Sunday, February 22, 2009

Banning pork and alcohol...whats the world coming too?

The esteemed MP's of Bahrain have been working over time lately in coming up with more and more reasons for the general public to rue the day they elected them in the first place. They being other Bahrainis of course. While we expats or non Bahrain residents must suffer the same as Bahrainis (in our suffering we are side by side) we are apparently not allowed to complain and are given the freedom to "go home if we dont like it". (just check any local papers letters page for this debate raging on)

Besides trying to ban mannequins from store front windows, bachelors from living among civilized folk, said bachelors from hanging their laundry in plain sight and disturbing the delicate sensibilities of the viewing public and forbidding all homosexuals from even attempting to get past customs at the airport...recent trends have suggested our MP's have taken an even more sinister religious bent on their attempts to bring Bahrain back into the fold of an Islamic community...alcohol and pork are next on the list to be banned...now is the time to do some serious deep thinking.

Bahrainis are rather split on this proposed ban...some believe its a right step and good for the moral being of Bahrain...others think its taking us back into bygone centuries in which camels were the preferred mode of transportation and tent life was the rage....us expats and non Bahrain residents have opinions too...but as stated before...ours doesnt count.

Now heres a thought to any Bahraini that believes banning alcohol and pork are good things...what happens after that? Banning western attire as unIslamic...how about tearing down churches etc as no other religion can be practiced openly in an Islamic country? Or how about really getting down and dirty and ban women from driving and girls from receiving an education and enforcing strict veiling etc as that can lead to immoral behavior...which is unIslamic?(we shall pretend for a moment that all that is culture masquerading as Islam...but we are talking reality here right)

It may all sound ridiculous but really...is it? It sounds like a slippery slope to me...allow MP's, who btw are not hired as religious police for Bahrain but merely to lead us into a prosperous and productive future, to make one law or ban one thing because its deemed unIslamic...then where is the line drawn...who gets to decide what gets banned next...well the MP's of course...and what happens when they start pulling things out of their ass trying to emulate other Middle Eastern countries in an attempt to get back to the basics of Islam? Then will Bahrainis be so comfortable with these recent actions?

Yes alcohol is generally bad for us and we humans can very well live without it...and pork is just another meat product and chicken or beef will do in a pinch for any meal plan a non Muslim might wish to prepare...but really...banning those products does not an Islamic country make. If Islam is supposedly built on peace and tolerance...and the whole "there is no compulsion in religion" thing...and we all know that when something is banned it just gets shoved under ground and a whole new set of immoral behaviors takes root...then really...where is the benefit to the public?

Muslims consider it haram or forbidden to drink alcohol..so great...dont drink alcohol (maybe MP's should enforce alcohol serving establishments to put up those little signs similar to the ones in grocery stores that have a pork section-no Muslims past this point...or something like that just so a misguided Muslim doesnt wander in my accident...hmmm?) and Muslims consider pork a dietary no no...and so dont consume that either...so great...dont eat it (btw Im curious as to why some Muslims will drink alcohol even knowing they shouldnt but I have yet to come across a Muslim that admits to eating pork...considering it the ULTIMATE sin next to shirk/unbelief...another hmmm?).

What I mean is what is the point of having choice...Islam is all about choice...the choice to follow its ideology or not. To behave according to Islamic standards or dont...but the rest of the community are under no such obligations to follow your dietary habits etc...and shouldnt be forced to. I mean, seriously, it all just sounds so hypocritical from a layman/womans point of view. Let me put it this way...

MP's want to bring Bahrain back in to the so called Islamic fold...so they start with ridiculous things like mannequins and laundry...jump on over to gays and bachelors...and currently are taking aim at alcohol and pork...here is my question to any and all MP's...why did you choose to start in those places...with those topics and issues? Why not start with the unfair treatment of women in the Sharia courts...justice for Muslim women (all women really) is a deeply entrenched practice Prophet Mohammed taught his men and sanctioned by God...treating women with respect, giving them their God sanctioned rights and ensuring them a safe and accommodating environment in which to obtain a divorce and or keep their children in their lives seems a hell of alot more important then worrying about nonMuslims (ahem) drinking and eating forbidden items...just thinking out loud here.

