jump over a cliff. It is their “culture and way of life” after all.

    Would even a seemingly futile attempt at building a wall which impedes that progress not be regarded as a good and socially responsible action, even if that impediment merely tickles their minds to hesitate even slightly before jumping to their doom? That hesitation might trigger a logjam for those still behind who might benefit from this brief respite in taking stock of a situation and turn back.

    Hope, you see, is a contagious state of mind!

  49. Bugs says:

    In order to solve the unemployment problem, the Bahraini government is going to impose taxes on the hard working people. Even if it is one percent that they are going to deduct, it is still unacceptable. Why don’t they trim the allowance that the so called “princes” get? What gives them the right to get all those privileges (a salary for life, luxury car etc…)? Imagine how much money the state will generate just by trimming their expenses, which in turn can be used to improve the educational system, state pension, unemployment benefits as well as other things.

    Therefore, I don’t see any point in deducting one percent from the hard working people and two percent from the oil money in order to pay for the unemployed, when at the same time you have the whole ruling family as well as the tribes that are allied to them are entitled to a salary for life as well as other privileges just for being loyal. Also, how can a common citizen ensure that the government, which the people do not trust or have any respect for, will pay the people in need?

    What is the difference between a “prince”, who bought his college degree with the state’s money or used his influences or connections to pass high school, and an ordinary citizen, who was an average student and had to work hard in order to get his degree? What gives the prince the right to be employed in the military or any high ranking job when he doesn’t even qualify for it?

  50. Hasan says:

    Guys don’t take it personal…

    I don’t have doubt in Mahmood’s religion and good intension.

    I don’t agree with brother Mahmood that Islam should not rule the modern state, Islam is from Allah who knows what is best for humanity and we should not blame Islam for the corruption.

    The prophet Mohammad (Peace be Upon Him) was the Leader of the state, head of the army, and the prophet at the same time.

    Yes we should look again at Islam’s guidance and rules and try to understand and employ them in our time because things change from generation to another and even scholars stated that fatwa may change depending on the time and place. Islam is flexible enough to cater for changes and development in civilizations.

    Don’t forget brothers, Quran is not for people that lived 1500 yeas ago only or for Arabs only, it is for all times and all people.

    I respect brother Mahmood point of view but that should not give you the right to question his believe in Islam. Please don’t to take it personal 🙁

  51. Maverick says:

    In this law, the military and others are exempted. What kind of democracy is this. Expatriate cannot be classified as unemployed as they cannot be anything but non-employed residents or working residents. So shy do they have to pay tax that benefits lazy people. When there is money for palaces and siz million dinar monuments in Sakhir, why is there a shortage or fulus for unemployed youth?

    Why are government people exempted? Do minister’s pay? Do other VIPs pay? I am curious?

    Where is the validity of the law just because it is passed, does this a good law make?

    When it is prejudicial no law is just or democratic? It should never have been signed in the first place. I am all for helping if the law makers and others also come under this law then it is just. There should be no exceptions from top to bottom.

  52. Kidam says:

    People can argue for and against various aspects of this legislation, but surely most should agree that, with such a UI scheme, Bahrain is at long last joining a long list of developed and progressive countries. I am personally quite familiar with this plan’s features, and can guarantee that it is in accord with international norms as well as with ILO Conventions.

  53. Non-Bahraini says:

    Whats your Point Salman? It’s not clear weather you are supporting the tax or criticising Mahmood. & look at your language, definitely not that of an educated person living in UK. Grow up Mr. & stop whinning for no reasons, its equally hard for you as well to subject your self & your family to the conditions you are challenging him, nevertheless what does all that have to do with the Tax??? . Yes, you may have the right to criticise on a statement or a comment in a manner that is limited to the topic itself, but some’s good luck or success gives you no right to critise them for their lifestyle. Haram or not haram, you have an obligation towards you own community & society to say the least, swallow the tax as if you are doing mankind a favor, not the government. In islam it doesnt matter what or how you do, what matters is with what intention you do it, thats what defines halal or haram, good or bad. Anyhow it seemed either you had a personal grudge against Mahmood or simply you suffer from the same habit of criticising that almost every arab traditionally has, which as again nothing to with the topic in subject here.

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