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The role of Imams of Friday’s prayer in reducing social harms could be way more prominent

In a ceremony on the 6th of October on the occasion of police week in Iran, Dr. Mohammad Reza Masjedi, the secretary-general of IATA gave a speech about the comprehensive harmful effects of tobacco consumption.

In this ceremony that held on the conference hall of Tehran police headquarter, Dr. Masjedi acknowledging the efforts of police for creating security and order in the country, mentioned to the worrisome statistics of smoking between youth and young generation especially the women and said that since 40 years ago, we are suffering sanctions on everything except tobacco products and it is the cultural invasion. He noted Rupert Murdoch and John McCain’s speeches where they expressed their wish for destroying Iran, not by a military attack, but through increasing tobacco consumption between Iranian young people especially women and girls which weakens family foundations and finally weakens our country, bring diseases and poverty.

Masjedi expressed his disappointment for the approval of the bill about excluding teahouses of the public places and stated that one of the main reasons for the increase in cigarette and hookah consumption is that they are easily accessible. He also said that most of the people who are lobbying for tobacco use and gain an enormous profit are not Iranian; tobacco consumption not only causes physical harm, but also results in major irreparable economic, social, cultural, and political damages to our country.

He mentioned that Mirza Shirazi and his verdict about tobacco protest (issued in 1890) was an obvious example for fighting against soft war and cultural invasion, and said that many of the religious figures consider tobacco consumption as haram (forbidden) and many other clarify that if it causes any physical harm, it’s not allowed, while more than 4000 physicians introduced tobacco use as the main reason for getting cancer.

Masjedi mentioned that Imams of Friday’s prayer have a significant role in lessening social harms and emphasized that many of the social problems and harms are consequences of addiction and tobacco consumption is the gateway to the addiction; we have to find a solution for it.

In the end, he requested the Imams of Friday’s prayer to talk about tobacco harms in their speeches to raise public knowledge about smoking and its outcomes. He also asked the Imams of other cities for their collaboration with IATA’s plans for fighting against smoking.

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