/C O R R E C T I O N -- Council on American-Islamic Relations/
CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper,202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; APPNA ExecutiveDirector Dr. Tariq Cheema, 630-968-8585 or 630-915-1926; IMANA ExecutiveDirector Shiraz Malik, 630-932-0000, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR CommunicationsCoordinator Rabiah Ahmed, 202-488-8787 or 202-439-1441, E-Mail:email@example.com; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787,E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Muslim Groups Kick Off Ramadan With Anti-Smoking Initiative
CAIR, APPNA, IMANA encourage Muslims to use discipline of Ramadan fast to stop smoking
WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A prominent nationalIslamic civil rights and advocacy group and two organizations representingAmerican Muslim physicians today encouraged U.S. Muslims to use the disciplineacquired during the upcoming Ramadan fast to quit the smoking habit.
[Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslimsabstain from smoking, food, drink, and other sensual pleasures from break ofdawn to sunset. Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers,charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the "five pillars" of Islam. Themonth-long fast will begin in most of the world on Thursday, September 13.]
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) theAssociation of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) andthe Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) said that becausesmokers must already abstain during daylight hours during Ramadan, there is anopportunity to quit the habit entirely.
The groups say smoking is clearly a danger to the smoker's health and thehealth of his or her family, and that it is also offensive to others,addictive and a waste of money.
"One of the important benefits of the Ramadan fast is the sense ofdiscipline that it instills in an individual," said CAIR Chief OperatingOfficer/Deputy Director Tahra Goraya. "We can use that discipline to helpeliminate a major threat to public health."
Goraya, who has a professional background in substance abuse prevention,added that our entire society benefits when an individual gives up smoking.She said CAIR's anti-smoking initiative is one of many aspects of the group'sannual "Muslims Care" campaign.
"Muslims Care" is designed to encourage Muslims to make positivecontributions to American society. Each year, one month of CAIR's campaign isdevoted to "raise public awareness of major health issues affecting oursociety."
APPNA President Dr. Nadeem Kazi stated: "Smoking is perhaps one of themost important threats to individual and community health. It is no secretthat more than four million people die in the world each year from smoking-related diseases, including lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, pulmonaryemphysema, coronary heart disease, and cancer of the bladder. Many of theprinciples of Islam call on people to look after their health and to avoidhealth hazards. We therefore urge everyone to take advantage of the holy monthof Ramadan and quit smoking for good."
IMANA President Dr. Ashraf Sufi said: "Ramadan is the best time to quitsmoking, not just during the day, but permanently. IMANA urges all Muslims whosmoke to quit this habit and improve the quality of their lives. There iscertainly no better time to do this than during the holy month of Ramadan."
Muslim smokers are being asked to take advantage of resources athttp://www.smokefree.gov to help in kicking the habit
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