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Jul 08 2014

They should not think that they are exempted from this because they are followers of other faiths

Saudi Arabia is also (surprise surprise) harsh and bossy about Ramadan even for people who have the bad taste to be not Muslim.

The Interior Ministry has warned that it would deport non-Muslim expatriates found eating and drinking in public during Ramadan.

“Non-Muslim expatriates should respect the feelings of Muslims by not eating, drinking or smoking in public places such as streets and workplaces. They should not think that they are exempted from this because they are followers of other faiths,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry reminded workers that their contracts stipulate that they should respect Islam’s rituals and practices, including the month of fasting.

The ministry warned that it would deport those who break the law. It stressed that employers and companies should inform their foreign workers about the penalties for violating the sanctity of the holy month, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

So foreign workers in one of the hottest places on earth are ordered to risk death by dehydration and heat stroke because of a stupid (and very dangerous) religious demand imposed by a “prophet” 1400 years ago when people didn’t understand much about physiology. Fabulous. Humane, sensible, compassionate, reasonable – everything good. Allah is merciful.

12 comments

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  1. 1
    Blanche Quizno

    How does OUR not being observant Muslims affect observant Muslims’ observance of their own religion’s rules and regs, again?? You know what? Ima gonna go eat a big BACON sandwich – THAT’s certain to send a chill through the Muslim Force.

  2. 2
    Crimson Clupeidae

    How does OUR not being observant fundamentalist xians affect observant xians’ observance of their own religion’s rules and regs, again??

    Ask the five SCOTUS judges…. ;)

  3. 3
    Anthony K

    I understand that this law was crafted to be very narrowly applied by sharia scholar Samoel bin Alito. There’s absolutely no reason to suspect that Muslim and non-Muslim Saudis alike will be further forced to comply with Islamic custom at the expense of their lives and liberty.

  4. 4
    Ophelia Benson

    Hahaha Anthony – at first I read that as a straight claim.

  5. 5
    johnthedrunkard

    I’m surprised they are so lenient. Didn’t Muhammed proclaim that there was to be ‘only one religion in the Hijaz’?
    Hijaz is the region that includes Mecca and Medina. I was under the impression that when French commandos helped eject the Islamist gang from the Grand Mosque, each soldier was REQUIRED to proclaim the shahada before the killing could start.

    Even Bin Laden seemed more concerned about ‘infidels’ in the kingdom than he was about Saddam on the border.

  6. 6
    Blanche Quizno

    The Abrahamic religions are famously intolerant – and famous for forcing everyone else to comply with their religions’ rules regardless of whether they are members of those religions or not. In the past, of course, Christians simplified matters by murdering everyone who refused to sign up; in the Muslim theocracies, this expedient means is still the norm.

    Why, again, do we give these metaphorical enormous piles of dung so much deference and privilege? Let them at least pay their taxes and “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” That’s a good start.

  7. 7
    karmacat

    I had a Pakistani-American Muslim roommate in college. She told me that exceptions can be made if you need to eat for work or to study or for health. It sounds like Saudi Arabia doesn’t even allow those kind of exceptoins.

  8. 8
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Some of the comments to that article boggle the mind:

    Well said! Fasting is about resisting temptation and demonstrating strength of one faith, not about imposing one’s belief on others and punishing them so drastically. I know many Muslims in the United States and have worked with them. They regularly demonstrate the strength of their faith and fast among co-workers who do not.

    Woo, the temptation to eat when hungry and drink when thirsty. Gotta fight that temptation. You know, things that are essential to our survival?!

  9. 9
    Pierce R. Butler

    For those tempted to disregard our esteemed host’s advice and travel to Saudi Arabia during R-month – remember, declaring your atheism in that country is a de jure admission of terrorism, and may well forfeit the mercy of mere deportation.

  10. 10
    RJW

    Obviously an example of Islamophobic disinformation, Saudi Arabia is a member of the UNHRC.

  11. 11
    Latverian Diplomat

    I do feel it is bad manners to eat in public during Ramadan if the overwhelming majority is fasting. But it shouldn’t be illegal to do so.

    If I’m reading it correctly, smoking is also not permitted during the day? If I know smokers, that is massively cheated on, no question.

  12. 12
    Ophelia Benson

    Bad manners? Really? So people who have to leave home because they have jobs should (to be polite) just suffer all day because other people aren’t eating?

    Do you also feel it’s bad manners to drink in public during Ramadan? Note that I’ve been putting much more emphasis on the drinking, since not drinking is seriously unhealthy, especially in a hot climate.

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