Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Shiraz Maher on Drugs

THE DRUGS EPIDEMIC IN THE WEST - FREE YOUR MIND?

The tragic case of Jade Slack in July 2002 shocked the British public, but made them aware that this type of accident was all too probable with the scale of the drug problem in the west. She had gone over to a friend’s house and began complaining that her stomach was hurting. There was clearly something wrong, her pupils were dilated and her lips began turning purple. Within minutes her condition deteriorated and she was staggering into furniture with a rising temperature. As she grew increasingly hyperactive and her teeth chattered fiercely Jade finally admitted to having taken five unknown tablets. At hand were Wayne Wood and his girlfriend Rebecca Hodgson who quickly rushed her into a cold bath to calm the violent fever. Although her condition continued to worsen neither Mr Wood nor Ms Hodgson could muster up the courage to call an ambulance. Their reluctance stemmed from the fact that Jade was no ordinary drug taker. She had not taken the pills in some fashionable nightclub or with friends. She was a ten year old girl who had found the pills left perched carelessly behind a teddy bear, and swallowed them out of sheer curiosity. Jade died later that night in hospital.

No respect for the law

Although disturbing, the circumstances surrounding Jade’s death are not unique. The publication of annual crime figures in July revealed a massive leap in drug abuse and drug related crime across Britain’s major cities. London experienced an increase of almost 30% whilst figures in Birmingham rose by 20%. The city also witnessed a 47% rise in the possession of heroin and cocaine. These spiralling figures epitomise an impending disaster, which will soon spin out of control. Despite dedicating legislation and hours of police time towards combating drugs, commentators suggest that as many as 90% of all drugs reach their destination - the hands of users. The Observer commented on this pitiful state of affairs remarking, ‘When half of all Britons aged 16 to 24 report using illegal drugs, the law risks becoming an ass.’ Whilst imaginative thinking on the problem stagnates amongst western intellectuals The Observer contends ‘The failure of drugs policy poses a still greater threat. As demand for drugs increases, Western governments risk entrenching international crime cartels, driving up profits which are used to fund a range of illegal activity from people trafficking to prostitution to terrorism.’ It’s clear that the west’s view on drugs have become jaundiced and ineffective at best. With current policy failing to address the root cause of the problem drugs continue to flourish within society. There are obvious repercussions for the wider society who often suffer from the actions of drug users. It is estimated that drug crime now costs £20 billion a year whilst 50% of all crime is drug related.

A way of life

The staggering rise in drug abuse has been attributed by some to the continual glamorisation of drugs in the media whilst the traditional ‘just say no’ message clearly no longer works. Although a handful of organisations continue to propagate such a call the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) condemns them to failure. They argue that the current drug culture sends a message that ‘all your problems and bad feelings are just chemicals in your brain, you can feel better with a drug.’ Anti-drugs campaigners are struggling to make an impact on contemporary youth culture. Hollywood continues to glamorise drug taking in films such as Trainspotting and Human Traffic. In the film Scarface, Al Pacino plays a gangster who heads an international cocaine smuggling ring. Peppered with violent scenes the film empathises with Pacino’s character, Tony Montoya. The strap line for the film reads ‘The world is yours’ and in another ‘Make way for the bad guy.’ Scarface is just one of many films which glamorises drugs and the gangster lifestyle which goes with it. Satirical characters like Ali G further reinforce the notion that drugs are in some way ‘trendy’ and ‘cool.’

The anti-drugs message is dealt a further blow every year when its time for the annual summer music festivals. Events such as Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds festivals are well known for providing a hedonistic atmosphere in which drug taking is normalised. One website advertising this years ‘Homelands’ festival even put up the following warning on their website, ‘This weekend’s Homelands Festival is the premier dance event of the summer. Music fans will be subjected to drug checks however, with sniffer dogs in operation. Hide it well, you have been warned.’ Remarkably, even the BBC has this advice for festivalgoers ‘if you are going to indulge [in drugs], use a source you can trust before you get to the festival’ in a section on their website entitled ‘Festival Survival Guide.’ Typified by drink, drugs and sex, summer festivals represent the pinnacle of youth culture. Outside the summer months partygoers find no shortage of outlets for their desires in any one of the nations many pubs and clubs.