Or how about ban the whole "sponsorship" system...oh I forgot...that doesnt exist. Cant ban something that doesnt actually exist...on paper...but does in practice...openly and barbarically and without any due respect towards Islam and moral principles. Foreign labour in Bahrain are treated like slaves...are paid slave wages (if at all) and are considered "runaways" and "escapees" if they, oh I dont know, get fed up with this barbaric treatment and decide to take their labour elsewhere. Why dont our esteemed MP's take a stab at banning inhumane treatment towards housemaids and labourers...seems like a truly worthwhile Islamic ideal to go after...still thinking out loud here.

And while they are at it...why not ban the security forces and govt from throwing those in jail that have the balls to speak up about all these issues and get the sheep (I mean public) all antagonized and worked up? Freedom of speech is a very Islamic ideal..yes? Why not spend some time earning your extravagant salaries on a subject like that? If you dont protect the right to freedom of speech from now...it might be your own right to freedom of speech you will sorely miss some day...Im just saying.

Now its very true...if us nonBahrainis dont like these "new and improved" living conditions being offered up to the public...we can pack our bags and hightail it out of here on a British Airways flight that does serve alcohol etc and shake the dust from our immoral western boot heels...but heres the really thought provoking thing about your request that "if we dont like it we can just leave"...we can leave...but what about you?

One day when and if Bahrain becomes another little Iran (a little tussle going on with Iran claiming ownership and all) or even just a poor step daughter to Saudi (never really belongs to the original family and all) just what will Bahrainis do then...pack their bags and get the hell out of dodge on a non alcohol serving Gulf Air flight and come live in the immoral decadent west where alcohol, pork, freedom of speech and free will...have not been banned...and people still manage to live a good and honest life.

If you dont stop it from now..you only have yourselves to blame.

29 comments:

Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo said...

No booze in Bahrain? Where oh where will the Saudis go to play? Ah...I know: Dubai.

Aafke said...

PS, like the new fresh look!

Aafke said...

Well, well, the sting of death for the tourist-trade catering to all those saudi's popping over for ther dose of alcohol...

And you are very right, next on the list is women. Full veil, up to one eye, no driving, no going out of the house without written authorisation, and why educate women at all?

janice said...

Outstanding post CoolRed!

Terri's Space said...

Oh Goodness!! No alcohol in Bahrain?!!! Yes, I can live without alcohol. But...after a few weeks in Saudi....it sure is helpful in taking the edge off and helping us expats to relax, and let our hair down a bit. I know for me...when I 1st discovered Bahrain...and actually was able to order a "grey goose cosmo" I felt like I exhaled.

coolred38 said...

Abu Dhabi: lol...Im wondering if the usual Saudi influx will be greatly reduced if this alcohol ban actually does take affect...but then ask any Saudi and they are just coming for the cinemas and cultural centers...lol.

Aafke: yup...Im hoping women wake up and start kicking some ass before its much too late for them. Bahraini women havent got it as bad as Saudi women...but it could just be a matter of time.

and thanks for the blog approval

Janice: thank you

Terri: its interesting that Islam is supposedly based on "freedom of choice" and yet most "Islamic" gvts do all they can to remove even the smallest of choices from their people.

Bahrain has long been a tolerant and laid back community that allowed both the religous and not so religous to live side by side and nobody suffered too much from the others way of life...that seems about to change...sigh.

Chiara said...

After flying Gulf Air return Hong Kong to Casablanca, with a stopover of hours (yes hours) in the lovely new Bahrain Airport, I feel uniquely qualified to comment on this topic, especially since I am already "home", and I now know how to make a winky icon ;-). And after that long preface, all I have to say is "frogs in slowly boiling water" and hopefully the economics of Saudi tourism will win the day in the Bahraini legislature.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a great idea. Yes, ban pork and alcohol. It's not healthy.

flymenian said...

Dear Coolred you seemed to be a white person no offense which means it will take you a very long time to understand the whole mentality because you think there is no muslims who eat pork and speak out loud about it?

I'm one I'm against this whole deal, and I'm very sorry to tell you that you are a white person which means a foreigner, but it is the truth because you are being fed stories from one side only.

