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DUBAI: Police issue stern warning against violating Ramadan fast

Picture 3 Dubai police have warned the public that it will not go easy on violators of virtue during the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

In a statement issued by Dubai police earlier this week, Colonel Mohammad Nasser Razooqi advised the public to abide by the traditions of Ramadan, warning that public eating, drinking, and smoking during daylight fasting hours is an offense to Muslims and considered a crime Dubai.

Federal law in the United Arab Emirates  stipulates that violators could be jailed for one month or be subject to pay a Dh2,000 fine (around $550). So think twice before popping that soda in the street or lighting up in public during Ramadan in the glitzy island hub. It could get you into real trouble. 

Aside from the stern warning against Ramadan offenses, calls were also put out to the public by Dubai's law enforcement to help catch those breaching the law. Brigadier Khalil Ebrahim Mansouri urged people to contact police if they spotted anyone in the streets -- including motorists -- eating, consuming beverages, or smoking.

Detaining street eaters and drinkers during Ramadan daylight hours is rather commonplace in some Arab Gulf countries. Dubai, for example, has arrested a total 24 people in the past three years for the violating the ban, according to the UAE-based English daily Gulf News.

But the practice now appears to be finding its way to other Arab countries as well. In Egypt, the government last year for the first time launched a crackdown campaign against Egyptians who eat, drink, or smoke in public during daylight hours in Ramadan. 

Egyptian police fanned out across country, arresting 150 people in the southern city of Aswan for publicly eating before sunset and nabbing several other people in the popular Red Sea resort down of Hurghada, according to the pan-Arab news network Al-Arabiya.

In Morocco, a group of picnickers got tangled up with the authorities last year for organizing a picnic in the woods during fasting hours. As the would-be picnickers arrived at the train station in the Moroccan town of Mohammedia, they were met by squads of police who searched them and took the names and phone numbers of some of the picnickers.

-- Alexandra Sandels in Beirut

Photo: The statement issued by Dubai police earlier this week, advising the public to respect Ramadan traditions. Credit: Dubai police

Comments () | Archives (14)

Thanks Acqua darling for the theology lesson. As the daughter of an Evangelical minister, I do get it.

But don't you see how this proves my point?

Like Christianity, which is divided into various denominations and sects – each bearing there own pros and cons – so Islam is divided into various groups of more extreme and more liberals interpretations of the Koran.

So, make like Jesus and hug a Muslim.

All I'm saying is that America needs to stop painting all of Islam with the same brush and then jumping to radical fear-based assumptions about every person that practices the religion.

I have met Godly Christians. I have met (gasp!) Godly Muslims.
Equally, I've met awful Christians and awful Muslims.
I sure as heck don't love them all.
But the God you say you worship does.

And do not quote John 3:16 at me. That is NOT my point.

Just... ah, forget it.
Job 32:12-14.

Posted by: ComeToAmerica: 'If you want me to change my mind ,then the muslim people need to start acting like a civilized people.'

LOL, coming from you, that is absurd. You are a bigot, and you know nothing about Islam. Oh, and for your info, Muslims have done more good deeds than Christians ever have!

Sam, you're a disgusting filthy racist!

TheIdahoKid; yes, it is the religion of peace and understanding. You do realise that Dubai does not represent Islam? Racist idiot!

To Come on America..."If you did that for Christianity, we'd be a nation that walks around stoning each other, not wearing mixed fabrics and marching round the world slaughtering anyone who wouldn't convert."....this is a foolish, uneducated and untruthful statement...this statement refers to catholics not christians so please get your facts straight and yes there is a difference...true christians DO NOT believe everything that the catholics believe...if you look over your history, you will realize that the "marching round the world slaughtering anyone who wouldn't convert..." was practiced by the roman catholic religion and not christianity...Jesus Christ My Lord and Saviour DID NOT and DOES NOT approve of this method of conversion for anyone. That's why He came and took death upon Himself for us so that we would be saved from an eternity of hell and death and torment...Jesus does not force us to believe in Him. He has given all of mankind a choice. Therefore those individuals that marched around slaughtering those who would not convert were catholics and not christians...please do your proper research before making such ill-favoured comments...Thank you

AH! Islam the religion of peace and understanding. Next they will be beheading day light eaters......

