Two Turkish imams have reportedly been fired for investing in bitcoin, according to local news sites.
A major national newspaper, Hurriyet, reported Wednesday that the two imams were accused of trading in the cryptocurrency by the Directorate of Religious Affairs, which removed the two from their posts after an investigation.
However, both of the men, Mecit and Soldim, are declaring their innocence, according to Hurriyet.
Mecit claimed that he never invested in bitcoin, but rather, that he has “an investment in blockchain,” according to the article, describing it as “a legitimate investment system.” It is unclear which program or platform he has invested in.
Similarly, Soldim claimed he does not know what bitcoin is, but that his wife may have sold jewelry under the influence of his father-in-law. While Hurriyet does not explicitly say so, he may be indicating that his wife invested or traded in bitcoin through the company that deals with the jewelry sale.
However, it is unclear whether this “company” has any relation to cryptocurrencies.
Both imams have appealed their firings, according to Hurriyet.
The imams were allegedly fired because investing in bitcoin is “not appropriate” according to the Directorate of Religious Affairs.
Newsweek reports that the Directorate declared bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as being “not accordant with Islam,” citing its potential use in illicit activities. According to the article, the Directorate continued, saying:
“Buying and selling virtual currencies is not compatible with religion at this time because of the fact that their valuation is open to speculation, they can be easily used in illegal activities like money laundering and they are not under the state’s audit and surveillance.”
As a result, bitcoin is “not authorized” by the Turkish government, according to the site.
Note: Statements in this article were translated from Turkish
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