Well you spoke of foreign labour which are treated as slaves as you might have said, my opinion on this could be shocking to you but let's not talk about it now.

I think instead of them focusing on Banning Mr. little piggy who is a danger to society some how according to their ideals aren't they suppose to focus on education? Unemployment & etc.....

I see the future and I think it is not bright if those respectful Rocket science MPs keep on tackling issues that will feed no mouth and educate no little child.

I can keep on going on and on about the whole situation but what good would it do.

From here I declare that I have lost hope in this nation, if they keep on fighting our most humane freedoms.

I want to eat bacon

I want to drink beer

My wife shall not wear a burqa forcibly

Women have the right to drive, and have fun and enjoy life because they are human and have a full brain of their own, I repeat a full brain.

Why can't we have the a simple respect to our intelligence?

Sous said...

Great post :). I got nothing to add to that. Sums it up well.

Susanne said...

Enjoyed this! You are so right!

coolred38 said...

Chiara...wink back at ya!

Flymenian...not sure what me being white has to do with anything...and yes...Im fully aware the there are Muslims that eat pork just like those that drink copious amounts of alcohol...just rare to find one that admits to it...is what I was saying. Other than that you and I appear to agree on most everything else.
Thanks for stopping by,

Thank you Sous and Susanne

marahm said...

Great post; I agree with it all. However, I must confess that I do like the idea of banning pork and alcohol, and not just in Bahrain.

This is merely a personal observation; I cannot help but confess that without the forbidden fruit (in Saudi Arabia) one does not have to make and remake decisions that could cause a bit of stress, and wear one down after a while.

Love the new theme!

Aafke said...

Why are pork and alcohol a temtation?
There's nothing special about pork, except bacon which is jummie but for pete's sake, what's the problem with not eating it?
there are enough other yummie things to eat!

What all this attraction about alcohol? Sorry, but I don't like alcohol and never did, and I really don't understand why one should drink it, and why it is such a big temptation.

Susanne said...

Anonymous says to ban pork and alcohol because they aren't healthy. Well, so is smoking and eating too much rich food and sweets and drinking sugary drinks. So we should ban all those things for the sake of healthy living?

I was in Syria recently. I'd like to see smoking banned among the Muslims there! Or is smoking permitted in Islam? Please don't tell me it's good for your health.

Suroor said...

Coolred, you are one of the smartest women I have read. I agree with you 100%.

"btw Im curious as to why some Muslims will drink alcohol even knowing they shouldnt but I have yet to come across a Muslim that admits to eating pork...considering it the ULTIMATE sin next to shirk/unbelief"

I am too! How does it work out? God!

coolred38 said...

Marahm...I dont really have a problem with banning pork or alcohol themselves as I dont care for either of them...my beef is more about the reasons given for doing so...to make it a more Islamic friendly states supposedly....meanwhile there are so many other issues that affect people much more then what they are eating or drinking. Just very hypocritical in my opinion to use that excuse.

Aafke...I have no idea what the temptation is. Ive not eaten pork since I stepped on the shores of Bahrain 23 years ago. Even when I go home and its all around I have no temptation to do so...and I dont really think of it in religious terms. Yes, Muslims are not meant to eat it so fine I dont eat it...but its not like I sit around staring at people in America chowing down on their porkchops and start drooling and pining for it. I just dont eat and and dont even give it a moments thought...so many other meats to eat...lol. As for alcohol, I just dont go there...enough alcoholics in my family to keep me from even thinking about it.

Susanne...I agree with you about the unhealthy aspect. Smoking has got to be hands down worse for your health then pork...but, all though its considered a no no by the more extreme Muslims and disliked by moderates...its still never made illegal...so thats a lousy excuse to use...as I mentioned.

Suroor...thank you...all I can say is...you must not know a whole lot of women...lol. Thank you anyway.

Chiara said...

With modern means of preserving meat the pork + trichinosis equation no longer applies, and definitely means that it is the least "sinful"/harmful of the alcohol, pork, tobacco (not available in the time of the Prophet) triad.

Nzingha said...

I've been reading the comment section in the paper too :) The manequin thing cracked me up.

