Friday, October 14, 2011

A drinker's guide to Islam..

I need to disagree on the closing paragraph of this excellent essay:
“Regardless of whether this is the case or not, devout Muslims have every right to consider alcohol haraam and not part of Islam the religion. But they must also accept that alcohol has always been an integral and largely tolerated aspect of Islamic culture..”
Yes, I had witnessed the relaxed ban on Alcohol in many Muslim societies, but it was among the Urban Muslims, rather than all Muslims..
Urbanism usually comes with its own set of global and broader morals and trends; which does not reflect the common national culture.. This a worldly phenomenon not a Muslim one..!
Maybe the comments are more interesting than the article itself.. It tells the perceptions of both Muslims and non-Muslims about the Islamic culture and implementations..,

A Palestinian beerfest is not as bizarre as it seems. Alcohol has long been a tolerated aspect of Muslim culture

To add to the bizarreness of the situation, this Oktoberfest, the seventh of its kind, took place not in hip Ramallah but in the remote village of Taybeh, perched picturesquely at 850m above sea level and with a population of just 1,500. Moreover, readers in western countries may wonder why thousands upon thousands of revellers had trekked all that way to attend a beer festival with only one beer on tap.

Secular Palestinians, expats and even leftist Israelis equipped with glasses of Taybeh beer wandered around food and handicraft stands, watched traditional Dabke dancers, modern music, comedy and theatrical performances.

If I said that we went to an Oktoberfest last weekend, readers may wonder why I am writing about it. If I added that the beer festival in question was in the West Bank and there we encountered a couple of self-deprecating young Germans dressed in lederhosen, some may start asking themselves what I've been drinking, or perhaps smoking.

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  1. Elfatih Abdelghafour:
    The question will be how can we decide which is the dominant trend within a society .urbanism is part of the general cultural trend ,so does newly evolved ways of living ,trends ,tradition .We always think in terms of extreme dualism ,and t...hat is the danger ,either this or that ,but life is about this and that which is the healthy balance dictated by the influences of history, fashion,trend ,events and contact with the other.

  2. My dear friend.. I had put it in simple demographical context.. Average urbanism worldwide is 40%, while almost half across 3rd world and Muslim countries.. This is why development programs failed, by addressing the wrong questions and assumptions.. This is how the definition of Islamic culture would get its momentum, with majority illiterate, ill and poor.. Some among would use local filtered Alcohol, but such practice is never honored nor drinking.. On the contrary, in Cities and urban settlement, Alcohol is consumed in much easier manners.. I agree, Urban centers are the growing ones.. Yet, the rural-alike trends among troubled societies; ask: where the domination should be considered..? Would rural defeat urbanism..? A big question..!!

  3. Jehad Makhoul:
    True that consumption and trading alcohol is considered a major violation of Islam that entails a major punishment ...yet many in Moslem countries alcohol is available under ligitimate procedure for trading and obtaining it ... some countries with predominently Moslem countries (specifically the Syrian enclave countries, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine and Lebanon) manifacture and trade alcohol pub...licly and without restriction (some Asian and African Moslem countries do so as well). The prohibition is strict is KSA, Iran and with some restriction in the GCC. With the tide os Arab Spring with evidence that Islamists could be a major beneficiary of the changes, moderate and liberal Moslems who are ready to take the punishment of consuming / trading in Acohol as well as Christian minorities worries that the revolutions may lead to a secular grip on the lifestyle to the extent of applying KSA or Iran lifestyle after the take over. The Syrian enclave was always considered as an escape or a s...