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'I knew it was haram but I couldn't stop': The addiction 'suffocating' young Muslim men

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Omar was always careful to make sure nobody he knew ever saw him enter or leave his local bookies. As a Muslim man, gambling for him is forbidden.

Then, one day, the 35-year-old's ‘worst nightmare’ became reality. Leaving a betting shop after a day of gambling, he was spotted by someone who knew him. "They saw me and started following me and kept saying things like, ‘that’s haram, you’re not supposed to be doing that.'" He told the MEN. "In my mind, I was thinking ‘leave me alone’. "I would have done the same thing as them, imagine seeing someone you know coming out of a brothel?

There's a reason why these things are taboo, they lead to people harming themselves." READ MORE: Energy price guarantee to be extended at £2,500 - what the change means for you That knowledge didn’t stop him from gambling however.

Omar said that after the encounter dampening his mood, clouded by the addiction, he began to rationalise the incident to himself, thinking of other ways he could go to the betting shop without being noticed. “It felt a bit rubbish yes, I felt a bit down." He told the MEN. "But after a while I started thinking ‘maybe go another time, or stay in the shop for a bit longer.” In the Qu'ran, gambling is strictly forbidden and in Muslim communities it's seen as a social disease that destroys a person's life and family.

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