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Sudan Scholars: ‘Tobacco not allowed in Islam’

January 8 - 2017 KHARTOUM
A tobacco shop at the market of El Fasher in north Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)
A tobacco shop at the market of El Fasher in north Darfur (Albert González Farran/Unamid)

Last week, the head of the Sudan Scholars Corporation issued a religious decree banning tobacco.

Sheikh Mohamed Osman Saleh, head of the Sudanese Scholars Corporation told the state-owned Sudan News Agency (SUNA) last week that tobacco is forbidden in Islam.

The use of tobacco is no less dangerous and evil than the use of drugs, Saleh said.

He demanded the Sudanese security apparatus to combat the cultivation, sale, and use of tobacco in all parts of the country.

Asked about the donation of the North Darfur government of 10,000 tons of tobacco in support of the ruling National Congress Party, the sheikh said that the gift consisted of various in-kind materials. He accused the Sudanese media of highlighting the tobacco item, “for the purpose of creating sensation and chaos”.

In response, former North Darfur government adviser on economic affairs Rashid Ismail told reporters in Khartoum that “the fierce attack against tobacco trade in the country has led to the idea that it is something abnormal”.  

According to Ismail, “the recent campaign against tobacco is probably intended to hit the Darfur economy. It will put the livelihoods of 900,000 Darfuris at stake”.

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