But let me just say, I don't take issue with the banning of alcohol at all. I don't care if they make it a dry country. Islamically I can't understand how the country benefits from the haram ie taxing alcohol. I also hate driving the causeway on weekends due to the drunk drivers. I also see how the complaints of the citizens of Bahrain who have to deal w/ the drunks in the areas they live are valid. So I can get why they want to do it.

I do disagree that

a. expats are so dependent on alcohol that they will all pick up and leave due to a ban. If that is the case maybe farewell is the best choice for them.

b. that the banning of such things will lead to some stone age society. it is like you either can drink or your women will be caged and hidden. I don't see how the two come together.

c. people voted for these mps didn't they? so isn't this the democratic process? And if Bahranis are for this can one really question as it isn't bringing harm to a smaller weaker part of society.

d. yes there are bigger issues to deal with but how does that negate the problems associated with alcohol in this country? Are such issues not legitimate as well? aren't the concerns of the citizens to be heard on this issue as well? I don't see how because bigger issues exist that smaller issues become void.


honestly I dont think the MPs are able to understand that a medium can be had. That they can protect the society from social problems related to alcohol but not change an entire system by doing so.

The pork thing I don't get at all. probably some voice in the back of the room said "what about pork' when they were discussing alcohol and they all decided it was a good idea.

I wonder why they haven't thought of other ways to deal w/ their issues than to just ban. But I guess that is the easier way to go about it.

Aafke said...

Nzinga, I'm not so sure about democracy: I vote on politicians but those damn bozo's never do what I want them to do! ;)

The Queen said...

'I cannot help but confess that without the forbidden fruit...one does not have to make and remake decisions that could cause a bit of stress, and wear one down after a while'

I believe that if one can be 'worn down' by the mere availability of things that they have chosen to avoid due to their religion then their religion is missing an essential component. Banning things is not the answer, the answer needs to come from within yourself. How is your sacrifice (obstaining from haram) a sacrifice if it isn't an option anyway? How do you know you are truly a good Muslim if the things are not available to you anyway? Islam is supposedly the most simple and easy path yet small things like avoiding the haram cause stress? Something is seriously wrong there. Just sayin'...

Aafke said...

I still don't get it.
I really don't get the temptation thing.
I don't get the ''You should get rid of all temptations so you have an easy religious experience'' And neither do I get the ''One should suffer for religion''-thing
Which brings me to religion. If your religion says: Don't drink alcohol, then don't drink it. What's the fuss?
If you are so wrapped up in religion as muslims are supposed to be, where's the temptation?

I really don't get it.

Reeshiez said...

I am Bahraii and I agree with everything you said. I don't drink and I don't eat pork - to me they are two big no nos. But I also believe that people should have the freedom to do what they want as long as it isn't hurting other people. My biggest worry about the alcohol and pork ban is the slipperly slope that you are talking about. This is only the beginning.

coolred38 said...

Reeshiez...thanks for your comment and I agree with you of course. I cringe just to think about whats next on their agenda.

eylesda said...

My local tavern in Saar is packed with locals on a Thursday night, I have loads of Bahraini friends, male and female, I have loads of Saudi friends, male and some female. Most. I'd say 90%, drink openly, some eat prok for the heck of it (being naughty).

How about the recent trend of "drive through" booze shops where Muslims can toot their horn and get served in the comfort of their cars while I have to queue!

Personally I am not bothered if they do ban bacon and booze. After living in Saudi for 15 years I am well capable of looking after my own needs.

There will also be a thriving black market much as there is for drugs now.

What does concern me is the growing unrest and rioting which any of us can get caught up in at any time. Let's see the MPs do something about that.
I would not even try to take sides as it is not my place.

Alas, to voice one's opinions ALWAYS gets the reply "If you don't like it then leave". Sorry mate, I do like it and will stay!

coolred38 said...

eyalesda...thanks for stopping by. The ironic thing is that I know some of those same MP's...and even alot of the Bahrainis that claiming its haram and needs to be stopped...engage in consuming these products...and are into other haram acts...so WTF? why present youself in such a hypocritical fashion? Bahrain is an island...everyone knows everything about everyone...there are very few secrets...these MP's are just scandals waiting to happen just like politicians all over the world IMP.

Wheres your hangout...I might come by sometime and get a fly on the walls eye view...lol.

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