Saudi Arabia’s main economic Arabic language daily has sacked a senior national editor after running a story saying the government is planning to introduce zakat tax on land property.

Aleqtisadia’, one of the largest business dailies in the region, fired Abdullah Alqarni after the government denied the report that it intends to impose zakat on commercial land property.

“Alqarni’s sacking came after the ministry of justice denied such a plan and said no official had spoken to that editor,” the online Arabic language ‘Sdq’ newspaper said, citing a statement by ‘Aleqtisadia’.

It quoted the statement as adding:”Aleqtisadia decided to sack the editor to protect its credibility.”

Saudis already pay monthly zakat from their salaries but there is no such tax on property as this could threaten measures by the world’s oil superpower to attract foreign capital.


2 Responses to Saudi Financial Newspaper Fires Editor Over Zakat Tax Report

  1. Interesting report. I’m not sure why a commercial property tax would deter foreign investors since we can’t buy land in Saudi Arabia anyway, but I guess Saudi owners would pass along the tax hike to their tenants through higher rents. It’s also a little strange that the tax would be referred to as zakat since land holdings cannot count toward “zakatable” wealth in classical Islam (unless the sale of land results in profit that counts toward total taxable wealth). Maybe the Saudi clerics put a stop to it for that reason.

  2. shariahfinancewatch says:

    Indeed. But it does illustrate the total lack of independence of Saudi media.

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