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Alcohol and tobacco industries are run by the criminal element? Only in countries where such substances are deemed illegal. In countries where they are culturally acceptable, they’re just run by people – standard businessmen.
And good food also serves base passions – should we then make anything save basic (bread, water, etc) foodstuffs illegal by religious edict? This isn’t the best path to argue for either.
Drugs make people lose control of their actions, and slaves of a horrible addiction. This destroys the individual, his family, friends, and people nearby. A drug-dealer is pretty much a murderer and a slaver, and the issue deserves a much higher level of importance than the other issues the article mentions.
The same is not true for alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and prostitution. Not even close. You can argue that alcohol and tobacco are damaging and addictive when used in very large amounts and over a long time period, but hard drugs can take you over in a week. As a friendly Chinese opium-seller told my great-grandfather – “Try opium only once. The second time, you will no longer be able to back away.” Nice guy, eh?
Arguments against pornography and prostitution, in terms of damage to society, should be of a different vein altogether. With prostitution, it harms the life of the prostitutes first and foremost. Both prostitution and porn support viewing people (mainly women) as things, even commodities.
I have my own religious and personal objections to drugs, pornography, prostitution, tobacco, and alcohol. But they’re by no means on the same level – which Sheykh Gibril Fouad Haddad sadly seems to imply.
Very interesting….. It looks to me like the shaykh makes the equation “freedom = immorality”, not freedom (gives the choice of ) immorality. By this logic, in a country like Denmark where alcohol is legal and widely available, the vast majority of the population would stagger around drunk all the time. I trust you can testify it isn’t so ? (I do admit there are problems w/alcohol – which ironically is an Arabic word 🙂 )
I have serious issues with “should Sharia law apply to everybody (not just with respect to porn, but also with things such as alcohol consumption, female dress code, etc.) including non-Muslims like myself,” as a theoretical Question the answer is yes” …there can be no compulsion in religion ?
On the other hand, if I were to live in KSA I would control my thirst, because it’s the law there.
“Otherwise, it is really not an infringement on individual liberty nor a defeat of the battle for hearts to expect the man in the street to respect the public norms of decency in every culture. ” Absolutely, and even if the public norms of decency in a particular country discourages religious symbols ?
But porn…. it’s in every kiosk – even the ones run by immigrants – and I don’t notice it. Do you ?