Salafi groups attacked Salafi Dawah vice president Yasser Borhamy Tuesday for his public comments that a loan Egypt is set to receive from the International Monetary Fund does not constitute usury, a practice prohibited in Islam.
Borhamy said in a fatwa, or an Islamic legal ruling, Sunday that since the loan’s interest rate is only 1.1 percent, to be paid in the form of administrative fees, it can be considered a grant.
The Islamic Legitimate Body for Rights and Reform, however, has ruled that the IMF loan is usury.
"God has absolutely prohibited usury, and enforced its punishment in every religion without differentiating between small or big amounts. The usury in loans is prohibited unanimously by all scholars," said a statement signed by the heads of the body.
"Getting loans with interest is an act not allowed [if one has] a personal or a social need. It is rather allowed by necessity, like [if one is forced to eat] a deceased animal," the statement added.
[Excerpt—See accompanying URL for full original text]