Islamic ban on smoking sought by govt
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia has asked its top Islamic body to declare smoking 'sinful' to curb the habit within the majority Muslim community.
'We are asking them for a decree that smoking is sinful in Islam, just like alcohol and drugs,' Health Ministry Director-General Mohamad Taha Ariff told AP news agency yesterday.
Officials had approached the Malaysian Muftis Council, the top religious body for the more than 11 million Muslims, to ask for the decree that would amount to a law.
Smoking is rife across all ethnic groups here but the rate - 49.2 per cent - is highest among Muslims, the ministry has said.
The official said that also being considered is a smoking ban in mosques and other places of worship.
Muslims now cannot smoke only during the holy month of Ramadan. --AP