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Monday, July 23, 2012

The new Egypt tightens up anti-alcohol rules

From Egypt Independent:
Tourism Minister Mounir Fakhry Abdel Nour Tourism has modified the rules for tourist facilities, such as restaurants, nightclubs and hotels, by banning the sale of alcohol beverages to Egyptians on all religious occasions and not just during Ramadan, in respect for Muslims.

Those occasions include the month of Ramadan, Islamic New Year's Eve, the night of the prophet’s Night Journey, the prophet's birthday and the day of Arafat during the pilgrimage.

Facilities violating that decision would be suspended. Previously, alcohol was only banned in Ramadan, but the minister immediately agreed to a proposal by Sherif Ismail, his legal adviser, to extend the ban to other occasions.
This is of course a law aimed at Egyptian Christians.

But that's nothing. Saudi Arabia takes the gold medal in religious coercion:
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior urged non-Muslims residing in the kingdom to respect Muslims, who are fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, by not eating openly or else face serious consequences that include deportation.

The non-Muslim expatriates in this country should respect the sentiments of Muslims by not eating, drinking and smoking in public places, including roads and workplaces,” stated an Interior Ministry statement issued by the Saudi Press Agency, adding that violators will be either deported or sacked.

The ministry said that eating and drinking openly are seen as an embarrassment to Muslims, as abstaining from food and drinks from sunrise till sunset are one of the visible features of Ramadan that must be respected.

“Being a non-believer of Islam does not exempt an expatriate from being inconsiderate of the feelings of Muslims and the Islamic symbols of this country.”
Egypt's new government has something to shoot for.