Mr Joof, however, expressed displeasure over cancellation of the unit’s original date of launch due to non-availability of the president of the Supreme Islamic Council.
Speaking to hundreds of people at the GTUCCU’s 18th annual general meeting held at the Paradise Suites Hotel on Saturday, Mr Joof said an Islamic microfinance unit had been advocated by potential members for a long time now.
He added: “The launch of the microfinance will result in robust growth in membership because a significant segment of our market in the Arab or Islamic schools who are excluded for religious or ideological reasons will now be included, while teachers in the ‘Madaaris’ and ‘Majaalis’ will have an opportunity to join a microfinance institution in strict adherence to the principle of Shariah”
According to him, a number of GTUCCU members especially Islamic teachers have left because of the interest they associate the micro finance with.
Joof recalled that in order to introduce an Islamic microfinance unit, a committee comprising sixteen scholars was invited to the Paradise Suites Hotel to dilate more on Islamic law, revealing that the sixteen-man committee told them 90 percent of their conventional microfinance is in line with the ‘Shariah’ while there was a need to work on the remaining 10 percent to become fully ‘Shariah’ compliant.
He said: “Not everyone can translate English into another language and there are few Gambians who are specialised in translating English into Arabic. For the Islamic microfinance product to be fully ‘Shariah’ compliant the Supreme Islamic Council ‘Fatwa’ committee should sit over it and advise the president. Unfortunately the translation took so long that validation couldn’t take place. We don’t want to insist, we want to respect everybody in this process and we did not want to launch without the validation. We want to give the product its due respect, a completion of the process and get it validated.”]]>