With the continuous glamorisation of drugs, the voice of anti-drugs campaigners is slowly being drowned out. The problem has now penetrated every facet of society, straying far beyond its traditional refuge of the hippy infested fields of Woodstock. Last year, a think-tank founded by Tony Blair strongly condemned the government’s drugs policy branding it a ‘resounding failure’. Report author Rowena Young says there are now 500 times as many drug addicts in Britain as there were in the 1960s, and it is in the top five countries worldwide in terms of heroin consumption. So widespread is the problem that children are no longer immune from their effects. Quite often, it is they who are left helplessly to deal with the horrific consequences.

Generation ‘E’

Glasgow University’s centre for drug misuse research published a report last month on the level of pre-teen drug abuse. They claim to have met a girl, aged 11, who regularly uses cannabis, amphetamines, LSD and ecstasy. At weekends they allege she regularly supplements her cocktail of illegal drugs with alcohol binges. Researchers were shocked to find that around 30% of children aged under 13 had been offered illegal drugs in Glasgow and Newcastle and that 3.9% admitted to having tried them. Professor McKeganey, of Glasgow University, said “When one looks at the age of the children we are talking about, it is shocking. With children, there is no such thing as recreational drug use. It is a worrying scenario as there are very high risks that many of these children will go on to develop multiple problems. They will go on to become the addicts of tomorrow.” The rise in drug abuse by pre-teens is particularly alarming when you consider the types of drugs children are now taking. “We asked drug-using 11- and 12-year-olds in Scotland if they had tried some form of heroin. Between 5 and 6 per cent of them said yes. Five years ago the percentage would have been zero,” concluded Professor McKeganey. The government-backed study at Glasgow University was commissioned following the death of Alan Harper, 13, from a heroin overdose in 1998.

In a separate report commissioned by the Department of Health they identified a link between drug abuse at school and truancy. 53% of truants admitted to underage drinking whilst 35% regularly took time off school for drug binges. The survey sampled 10,000 children from 321 different schools. The overall number of children aged 11-15 who used drugs regularly was 18%, although almost half, 45%, of all 15 year olds had tried one drug or another at least once. The most common drug of choice was cannabis although 4% admitted to having used class ‘A’ hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

‘Sorry sir, I’m too stoned to understand’

The worrying level of drug use amongst teens and pre-teens means that one in five schools will have to deal with a case of illicit drugs each year. In some cases head teachers have expressed concern at the ability of students to concentrate in class. Weekends dedicated to drink and drug binges mean that pupils return to school on Monday morning bleary eyed and unprepared for the week ahead. It is clearly a very real problem and one, which threatens the youth more than any other sector of society. They stand to lose the most and are often the target of unscrupulous dealers. Poor decisions made at early stage of life can often have a lasting effect making it difficult to break out of a rut in later life.

Professional Drugs

A recent phenomenon in drug taking has occurred amongst city professionals. In another sign that the drugs epidemic continues to spread into all sectors of society increasing numbers of city traders are turning to cocaine for a kick. It is now almost an exclusive reserve of the city elite who often associate its use with corporate success. Drug abuse within the city has now become such an integral part of life that a former employee of the financial service provider, Cantor Fitzgerald is suing them for unfair dismissal. Steven Horkulak, 39, used to be a senior director of the firm and took a gram of cocaine every day. He responded to his dismissal by branding it ‘absurd’ given the prevalence of drug taking in the city. Seeking compensation of £1.5 million, in court Mr Horkulak defended himself saying “I was in an environment where there was a lot expected of me, a lot of hours. The way I chose to keep going was the excessive use of alcohol and drugs.”

Muslim Drug Dealers

As drugs pervade all sectors of the society, the Muslim community is not immune to it. In particular the youth find themselves particularly vulnerable. A number of youth have fallen victim not just to the drug culture but to the lifestyle associated with it; of being a gangster, chasing women and so on. The problem is one which encompasses both Muslims living in the west as well as those living in the Muslim lands.

