Indonesia - Ulema Council - debate results is split on smoking..

January 25, 2009 - Indonesia Ulema Council (MUI)’s (Indonesia Ulemas Council (quasi-government council of Muslim scholars) - met in Padang, West Sumatra for the National Edict Commission meeting to debate whether to apply a blanket ban on smoking or place a more limited restriction ban on tobacco use. Religious councils in Indonesia had previously agreed to ban smoking by children and in public areas, but have not implemented this and stopped short of a total ban.

The debate over smoking revealed a split between those wanting to make it 'Haram," or not allowed, and others who favor a "makruh," an Arabic term whereby it would only be advised that smoking is bad and it is better to drop it.

Officially secular, Indonesia has the world's largest Muslim population, accounting for roughly 85 percent of the country's 226 million people. Indonesia is the world's No. 5 tobacco market and at around one dollar (73 pence) a pack, cigarettes are among the cheapest in the world.

Members of Kudus Community had already agreed to reject MUI's guidance on smoking.
Kudus is a regency (Indonesian: kabupaten) in Central Java province in Indonesia. Its capital is Kudus, located in the east of Semarang, capital of Central Java.
Kudus is considered the "birthplace" of the kretek clove cigarette, which is by far the most widely-smoked form of tobacco in the country. Haji Jamahri, a resident of the city, invented them in the 1880s, and the city remains a major center for their manufacture.

Indonesia Islamic body to mull ban on smoking, yoga
by Olivia Rondonuwu, Reuter, 1/23/2009; Islamic body opts not to ban smoking in Indonesia by By Olivia Rondonuwu, Reuter =, 1/25/2009.

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