In an economy awash in easy credit, Ottawa's leading imam is definitely swimming against the tide.

Imam Khaled Abdul-Hamid Syed has issued a fatwa against credit cards, even if they are paid off every month.

"I conclude that it contains usury ... which is forbidden in Islam, so it should not be used," Imam Syed said in a mass email to members of the city's main mosque.

Islam has always banned interest for the same reason usury is condemned in other faiths: It can sink debtors, even whole economies, as recent years have shown.

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