The abolition of alcohol led to increased crime and a spike in gang-related activity when attempted nearly a century ago in the U.S. A group of Muslims in the U.K., however, have organized a march down Brick Lane in London to protest the legal sale of spirits.
Shariah Project spokesperson Abu Rumaysah contended drinking causes “a lot of problems,” noting his belief that drinking is a sin.
“The one who is not a Muslim is already going to hellfire,” he continued. “The one who drinks or sells alcohol God can forgive if he mends his ways.”
While there is some validity to the idea that excessive drinking can be detrimental to an individual, family, and society as a whole, these marchers are suggesting an entire industry be eradicated because of their religious views. Nations ruled by Shariah law are can and do outlaw whatever activity their rulers deem inappropriate. When adherents to those tenets enter a Westernized country and demanding the same, however, is an altogether different proposition.
Of course, this is far from the first instance of Muslims in Britain demanding the nation bend to their religious ideology. Hopefully, those protesting the sale of alcohol will not resort to violence as did many other demonstrators before them.
Business owner Abdul Muhid contacted the Shariah Project in response to increased community complaints regarding alcohol consumption.
“My duty as a Muslim is to convince people of the ills of alcohol,” he said, adding his faith teachers “drinking and selling alcohol is a sin.”
He is certainly correct in his assertion. The U.K., however, is not a theocracy – at least not yet.
The Quilliam Foundation, a London-based think tank dedicated to combating Islamic extremism, echoed that point through a statement by spokesperson Dr. Usama Hasan.
“In Islamic teaching you shouldn’t drink alcohol,” he confirmed, “but you can’t impose Islamic law on other people. This is a democracy.”
Such arguments carry little sway among activists who want to see the entire world subjected to their religious doctrine.
One wishes the faith’s practitioners would organize protests this sincere to castigate those who use Islam as an excuse to murder, maim, and torture those with whom they disagree.
–B. Christopher Agee
Have an idea for a story? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: AsianMedia (Creative Commons)