In his recent article in Canada’s National Post, Tom Blackwell reveals that the “tobacco industry has been waging a sort of religious war for decades, recruiting Islamic scholars and crafting theological arguments to counter a feared Muslim opposition to smoking…” He refers to a co-authored Canadian study wherein “evidence suggests the companies are still trying to influence Muslim religious currents…” The study reveals also that as early as the 1970s the tobacco industry recognized that “Islam posed a threat to expansion” in such regions as “Muslim Bangladesh, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan.”
Most notable in this article is the fact that Islamic scholars can be recruited to counter a “feared Muslim opposition to smoking.” This confirms to me the stark reality that Islamic scholars can be recruited to counter just about anything not in their interests, which would include anything or anyone deemed a hindrance to the furtherance of Islam’s obtrusive culture into the Western world. Here we have Islamic scholars being recruited by the tobacco industry to publicly condone smoking by opposing other Islamic scholars who might condemn smoking by linking their prohibitions to verses in the Quran. If left to the whims of its many and varied scholars, Islam is not as static as we make it out to be.
The article mentions also that “A tobacco lobbyist told Philip Morris in 1985 to portray anti-smoking Muslims as fundamentalists, and suggests their strict reading of Sharia law would lead to other curbs on modern living.” Three cheers for the fact that “anti-smoking Muslims” (all of them wise, in my opinion) are labelled “fundamentalists”. How does it feel? I recently read an article whose author referred to Holocaust deniers as “right-wing activists”. How can Holocaust deniers be anything but liars? How can denying an undeniable fact of history be deemed a left-wing or right-wing tendency? The remarkable and telling truth here is the fact that when it’s in the interests of big business or big government or media bias against Zionist Jews and the State of Israel, those—even Muslims who wisely condemn cigarette smoking—who oppose such interests are aspersed as fringe elements in exactly the same manner as those who warn against an Islamic preponderance in the Western world are stigmatized with appellations such as “neo-cons” and “Islamophobic”.
Julius Caesar said that “Men willingly believe what they wish.” Western democracies have become a world where the masses, in the words of Greg Iles, “yearn for ignorance” and a place where we “embrace the wishful thinking of a child.” We are up against scholars and pseudo-pluralists and political animals who, in accordance with Islam’s imperial designs, are by now emboldened to besmirch our good traditions in order to justify their replacement with all those vile and hateful cultures that, to date, have made democratic freedoms unwelcomed in Muslim lands.
And we pretend this isn’t happening. We embrace the wishful thinking that Islam’s age-old customs of violence and Jew-hatred will somehow fade from our Western existence. We yearn for the ignorance that will keep such a frightening future as that promised by the jihadists at bay. Our media bandage our sorrows and numb our apprehensions with imprudent sophistry so very similar to Chamberlain’s famously foolish claim in 1938 of “peace in our time”; as though the religion of Islam of today is not the quintessential example of its religious and political imperialism of yesterday.
We should be listening to sage advice such as given by a consultant to tobacco companies doing business in Muslim lands way back in 1987: “Once the religious aspect is conveyed to the public—it will be very difficult to reverse the situation.”