Meezan Bank Blocks Online Payment Facility For Netflix, Cites Shariah Compliance
One of the premier Islamic banks in Pakistan, Meezan Bank, has blocked its online payment facility to Netflix. According to Meezan users, the development comes in with regards to the Shariah board’s decision to do so.
The official statement by the bank quotes the Shariah Compliance Guidelines of State Bank of Pakistan.
“As per the regulations and Shariah Compliance Guidelines of State Bank of Pakistan, Meezan Bank cannot provide any product or service that is not in line with the guidelines of Shariah Compliance.
Netflix, an online subscription service for movies and videos, also falls under the category of entertainment services that are not allowed in Sharia. (It is not a mixed content platform), hence based on customer complains and after compliance review, the bank was required to block Netflix as part of its regulatory and Shariah Compliance requirement.”
Shariah guidelines require bankers to restrict their payment facility in cases of casinos, bars, gambling, etc.
As soon as the news hit social media and Meezan user payments were blocked for the online streaming website, many took to twitter expressing disgust.
What a great start to the morning.
A) I ONLY use Meezan Bank to pay for Netflix/Amazon etc hence this is disgusting
B) Netflix is not a porn website – even if it was, who is Meezan Bank to carry out moral policing upon its customers?!
C) Why do you keep charging interest then? https://t.co/NXH9gWcogc
— Shanza Faiq (@Shanzaf) July 8, 2019
Worse is the number of individuals justifying Meezan bank's actions. Pakistan has become a very very scary place.
— mash (@mashsiddiqui) July 10, 2019
While many were of the view that the bank’s latest decision is an invasion of privacy for its users, others tried to defend the bank’s actions.
In conversation with BBC, the said Bank user mentions how he might change to another bank in light of Meezan’s actions. When BBC reached out to bank representatives, they verified the policy, however stated that such actions are taken by the Shariah council of the bank.