The predominantly Muslim community of Keighley in Leeds witnessed incredible violence as rival gangs battled it out for supremacy over a six month period. In their wake four Muslims were left dead. The last victim, Qadir Ahmed, was beaten and stabbed to death after his car was forced off the road. In a separate incident, two notorious gangsters were refused entry to a club. Having been ‘insulted’ by this they returned later that evening to pepper the club with a shower of bullets, hitting four revellers in the legs. The dealers are employing increasingly desperate measures to further their trade. Earlier this year a Bradford girl aged 13 was stopped at Heathrow for attempting to smuggle more than £1 million worth of heroin. Elders from within the community have also been coerced into working as traffickers when they’ve fallen on financial difficulties.

Over the last decade the number of Muslim prisoners in British jails has doubled to reach a total of between 4000-4500. This amounts to 9% of the total prison population. Maqsood Ahmed, the government’s Muslim advisor to the Prison Service has observed that 25% of Muslim convicts have committed offences relating to drugs. In addition 65% of all Muslims in jail are between the ages of 18 and 30. It becomes clear then, that drugs are an extremely potent threat to the Muslim youth.

However, the drugs dealt on Britain’s street have largely been imported from abroad. This is where the drugs crisis not only threatens the Muslim youth here in the west but also those abroad. Morocco is now the world’s largest exporter of cannabis. Production has increased tenfold over the period between 1983-1993, with current exports topping 2000 metric tonnes a year. Meanwhile, Afghanistan overtook Burma as the chief producer of heroin and opiate derivatives in the 1990’s. In 1999, it supplied 77% of the world’s heroin with the production and refinement of poppy seeds taking place in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Traditionally the drugs are cultivated in Afghanistan before being shipped to the world via Pakistan.

The Problem

It is clear that drugs are a cancer within society. In the west, the problem continues to spiral out of control as anti-drugs campaigners and politicians run out of ideas. Drug abuse threatens the youth by stifling their future prospects. It also destroys families, as the main priority of addicts becomes getting ‘one more hit.’ The wider society is exposed to crime as desperate addicts steal goods to fuel their habit. Perhaps most worrying of all is that powerful gangs are prepared to turn otherwise quiet streets into battlefields for their ego driven turf wars.

Left unchallenged this is a problem that will consume society. Whilst the problem is clear to all, many within the west have misunderstood its root cause. Instead western solutions tend only to focus on symptoms of the problem and not on the root cause itself. Consequently anti-drugs campaigners, organisations and politicians have all witnessed nothing but failure in their approach since the sixties. Before considering how best to solve this problem, it is imperative that Muslims first understand its cause from a deep and enlightened perspective.

Incorrect causes and solutions

Western academics have debated the drugs problem ad nauseam. By viewing the problem from within the ideological framework of the capitalist ideology much of their thinking has been blinkered. The limitations of this framework make it inherently unable to address the nature of man, or his problems. There are several common misconceptions behind the capitalists understanding of the drugs crisis which are worth briefly examining.

1. Drugs abuse is a result of poverty and social deprivation. Such a view relies on a fiscal understanding to man’s problems. Advocates would suggest that drug users have experienced social exclusion through a lack of qualifications, training and opportunities. Consequently, they have been driven into a life of drugs and crime to overcome such problems. However this view is problematic for two reasons. The first is that Afghanistan is one of the world’s chief exporters of heroin. It’s also amongst the poorest nations on earth. Yet, drug use in these countries and amongst their impoverished Afghani cultivators is negligible compared to the west. In addition such a view fails to account for extensive drug taking amongst city professionals and rich socialites.

2. Legalising drugs will solve the problem. Proponents argue that the legalisation of drugs will remove the criminal aspect and therefore the ‘glamour’ associated with them. Additionally, by legalising drugs the government will be able to guarantee the purity of drug supplies whilst taxing users, much like they do with alcohol and tobacco. However, the long-term effects of certain drugs such as ecstasy and its active ingredient MDMA remain unknown making it almost impossible for the government to supply a ‘pure’ substance. Even if it was legalised over 20% of underage children are estimated to be abusing alcohol showing clearly that legalisation fails to protect the young and brings with it, its own problems. Finally, an intellectual consideration of this argument reveals that it represents a defeat for legislators; because drug laws are problematic to enforce and because abuse is so high then by legalising them the problem is solved. Therefore by extending this argument to its logical conclusion crimes such as car and mobile theft should also be legalised.

