Six Palestinians arrested,
one sentenced to a month in prison,
for eating in public during Ramadan
PA cleric: "Our streets are Islamic,"
therefore even non-Muslims should be
"severely punished" for eating in public
by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
Six people have been arrested and one sentenced to a month in prison for eating in public during the month of Ramadan, according to the official Palestinian Authority daily newspaper. Under Islamic law, eating is prohibited from sunrise until sunset during the entire month.
In addition, the Chairman of the PA Supreme Court for Shari'ah Law said PA law should prohibit even non-Muslims and those who cannot fast for health reasons from eating in public during the month. Sheikh Yusuf Ida'is explained: "Our streets are Islamic," and formal legislation should be enacted to "severely punish" anyone who eats publicly during Ramadan. Sheikh Ida'is was appointed Chairman of the Shari'ah court by presidential order of Mahmoud Abbas in January 2012.
It should be noted that approximately 10 per cent of Palestinians in the West Bank are Christian.
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The following are the texts:
"The Jericho court yesterday sentenced a man to a month in prison who ate in public during the blessed month of Ramadan."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 30, 2012]
"The police arrested five people who desecrated the holiness of the month of Ramadan by eating in public during daytime, in the city of Nablus."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, July 29, 2012]
PA TV interview with the Chairman of the PA Supreme Court for Shari'ah Law, Sheikh Yusuf Ida'is:
TV host: "If someone doesn't fast for some reason [during Ramadan month] because he follows a different religion or has health reasons, it's his right. However, he breaks the spirit of Ramadan by eating or drinking in public or at work."
Ida'is: "We have to monitor the streets and severely punish anyone who [eats] in public during Ramadan, and this is the responsibility of the security forces. Our [Palestinian] streets are Islamic, praise Allah. Any person caught committing this sin in public during Ramadan has to be imprisoned until the end of Ramadan, as an example to others. I call upon others [non-Muslims] to be considerate of Muslims' feelings."
[PA TV (Fatah), July 22, 2012]