Dear Come To America,

Pfft! I have several Muslim friends here who are not observing the fast. None of them stands the slightest chance of being thrown in jail. So go ahead and tell your friend he can safely visit during Ramadan.

As for good deeds from the Muslim world, uh... it's the only religion I know of that requires you to perform charitable works (Zakat) to get to heaven. Yeah, Christianity has tithe which usually goes towards paying ministers' fat salaries and building huge churches that sit empty for six days of the week.

To get more informed about Islamic good deeds, you can check out Red Crescent, google "Iftar Tents" (which are set up by families here and around the Middle East to feed the less fortunate – whether they are Muslim or not), and research the ruler of Dubai - Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who alone has given at least US$10 billion to charity.

Finally, you don't "choose to be" American or Muslim, any more than you "choose to be" a Christian or an American. Stop taking Islam to the literal extreme of the letter. If you did that for Christianity, we'd be a nation that walks around stoning each other, not wearing mixed fabrics and marching round the world slaughtering anyone who wouldn't convert. Oh, wait... we already did that. There are extremists and moderates in any religion.

At the end of the day, we don't have to like one another's religions, but it would sure help if we could just try liking each other.

Here endeth the sermon,

PS Dubai Forever, you're right. But it does form the basis of the law in business, family and social affairs. And most expats are aware of that before moving here. That was my point...

Please read the article carefully.

It doesnt say you need to fast, just avoid eating in public i.e. you can eat in your own house and no one will speak to you. Its very provocative to be eating in public when 90% of the people around are refraining from it, isnt it?

Common sense people!

P.S: Sharia law is not implemented in dubai.

You must read other's culture and laws and then you should decide if you can obey and understand those. If not you better stay at home.

I'm an expat who has no problem to respect their culture most of the time, and these special time "Ramadan" I can do an effort; after all, it's not the entire year, nor my entire life.

To Come On America, I've tried that already. I've met a muslim friend who chooses to be American and not practice the ramadan. His choice. I respected that. Only in America. If he was in his country, then he would have been arrested, and forced to become an insurgent and be a car bomber. No thank you. he chose to be American because he is living here and respects the flag. I for one have too many misgivings towards the muslim religion. I have not once seen the muslim religion do one good deed world wide as a religion except what they do in Iraq and Afghanistan. I may be one sided but thats not my fault. Blame it on the media and newspapers. If you want me to change my mind ,then the muslim people need to start acting like a civilized people.

And we are supposed to allow these people into the US??

Expats who live in Dubai have chosen to live under Sharia law - and get paid damn well to do so. We aren't forced to fast - in fact, many restaurants remain open with the government's permission during the fast. Companies provide eating rooms for non-Moslem staff, and even cordoned off smoking areas. Most people here choose to respect the request because they are decent human beings. The fast has noble aims - to better empathise with poverty, to seek self control and meditate on God. Calling that sick or wrong is pretty... sick and wrong.

As a westerner living in the Middle East it is so embarrassing to see how warped, incorrect and unintelligent our understanding of Islam is. Do yourself a favour this Ramadan: find a Moslem in your community and ask if you can attend an iftar (breaking of the fast). They will welcome you. And you may be surprised just how wrong the media portrayal of this religion is. Islam is not Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is not Islam.

Thanks for considering the flipside,
An Embarrassed Christian in Dubai

What kind of sick thinking is this? Are we in Nazi Germany again or what?

And if you aren't Muslim you still have to observe their practices?

This is just wrong - if people want to fast, it is their right and they should be accomodated, but if people do not want to fast for whatever reason, that is their right too. Not all the people in Dubai are Muslims, the city is home to huge expatriate communities of all religions.

Maybe Dubai's authorities need to be reminded of the Quranic injunction of ``no compulsion in religion''.

no eating no drinking no smoking just keep makeing the bombs,and carry on with the brain washing,but dont get caught eating while you do it.


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