Indonesia - tobacco farmers reject Islamic council's edict..

January 28, 2009 - Indonesia's top Islamic body (Ulemas Council - MUI) decided on Sunday, Janaury 25, 2009 not to ban smoking for Muslims in a country which is the world fifth-largest tobacco market and Southeast Asia's biggest economy. The debate over smoking revealed a split between those wanting to make it "haram" (forbidden), or not allowed, and others who favoured "makruh" (objectionable), an Arabic term whereby it would only be advised that smoking is bad and it is better to drop it.

The council issued a fatwa placing more limited restrictions on tobacco use. "MUI has issued an edict which states that smoking is forbidden for children, pregnant women, MUI members and for those in public places," Amin Suma, chairman of the Edict Commission of MUI said on Sunday.

Chairman of the Tobacco Farmers Association in Jember, Abdurrahman expressed regret here on Monday the MUI edict banned children and expecting mothers from smoking, as well as people in public places.

"Indirectly, the edict will affect people who want to smoke," he said adding that it would also affect the income of tobacco growers. He said that the MUI edict would not apply to smokers in Jember because the region has many tobacco growers.

Indonesia is a very confused nation when it comes to the health of their citizens.

Reference: Tobacco farmers reject MUI's edit, Antara New, 1/27/2009; TOBACCONIST OPPOSED TO MOSLEM SCHOLARS’ BAN ON SMOKING by Andi Abdussalam , 1/30/2009.

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Click on image to enlarge.. - typical Indonesian smoker..