A support on MUI’s fatwa
Posted February 12, 2009on:
There has been a positive letter on The Jakarta Post commenting my contribution “How MUI’s latest fatwa would make this world a better world”. Something that doesn’t occur that often. Ha-ha-ha. I got so many negative comments on the article titled “It’s Indonesia and I can’t complain”.
The letter came from Muherman Harun from Jakarta. Here’s what he had to say:
Thank you, Tasa Nugraza Barley, for your contribution to The Jakarta Post (Feb. 7) titled “How the MUI’s latest fatwa would make this world a better place.”
Smokers, as you pointed out, know that smoking kills and that smoking is very harmful to health. Smokers think, “I’ll take the risk. Why should I bother about the risk to other people? I am prepared to die prematurely and have serious diseases caused by smoking, such as heart disease, lung cancer or a stroke.” Such is the arrogance of stubborn and irresponsible smokers.
They, as many intellectuals in this country, do not (or do not want) to hear that smoking is very addictive, just like opium, heroine and cocaine. Smokers can’t or won’t stop smoking, even respectable ulemas, who are often fervent smokers themselves.
The fatwa forbids children or teenagers smoking. I applaud that. It is when they are young that people start smoking and then they become addicted adult smokers. The later you start smoking, the better the chance of beating the addiction. (Smoking is not merely a habit.)
If young people do not start smoking, the number of smokers will not become significantly less. So the government can still rely on the huge income it receives from the tobacco industry for many years to come. And all the people involved in the development and distribution of cigarettes need not worry about their jobs.
The majority of smokers (hundreds of millions of people) will continue to smoke, which will guarantee the existence of the tobacco industry and jobs for their workforce. Smokers say, “it is more difficult to quit smoking than it is to beat drug addiction.”
So let the smokers smoke, but don’t let the children start!