Great piece in SF Weekly….
This week brings with it the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the annual observation of Ramadan. For Ishaq Ali, senior social impact manager for cannabis marketplace Eaze, the occasion presented an opportunity to highlight an area in which he possesses a certain level of expertise: cannabis stigmas in Muslim communities.
In a blog post set to be published to Eaze’s website, Ali — a first-generation Muslim as well as a Fresno native — draws some compelling parallels between the misinformation at the heart of both the War on Drugs and the War on Terror, while suggesting those who share his faith may wish to reexamine their stance on cannabis.
Ali approaches what is potentially a rather controversial topic by emphasizing education and social justice.
Speaking with SF Weekly, Ali explained the rationale behind his post, which posits that cannabis is not forbidden by the Qur’an. In his essay, Ali argues that his fellow adherents should think of cannabis as a medicine, which would mean it an acceptable substance for practicing Muslims to consume (should they so desire).
“In Islam,” Ali explained, “they very specifically name certain things that are forbidden, like pork and alcohol. By contrast, people have considered cannabis to be a medicine for thousands of years. Interestingly enough, there is also no explicit prohibition of cannabis in the Qur’an. Because of that, I believe it opens up the interpretation to the individual who is reading the text and how they interact with the plant.”
Using alcohol as an example, Ali detailed the practical thinking that likely led to the inclusion of that intoxicant being forbidden.