3. Educate people about the perils of drugs. The problem with the current anti-drugs message is that is relies on scare tactics. By educating people against the dangers of drugs campaigners are hoping to paint a picture in which the dangers outweigh the benefit. The argument is easily overcome if the ‘fun’ can be seen to outweigh the risk. Ecstasy users will often cite that it is statistically safer to take an ‘E’ that it is to fly and that you have a greater chance of being hit by lightening than you do of dying from taking ecstasy. Therefore the risks would appear to be low compared to the euphoric feeling of being high. The education message would therefore seem to rest on a weak and susceptible base.

4. Build social clubs for the youth to occupy their time. This view is highly naïve as it assumes drug takers simply abuse substances because they are bored. Drug users take drugs in order to experience its effects and will not be deterred by a badminton tournament in their local youth club. Even top athletes who train their bodies and have hectic schedules are known to abuse performance enhancing drugs. Scores of professionals and students, all with busy schedules, abuse drugs. Drug taking is borne by the concepts an individual holds and not by the amount of free time they have.

The root cause - Freedom

Freedom is a central tenet of the capitalist doctrine. It represents the pinnacle of the western civilisation and is amongst their primary articles of faith. We are told that man is free and has personal freedoms to do as he pleases, provided that he does not cause harm or distress to others. This concept of personal freedom is a powerful one. It is obvious that no society practises absolute freedom. Clearly there must be a limit and constraints beyond which people cannot stray. Herein lies the problem with this concept.

Although commentators have attempted to explain the drugs epidemic through a socio-economic perspective their conclusions have failed to provide a comprehensive understanding. The basis of the failure to explain it from this perspective lies in the fact that this problem is essentially a human problem. Any solution to the crisis must therefore address the individual, his concepts and his desires. It is natural that the concepts held by a particular individual will determine his response to his desires. It is clear then that the real basis of this problem lies in the concept of personal freedom, which many in the west hold.

Despite being illegal drug taking continues to rise. It is widely legitimised through popular youth culture and glamorised in the media. Conventional attempts to stem the rising tide of drug abuse have all failed because they have not addressed this issue from its basis. Therefore many of these attempts have merely dealt with symptoms of the cause and not with the cause itself. The rising number of drug addicts is hardly surprising then.

Freedom in itself is a particularly troublesome concept. It is clear that absolute freedom cannot exist and that there must be limits imposed. The question must then be asked, what is the correct basis for deciding how much freedom we should have? Many drug users when breaking the law merely refuse to accept the authority of the legislators. It has been argued that the establishment’s view on drugs is dated and irrelevant. Some would suggest that ‘how could you ban it without trying it first? A spliff does less damage than a pint.’ This is significant because when one man legislates for another why should the first accept the constraints imposed on him by the other? What attributes elevates and distinguishes him in his decisions over others? It illustrates the problematic nature of accepting one mans authority and ability to legislate for another. Hence many are prepared to believe that they know better than decision makers in Westminster and that their reluctance to update drug laws is merely irrelevant. Consequently they choose to openly flaunt such laws and exert their freedom.

This alone does not account for spiralling drug abuse figures. Freedom is not just a troublesome concept when considered on a societal level. It is also highly problematic for the individual himself. Making himself the chief arbitrator in deciding good and bad the individual is able to move the benchmark to suit his own circumstances. Consider that very few, if any, drug users start on hard drugs. Initially they start on soft drugs such as cannabis before working their way onto harder drugs. Clearly, this is not a conscious decision or intention of the user at the start. The limits of acceptability change for some drug users, whilst not for others depending on their personal experiences and preferences. It has subsequently been argued that cannabis is a gateway drug. The journal of the American Medical Association conducted a study into this matter. The study enrolled 300 pairs of same-sex twins, both identical and fraternal, with an average age of 30 years. The twin-pairs were surveyed between 1996 and 2000, with each pair of twins consisting of one person who began smoking marijuana prior to age 17, and a second twin who abstained. The study looked at the use of non-prescribed sedatives, hallucinogens, cocaine and other stimulants, and opiate narcotics. Alcohol dependency and cannabis use were also assessed. The study determined that individuals who began using marijuana before age 17 had 2 to 5 times the risk of subsequent progression to other drugs, as well as to alcohol dependency, when compared to their twin siblings who did not use marijuana. The authors, therefore, concluded that the early onset of marijuana use (before age 17 in this study) was associated with a 2 to 5 times risk of progression to the use of other illicit substances, and to alcohol dependency. Hence it becomes clear that cannabis acts as a gateway drug for many illustrating that even for an individual it can be difficult to limit and regulate their own freedom. The limit of what is acceptable is easily shifted from one circumstance to another. Therefore drug use continues to rise most notably amongst the hard drugs users.

