Hookah Bars in Paris Fight Smoking ban. Abdelkader El-Ahmer, Owner of Houara Lounge, Is a World Hero in Tobacco Prohibition Times
Comment on Hookah Bars in Paris Fight Smoking ban
By Felix BRIAUD for I.H.T. (International Herald Tribune); April 24, 2008.
> I.H.T. : “In the new nonsmoking France, where café-goers and restaurateurs have made a remarkably quiet transition to the regime of not lighting up indoors, there remains an unexpected pocket of resistance: hookah bars”
> OBSERVATORY COMMENTS: Humm... Not so “unexpected”, Sir. France is not only the country of Champaign but also that of resistance to all forms of injustice:
May 1968-2008 in Paris: Police is Here to Stay (Paris, 40 ans après Mai 68: la police (de la pensée, pseudo-scientifique, ...) est toujours là...)
> I.H.T. : “[…] The owner of one Paris hookah café says he has been on a HUNGER STRIKE for two months to protest the ban on indoor smoking, which took effect Jan. 2.”
Full story HERE: The « Anti-Tobacco » Industry Crimes. Owner of Houara Hookah Lounge in Critical State as He Enters 4th Week of Hunger Strike (March 12, 2008)
> OBSERVATORY: This man, Abdelkader EL-AHMER, has also commenced a THIRST STRIKE. He is a world hero because he has been refusing, for 2 months now, to be the victim (and even the scapegoat) of a nationwide imported ordinance based on falsification of scientific facts:
The Invention of Hookah (Shisha, Narghile) «Passive Smoking» through Repeated Scientific Misconduct and Fraud. Lebanon & Syria
“Hookah (shisha, narghile) “Passive Smoking” is a Fraud [Le «tabagisme passif» du narguilé est un leurre]
Imported Prohibition is Antithetic to French Values, Experts Say. How France Bravely Resists Harsh Assaults on Civil Liberties
> I.H.T.: ”Other owners of "shisha bars," as the salons are known here, have simply chosen to break the law by continuing to offer customers tobacco in water pipes.
"We have no choice," said Badri HELOU, president of the Hookah Professionals' Union. "If we don't offer what our customers used to come for, our companies will go bankrupt."
A few streets away, facing the city's botanical gardens, the outdoor tea salon at the Great Mosque of Paris will offer hookahs outside when sunny days permit. But the mosque did not make the changes required to allow smoking indoors […]”
> OBSERVATORY: Be they a model for all shisha lounges in the United Kingdom and elsewhere ! (Another hero in the UK: Mohammed JABER: Blackburn cafe owner faces new smoking ban charge)
PROGRAM: organize and internationalize the struggle against Prohibition !
As for this MOSQUE OF PARIS, where smoking the hookah in peace is still allowed by the Secular Laws of the Republic (nay, Censors and politically correct thinkers ?) read:
Syria, Iran and the Threat Posed by Hookah Smoking to the Free Civilized World
> Tell us, folks: On which side of the Atlantic do you see intolerance and fanaticism ? Also: in scientific laboratories or religious temples ?
> I.H.T.: “The members of the union [of Hookah Professionals] are so incensed by the situation that they are thinking of going to a higher authority.
"This law is contrary to the spirit of free enterprise mentioned in the European Declaration of Human Rights," HELOU said. "We're ready to take this case to a European court."
> OBSERVATORY: Mister Badri HELOU should also add that this law is simply contrary to scientific evidence: “Hookah (shisha, narghile) “Passive Smoking” is a Fraud [Le «tabagisme passif» du narguilé est un leurre]
> I.H.T.: “To press its case, the union [of Hookah Professionals] has taken an action that could indicate the long odds in its quest to become an exception to the law. It has hired Jacques VERGÈS, a lawyer who was recently the subject of a film, "L'Avocat," and who is known for defending clients including the Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie and the Khmer Rouge leader Khieu Samphan. Vergès, a notorious figure in France, says he is dedicated to the principle of the universal right to a fair trial.”
> OBSERVATORY: So what ? Only the anti-tobacco organizations would have the right to hire prestigious lawyers ? Me Jacques VERGES is the moral honor of Human Rights France and he world Prohibition on tobacco (homes, cars, gardens, terraces, etc.) will eventually collapse.
This will make possible, at last, independent and free (from censorship, MacCarthyism, suspect funding, etc.) research on the truely hazardous effects of tobacco and the way to prevent them: harm reduction alternatives like smokeless tobacco of the SNUS type; charcoal-free No-Carbon Monoxide electronic hookah; etc.
Oh la la, la France, encore ! Exhale now !
Image : courtesy of Franca Turismo
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