Suq Mosque, Manama - Bahrain
Flickr-User: Fuad Al Ansari
Yes, it is impossible to breathe under Sharia Law. When Muslim women are asked if they like wearing the veil, they normally answer that they do; that they enjoy the modesty it offers.
However this is usually the answer when you ask the question in a jurisdiction under which they can be stoned for questioning Sharia or any aspect of Islamic teachings (1).
So what do Muslims do when they need a drink? They cheat.
Muslims and Alcohol
Manama, Bahrain, Dec. 29, 2004 (UPI) -- Mubarak and Khalifah, two Saudi men in their early 30s, frequently visit the tiny kingdom of Bahrain to entertain themselves. Their favorite place is the Tarboush restaurant in Manama where alcohol is served freely, and singers and a belly dancer perform every night.
Public entertainment as such does not exist in conservative Saudi Arabia. Big shopping malls, fancy restaurants and resorts are almost the same in both neighboring countries.
"The only difference is this sense of freedom in Bahrain," said Alia, a Lebanese wife who has been living in the Saudi city of Dammam for nearly 15 years. "We can go around and have a nice dinner. Women can drive. Alcohol is allowed and there are nightclubs. All sorts of things that we can't do in Saudi Arabia."
On normal days, it takes only 45 minutes to cross the bridge. On weekends, starting Thursdays, an average of 40,000 cars line up for up to three hours to reach Manama. To many, it is worth the trouble.
As to why Saudi Arabia allows its citizens to go to Bahrain when they know what's going on? For the same reason that Mexico encourages its citizens to sneak into America: as an escape valve to release pressure on its own government to make needed reforms. Although the actual reforms are different the motivation is the same.
But what do Saudi citizens do when they live far from Bahrain? They do what the US did under prohibition: They buy it from the huge bootlegging trade. Expatriate residents and frequent visitors tell stories of well-stocked bars maintained in the villas of wealthy Saudis.
Sharia Flogging for Estonian Soldier
An Estonian soldier on his way home after having served with the coalition forces in Afghanistan, was arrested in the United Arab Emirates and will be flogged. Andrei Korol was accused of being drunk and harassing a local policewoman while he was in transit at Sharjah international airport where they "make your life easy.”
The incident happened on 23 February. There were no witnesses of the alleged harassment. Korol’s comrades say that he was so tired and drunk that most of the time at the airport he was napping. UAE law does not allow locals to drink at all while foreigners can do it only in certain designated areas.
Another take on the story:
The Egyptian policewoman, who works at the airport of the emirate of Sharjah, alleged that Andrie Carol tried to rape her as she slept in the ladies staff room during a break, the English-language Khaleej Times said.
The newspaper quoted the soldier as saying from his prison cell that he had been very tired and had drunk excessively when the purported incident occurred during a recent stopover at Sharjah airport on his way home from Afghanistan.
"The only thing I can remember is that I wanted to go to the men's toilet and I asked somebody who pointed to the room and I just went in. I did not have any intention of raping or touching any woman," Carol said.
What obviously happened is that he made a mistake, but most Muslims would have raped a woman asleep alone, so they assume he attempted likewise. Any other country this would have been chalked up to an inadvertent wandering of a drunk.
Alcohol and Muslims
The word alcohol is derived from the Arabic word al-kohl, which means fermented grains, fruits, or sugars that form an intoxicating beverage when fermented.
Pre-Islamic Arabs had harsh lives and felt that alcohol was an indispensable way to cope with their problems. Among the troubles that the Arab people had before Islam were: tribal warfare, excessive pride and competition, prostitution, insecurity, broken homes, and female infanticide. Women were treated as slaves, and children were deprived of affection, while men were expected to be tough and competitive. These were all factors that compelled people to drink.
And of course, children are not deprived of affection.
American Thinker, Top ten reasons why sharia is bad for all societies
10. Islam commands that drinkers and gamblers should be whipped.
9. Islam allows husbands to hit their wives even if the husbands merely fear highhandedness in their wives.
8. Islam allows an injured plaintiff to exact legal revenge—physical eye for physical eye.
7. Islam commands that a male and female thief must have a hand cut off.
6. Islam commands that highway robbers should be crucified or mutilated.
5. Islam commands that homosexuals must be executed.
4. Islam orders unmarried fornicators to be whipped and adulterers to be stoned to death.
3. Islam orders death for Muslim and possible death for non—Muslim critics of Muhammad and the Qur'an and even sharia itself.
2. Islam orders apostates to be killed.
1. Islam commands offensive and aggressive and unjust jihad.
Prof. Sondra M. Rubenstein
Adjunct Distinguished Professor
Department of Communication
University of Haifa, Israel
Book Review - On Honor Killings
Burned Alive, written by "Souad" in collaboration with Marie-Thérèse Cuny (Bantam Press, 2004), is more than the recounting of shocking and tragic events that took place some 25 years ago in a West Bank village. The book addresses the prevailing taboo of honor killings, the punishment for the perceived misuse of female sexuality, and issues a heart-rending plea to expose and end such executions, which are still considered a "private" affair. Review: Burned Alive.