Therefore the root cause of the drugs crisis within the west must be viewed from this perspective. The problem must be understood as a human problem, the cause of which lies with the concepts and individual holds. With freedom remaining a central tenet of the capitalist doctrine, the capitalist mindset will never be able to resolve the problem of drugs. Its limited socio-economic framework prevents it from addressing mans problems in a comprehensive manner. Whilst not being able to address the problem, the central pillar of capitalist thought - freedom - continues to encourage people to take drugs in the first place. It becomes clear that capitalist societies will not only create this problem as an inherent attribute of the system but also that the system will then be inherently unable to respond to the problem that it helped foster in the first place.

Islam and the drugs crisis

Enforcing drugs laws in the west represents a massive problem. Despite their illegality scores of people make a blatant and conscious decision to flaunt the law in pursuit of their own happiness. It is clearly because they believe they have the freedom to decide for themselves how to live their lives and because they fail to accept the authority of human legislators to curb their freedom. This was perhaps best illustrated during America’s prohibition. National prohibition of alcohol (1920-33) - the ‘noble’ experiment - was undertaken with a view to reducing crime, corruption, social problems and improving health conditions. Hence congress ratified the eighteenth amendment outlawing the ‘importing, exporting, transporting, selling and manufacturing’ of all intoxicating liquors. It was a resounding failure on all counts.
Thousand of bootleggers sprung up, illegally importing it from Canada, stealing it from government warehouses and producing it themselves. ‘Speak easies’ quickly replaced traditional saloons and by 1925 there were well over 100,000 established in New York alone. Much of the illegal bootlegging trade fell under the control of organised criminal gangs who established close ties with the authorities. Most secured their status by bribing police, federal authorities and members of congress. Remarkably, during the years of prohibition the level of alcoholism within America rose, as did its availability. This is hardly surprising given that prior to prohibition there were only 400 licensed breweries. However, after seven years of prohibition there was an amazing 93,831 in business. The very authorities charged with enforcing the stringent prohibition laws were themselves regular customers at some of the most notorious moonshines.
The limited view of American legislators led them to incorrectly believe that a mere ban on alcohol would overcome the problem and its associated ills. However, what the prohibition laws failed to address was the concepts held by individuals making it a resounding failure. Not only did the rate of alcoholism rise but so did crime and criminality. The murder rate rose by 78% in major urban areas whilst the rate of serious crime such as assault and battery rose by 13%. Unbelievably, the overall rate of criminality across America rose by an amazing 561% during prohibition. Clearly prohibition failed to achieve its goals. Instead it exasperated the very problems it was intended to solve. The ban was finally lifted in 1933 as authorities finally conceded that it had become unworkable.

Yet this was not the first time that a society had prohibited alcohol. An earlier prohibition had take place, some 1300 years before America’s ‘noble experiment.’ Many people within the Arabian societies loved to drink. Indeed, during the Makkan stages of the revelation even some of the Sahabah enjoyed it. For many it was an integral part of social life. However as the Sahabah sought clarification from Rasool Allah (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) regarding alcohol Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) eventually sent Gibreel (as) with the revelation of the ayah,
“O you who believe! Intoxicants (all kinds of alcoholic drinks), gambling, (arrows for seeking luck or decision) are an abomination of Shaitan’s (Satan) handiwork. So avoid (strictly all) that (abomination) in order that you may be successful.” [TMQ Al-Ma’idah:90]

The revelation of this ayah had an immediate and profound effect on society. Upon hearing it the Sahabah immediately destroyed the casks, which had previously stored it. It has been reported that some Sahabah who had just consumed it forced themselves to be sick thereby expelling from their systems. Anas ibn Malik (ra) narrated that the streets of Madinah smelled of it for days. Some of the noble companions had even been addicted to alcohol, yet they had no problem in giving up the intoxicant with immediate effect.

