Mosque chosen by Obama for visit has links to extremist groups
Khartoum — Last week, the head of the Sudan Scholars Corporation issued a religious decree banning tobacco.
Sheikh Mohamed Osman Saleh, head of the Sudanese Scholars Corporation told the state-owned Sudan News Agency (SUNA) last week that tobacco is forbidden in Islam.
The use of tobacco is no less dangerous and evil than the use of drugs, Saleh said.
He demanded the Sudanese security apparatus to combat the cultivation, sale, and use of tobacco in all parts of the country.
Asked about the donation of the North Darfur government of 10,000 tons of tobacco in support of the ruling National Congress Party, the sheikh said that the gift consisted of various in-kind materials. He accused the Sudanese media of highlighting the tobacco item, "for the purpose of creating sensation and chaos".
In response, former North Darfur government adviser on economic affairs Rashid Ismail told reporters in Khartoum that "the fierce attack against tobacco trade in the country has led to the idea that it is something abnormal".
According to Ismail, "the recent campaign against tobacco is probably intended to hit the Darfur economy. It will put the livelihoods of 900,000 Darfuris at stake".
'Prejudices stem from not being introduced to real Islam properly,' said Veronique Cools, a 25-year-old Belgian convert to Islam.
World Bulletin / News Desk
Veronique Cools, a 25-year-old Belgian convert to Islam, has has helped over 1,000 people who have accepted Islam in the past 8 years.
Cools, who accepted Islam herself at a very young age after being influenced by her Muslim friends and researching into the religion, turned her home into an Islamic center for Belgian Muslims seeking to learn more about their religion.
Saying that she herself had to overcome many prejudices when looking into Islam, Cools then successfully helped her family overcome them too. Now her close family are also Muslims.
'Prejudices stem from not being introduced to real Islam properly,' she said as she was preparing iftar food packets for visiting Muslims to break their Ramadan fasts. 'As Muslims we need to explain ourselves to society a lot better.'
The center now has more than 1,000 members, most of them Belgian women, and is open for all of Belgium's 50,000 Muslims.