A few days back, the prohibition of tobacco and alcohol in Iraq by Muslim extremists raised the question of whether Western antismoking organisations would support such measures.
H/T Harley, it would seem that at least one Muslim group in Indonesia was getting funding from a Michael Bloomberg-owned organisation in 2010:
An organization owned by the mayor of New York City has channeled over US$390,000 to Muhammadiyah as part of a global anti-tobacco campaign, but the country’s second largest Islamic organization denied the funding influenced its recent edict banning smoking.
A. Fattah Wibisono, a deputy secretary at Muhammadiyah’s council tasked with issuing religious edicts, acknowledged that his organization was cooperating with the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, a philanthropic organization established in 2006 by Michael R. Bloomberg to fight tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries…
The Bloomberg Initiative says on its website, http://www.tobaccocontrolgrants.org, its program with Muhammadiyah aims “to mobilize public support towards obtaining religious policy on tobacco control and to support FCTC [Framework Convention on Tobacco Control] accession”.
Muhammadiyah issued an edict banning its followers from smoking on Wednesday, basing its argument on the Koran, which bans Muslims from taking their own lives. It also urged the government and the House of Representatives to ratify the FCTC.
Muhammadiyah denied that it received funding to issue the edict. But it would seem that “obtaining religious policy” of this sort was precisely the aim of the Bloomberg Initiative, and it got exactly what it wanted.
And this shows that antismoking organisations are now prepared to reach beyond governmental public health agencies and attempt to secure religious support in their war on tobacco and smokers.
It has, in short, become a religious war on smoking.
Of course, the war on smokers always was a fanatical religious war, masquerading as a public health campaign. Tobacco Control is a religious cult. So it’s really only revealing its true nature by acquiring Islamic allies.
But it raises the question of whether the Bloomberg Initiative grant is just one of many such grants being made by Western antismoking organisations to other Muslim groups. After all, since Al Qaeda is strongly antismoking, it cannot be beyond the realms of possibility that Al Qaeda has itself been the recipient of similar funding. And since ISIL/ISIS in Iraq is an offshoot of Al Qaeda, they also may be receiving funding from Western antismoking organisations.
And if Islamic groups are being funded, why not Christian and Buddhist and Hindu ones as well? Has the Bloomberg Initiative approached the Vatican with a view to having smoking added to the list of Seven Deadly Sins?
And since this is now a religious war on tobacco, might we not begin to ask what the religious affiliations of the Tobacco Controllers might be? Perhaps we will find that many of them are converts to Islam, and maybe even members of Al Qaeda. Maybe someone should ask Deborah Arnott which chapel or mosque or coven she attends.