ISIS are cracking down on smokers in a radical interpretation of Sharia law that makes the act of smoking cigarettes akin to committing ‘slow suicide’ and being ‘vain’ – therefore forbidden?
The ISIS ‘Preaching Office’ have said, “Every smoker should be aware that with every cigarette he smokes in a state of trance and vanity is disobeying god”, which is causing some of the groups fighters to leave as they cannot cope with the smoking ban.
‘Three days following the issuance of the statement, selling tobacco and shisha will be strictly prohibited and those who insist on selling them will bring injustice upon themselves and upon other people. All tobacco quantities will be burned and the seller will be punished according to Sharia.’
Millions of cigarette packs have been burned in Isis-controlled parts of Iraq and Syria and those who violate the ban face a minimum penalty of 40 lashes and a maximum penalty of lengthy imprisonment or execution.
The terror group’s stance on cigarettes has even led some jihadist recruits to return to their native country.
The International Business Times reports that French citizen Flavien Moreau, jailed for seven years for terrorism, said one of the reasons for his return from Syria was his ‘struggle not smoking’.
Islamic scholars’ have mixed opinions over the legality of cigarettes because they are a relatively recent invention.