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'Trade with Allah' ... The Mufti of Tunisia calls on citizens to donate in favour of the State

People gather for sit-in protest in Tunis, Tunisia on 17 December 2021. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]
People gather for sit-in protest in Tunis, Tunisia on 17 December 2021. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]

On Thursday, the Grand Mufti of the Republic of Tunisia, Othman Battikh, called on all Tunisian citizens to donate in favour of the State, in order to contribute to "end the current economic crisis" that the country is witnessing.

Through a statement by the Tunisian Dar Al Iftaa (Fatwa Council), Tunisia's Grand Mufti called on "good and righteous people, who provided assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis" to "continue giving and expenditure as a moral and religious duty, until the country overcomes the crisis."

The statement stated that "subsidisation of the homeland" cannot be considered "sacrifice, redemption or loss", but rather it is "trade with Allah, the reward of which is social stability, progress, advancement and tranquillity, with the aim of catching up with the advanced nations."

The Grand Mufti also urged Tunisians to "not be stingy with the beloved Tunisia" and "not to hesitate to support it." On the same occasion, he also warned against those who "dishearten others, and do that in each society."

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The call by the Mufti of the Republic comes at a time when Tunisia is going through a severe economic crisis, where economic analysts believe that the State may be unable to pay the salaries of its employees in the near term. Indeed, the payment of the salaries of a group of employees who work in various government sectors has been delayed.

Earlier, Tunis Afrique Presse reported that Tunisia's public debt will reach 114.14 billion dinars ($ 39.77 billion) by the end of 2022, which represents 82.6 per cent of GDP.

A government document viewed by Reuters in December 2021 showed that the Tunisian government plans to raise fuel and electricity prices and impose new taxes next year in order to reduce the fiscal deficit.

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