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Muslim Groups Kick Off Ramadan With Anti-Smoking Initiative
Date:9/12/2007

CAIR, APPNA, IMANA encourage Muslims to use discipline of Ramadan fast to

stop smoking

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group and two organizations representing American Muslim physicians today encouraged U.S. Muslims to use the discipline acquired during the upcoming Ramadan fast to quit the smoking habit.

[Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from smoking, food, drink, and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. Fasting (along with the declaration of faith, daily prayers, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the "five pillars" of Islam. The month-long fast will begin in most of the world on Thursday, September 13.]

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) the Association of Physicians of Pakistani Descent of North America (APPNA) and the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) said that because smokers must already abstain during daylight hours during Ramadan, there is an opportunity to quit the habit entirely.

The groups say smoking is clearly a danger to the smoker's health and the health 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 of discipline that it instills in an individual," said CAIR Chief Operating Officer/Deputy Director Tahra Goraya. "We can use that discipline to help eliminate 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's annual "Muslims Care" campaign.

"Muslims Care" is designed to encourage Muslims to make positive contributions to American society. Each year, one month of CAI
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SOURCE Council on American-Islamic Relations
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
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