An extraordinary piece from the Gulf Times today 'War on drugs began 14 Centuries ago', shows just how deep the roots of prohibition are in relating drugs to religious concepts of wickedness, evil and the devil. The author's strict interpretation of the Qur'an ought to make for discomfiting reading for the DEA, the Home Office and senior advisors in Gordon Brown's office. Nice to know who your friends are, eh?
Interesting to read this alongside Peter Cohen's analysis: 'The drug prohibition church and the adventure of reformation', which starts:
"Whatever the origin of the UN Drug Treaties, and whatever the official rhetoric about their functions, the best way to look at them now is as religious texts. They have acquired a patina of intrinsic and unquestioned value and they have attracted a clique of true believers and proselytes to promote them. They pursue a version of Humankind for whom abstinence from certain drugs is dogma in the same way as other religious texts might prohibit certain foods or activities. The UN drug treaties thus form the basis of the international Drug Prohibition Church. Belonging to that Church has become an independent source of security, and fighting the Church's enemies has become an automatic source of virtue."
The Gulf Times article by By Dr Bilal Philips includes:
However, for one-fifth of the world’s population, the anti-drugs campaign began 1,400 years ago, when the rest of the world was drowning in drug-crazed debauchery. It began in a small city called Madinah, in the north of Arabia when the following Qur’anic verses (5: 90-91) were first revealed to Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam – may Allah’s peace be upon him) and his followers:And:
“O Believers! Intoxicants, gambling, idolatry and fortune-telling are abominations devised by Satan. So, avoid them in order to be successful. Satan seeks to stir up enmity and hatred among you through intoxicants and gambling, and hinder you from the remembrance of Allah and from regular prayer. So, will you not then desist?” (5: 90-91)
Satanic Origin: Branding them as devised by Satan
Allah identified the origin of drugs for humans to realise that they are weapons of their most avowed enemy, Satan. In the battle for human souls, Satan uses a variety of tools which he beautifies and makes alluring in order to trap human beings.