Mona Siddiqui, professor of Islamic studies, New College, University of Edinburgh

The happiness offered by drugs is just an illusion.

Other things that appear to offer happiness might also be an illusion, but let’s not go into that.

4 thoughts on “Mona Siddiqui, professor of Islamic studies, New College, University of Edinburgh

  1. Submission to a religion (called, er, ‘submission’), strict adherence to its rituals, adoration of its founder (& its miraculous BBoMS) may not properly be called ‘addiction’ but you could be forgiven for entertaining the comparison.


  2. If true happiness is to be found in worshipping the IMF, the Muslim nations should be the happiest on earth. But they don’t seem that happy. Maybe it’s because, as that wicked old man Ayatollah Khomeini once said, “There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humour in Islam. There is no fun in Islam”.

    But there’s certainly plenty of drugs. Not so much alcohol, maybe; or, at least, not so much admitted to. But opium and its products, cannabis and its products, and khat are probably more widespread in the likes of Afghanistan or Pakistan than they are in the decadent West.

    So if Mona’s solution to the drugs problem is more religion, I don’t think it’s going to work.


  3. ‘Religion is the opium of the people’ (Karl Marx). There is much hypocrisy and misunderstanding regarding the use of drugs. Hundreds of thousands of people are hooked on prescription drugs, obtained perfectly legally. Addiction is not confined to drug use: there is addiction, for example, to gambling, various foodstuffs, to sex, to religion, and, of course, to alcohol and tobacco, often regarded as just as harmful as substances such as cocaine. The consumption of alcohol and tobacco in the UK is legal but controlled. The control is far from perfect – under-age drinking, for example, is a problem – but it works far better than a total ban – think of the era of Prohibition in America. The so-called ‘war on drugs’ has never worked and never will. Millions of pounds have been wasted pursuing drugs barons and suppliers, prosecuting and imprisoning users, and trying – and failing – to enforce the law. A policy of a legal, but controlled, supply would ensure that the drugs were not contaminated, would vastly diminish the enormous profits to be made in supplying drugs illegally and mean addicts could be helped without risking prosecution. It would not eliminate the illegal trade, but it would work far better than the present system.


  4. I wonder if Mona’s student is now one of those intelligent people who get take their daily cocaine in the toilets at the House of Commons as reported in the news yesterday.
    An old friend of mine went to work for a start up bank in the 90s and was shocked by the cocaine culture among the public school educated execs in charge who used coke to keep them going on the long-hour money worshipping treadmill.
    Perhaps the police should be doing more stop and searches of briefcase toting execs rather than the youth of black neighbourhoods enjoying a bit of cannabis.
    I understand religion can be a way of getting people in chaotic lives to live more fulfilling ones, but for most people being told you can’t enjoy your spliff, pint, tot of whisky or bet because an overbearing IMF says so seems ludicrous.


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