One big news story in the last couple of days has been the rising violence between Mexican drug cartels, and the smuggling of guns from the USA down across the border. Not knowing much about it in the first place, I wasn't really paying attention while listening to a story about it on NPR until suddenly the word 'Iraq' got thrown in, during a comparison of the number of deaths.
In the last year there have been more deaths (some 6000) because of this drug cartel violence than the last six years of military deaths (i.e., deaths of US military personnel, a number around 4250) in Iraq. (Link) That's just a totally bizarre comparison, if you ask me. One year vs six years, violence on side vs. violence on multiple sides. The point, I suppose, was to sensationalize the number of deaths because of the drug trade. I wonder how many people died in Iraq total, in the last year--not just "military deaths."
Another interesting thing about the story was someone who had been a drug trafficker earlier in his life was trying to explain the drug trade. The BBC World Service anchor asked him if he were made "Drug Czar" what would he do to tackle the drug problem. His solution? Make it all legal. People who propose that sort of answer really baffle me--drug addiction is a disease. It is a disease. And the more people that use a drug, the more become addicted. And the more available a drug is, the more people will use it. It opens up a whole new can of worms!
Now, forgetting all the talk about Mexico being a "failed state," it's worthwhile to point out the view that the rising violence is actually a sign of success in the crackdown on the drug trade. Do we really need to be reminded that Allah tells us in the Qur'an that the harm outweighs the benefit when it comes to intoxicants?
The users get addicted and sick, sometimes falling into poverty, which drains the state of resources to take care of them. They hurt themselves and their families. The sellers and transporters have to break various laws, even end up just fighting with each other to keep their business going. Is it any wonder that buying, selling, using, transporting, even growing and processing intoxicants (alcohol, and therefore all intoxicants, right?) is all prohibited for Muslims?