Jordan Catholic group blasts hookah makers for having Jesus image on pipes

(Photo: REUTERS / Asmaa Waguih)Women smoke waterpipes in a public cafe in downtown Cairo June 5, 2014.

A Catholic organization in Jordan has condemned the production of hookahs, or waterpipes known as hubble bubbles that bear "immodest and indecent drawings" of Jesus.

The Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) has appealed to manufacturers to cease making such a design as it offends the sensitivities of believers.

The CCSM denounced the moves of some companies to profit from the instrument, which is used to smoke flavored tobacco called shisha. The device is popular in the Middle East and in some parts of Asia.

In a statement the CCSM noted the increasing popularity of the hookahs bearing the likeness of Christ as a worrisome trait following the Charlie Hebdo massacres in Paris where radical Islamists killed members of a satirical magazine which caricatured the Prophet Mohammad.

"The CCSM is also astonished to learn that such stuff is being imported at a time when the world strives to intensify efforts designed to ban defamation of religions, and to renounce any reference to religious symbols in a heinous way," said the organization, headed by its director Father Rif'at Bader.

The organization earlier issued an appeal against defaming religions, condemning controversial depictions of symbols of their faith.

Due to the issue in Amman, the CCSM expressed its intention to sue companies who would continue to manufacture or import hookahs bearing the controversial design.

Without mentioning the names of the companies in the statement as a sign of good will, the organization issued an appeal to the companies.

It said that ignoring the call offends "the feelings of believers and all citizens who currently express the most sublime examples of impregnable solidarity and national unity."

"The CCSM, consequently, asks the competent authorities to withdraw all this stuff from the market, to damage it, or delete the inscribed sacred drawings that are placed alongside immodest drawings, and never to have it used again as it contains drawings offensive to the Christian religion and to the person of Lord Jesus Christ who is honored by all religions," the statement continued.

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