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Islamic State Battles Cigarettes – Says Smoking ‘Serves the West, Undermines Jihad’

JAFFA, Israel – Over the weekend, the Islamic State published pictures (see above) of Egyptian smugglers being scolded by a “lenient” jihadi, who threatened them with an ax after they were caught shipping cigarettes into the Gaza Strip.

Cigarette prices in Gaza have more than quintupled since the jihadi organization started a large-scale crackdown on smoking.

Cigarette smugglers caught by IS officials in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and Syria have faced harsh punishments and their merchandise is confiscated.

“Smoking affects Muslims’ health, and prevents them from contributing to jihad and to the construction of a healthy, faithful, and pious society,” Abu Baker Almaqdesi, an IS militant who recently returned to his native Gaza following an injury suffered while fighting in Syria and Iraq, told Breitbart Jerusalem. “Cigarette manufacturers, all of whom are infidels, come to our countries to reap profits on the back of Muslims that are eventually invested in war against them. And the Muslims not only increase these profits, they damage their ability to fight back.”

Even though studies have documented cigarettes’ addictive qualities, he says, “We don’t believe in addiction. If there are no cigarettes, people won’t smoke. It’s that simple. According to the Islamic principle, damaging things must be avoided.”

“The Islamic State men could have done what all the other governments do, including the Hamas government in Gaza, to increase their profits,” he added.

But instead they burn the cigarettes and punish those who try to smuggle them. It attests to the authenticity of their mission to minimize the influence of the West and the infidels by means of cigarettes, decadent culture or anything else that may impede a Muslim from enlisting in the war against the infidels.

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