However, on the face of it there is little difference between this prohibition for Muslims and the prohibition enacted in America by congress. The fundamental difference between the two lies in a profound understanding of exactly who has the right to limit man’s freedoms. Whilst no man can legislate for another, the creator of man clearly can. Building an intellectual belief amongst the Sahabah, Rasool Allah (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) was therefore able to establish a definitive basis for action. By rationally coming to the belief and understanding in Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) the Sahabah were then led to the rational belief in the Prophethood of Muhammed (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) and the revelation. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) answered mans greatest problem by addressing his concepts and giving him purpose in life. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) informs us in the Qur’an

“I have only created Jinn and men, that they may worship me.” [TMQ Az-Zariyat: 56]

Hence the Muslims had no problem with giving up alcohol because of the understanding that what proceeds this life is accountability before Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala). They understood whilst Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) will reward the obedient, He I will punish those who were not. Just like the citizens of 1920’s America, some of the Sahabah were addicted to alcohol and liked its effects. However, their response to prohibition was in stark contrast to the reaction it received in America. They failed to accept the wisdom behind congresses decision for banning alcohol and rejected its decision to limit their freedom in this way. On the other hand, the Sahabah surrendered unconditionally to the wisdom of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) and never once questioned His I ability to legislate for them. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) instructs the believers,

“It may be that you hate something and it is good for you and it may be that you like something and it is bad for you, Allah knows and you do not know” [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 216].

And

“It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.” [TMQ Al-Ahzab:36]

And

“The only saying of the faithful believers, when they are called to Allah (His Words, the Qur’an) and His Messenger (Sallallahu Alaiahi Wasallam), to judge between them, is that they say: “We hear and we obey.” And such are the prosperous ones (who will live forever in Paradise).” [TMQ An-Nur:51]

This makes it clear that Muslims do not believe idealistically in the concept of freedom. Rather, Muslims believe in the complete opposite. Whilst the west believes in freedom, Muslims believe in slavery to the will of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala). Abu Hurairah reported that the prophet (salAllahu alaihi wasallam) said,

“This world is a prison for the believers and a paradise for the disbelievers.” [Muslim, 7058]

Conclusion

The tapestry of the capitalist doctrine is bound together by its central tenets of secularism and freedom, where sovereignty lies ultimately with the individual. Hence, it is hardly surprising that there is a massive drugs crisis plaguing the west. Individuals have little regard for the temporal laws of their society as they fail to recognise its authority over them. The relativist nature of freedom then makes it a highly subjective concept varying greatly from one person to the next. Given that this concept is a central pillar of thought in the west, the consequences are inevitable. The current drugs crisis is therefore an inherent product of the system itself. The system fails to find equilibrium by undermining itself whilst failing to offer solutions, which address the root cause. Hence, not only drug taking is on the rise but so too is drug related crime and gangland violence.Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) has given man the powerful faculty of mind and has provoked him to consider his relationship with what came before this life and with what will come after it. By doing so, belief in Islam is arrived at through rational proofs and intellectual reasoning. Hence it is built upon the Islamic Aqeedah, which solely recognises the sovereignty of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala). It is from this certain and absolute basis that Muslims must shape their outlook on life. Consequently no Muslim can believe in the western freedom myth.

It is only by addressing mans nature from a conceptual basis that the current tide of drugs in society can be stemmed. Without going to the root of the problem, which lies within the concept of freedom itself, the depressing rise of drugs will never be reversed. Muslims must present these ideas to those around them in an intellectual fashion whilst presenting Islam as the only viable ideological alternative. In doing so, we must illustrate how only Islam is able to address mans nature in a comprehensive fashion and how only its application will provide tranquillity. The capitalist mindset can never answer the drugs question, as it would involve renegading on their own articles of faith.

Whilst the west continues to propagate the ridiculous notion of freedom the paradox will continue where the UK has the harshest anti-drug laws in Europe whilst maintaining the highest consumption rates of both soft and hard drugs. Despite how widespread this problem becomes, Muslims must continue to adhere solely to the Islamic ideology and reject western concepts.
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’aala) says,

“Say: ‘Not equal are Al-Khabith [all that is evil and bad] and At-Tayyib [all that is good], even though the abundance of Al-Khabith may please you.’ So fear Allah, O men of understanding in order that you may be successful” [TMQ Al-Ma’idah: 100]

Shiraz Maher

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