‘Warning’ for non-Muslims caught eating in public during Ramadan

Dubai police say same leniency will not be given to Muslims caught breaking fast during the Holy Month
Iftar and prayers are held at Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai on the first night of Ramadan in 2010. The Holy Month of Ramadan is expected to start this year on August 1 (ITP Images)
By Shane McGinley
Sun 10 Jul 2011 12:36 PM

Non-Muslims caught eating in public during the Holy Month of Ramadan will be given one warning before criminal action will be taken, but the same leniency will not be given to Muslim violators who are caught breaking the norms during fasting period, Dubai police have said.

“Sometimes police might see someone eating who doesn’t know the rules so we give them a warning and explain things to them,” Colonel Jamal Al Jallaf, the deputy director of the Criminal Investigation Department, told Dubai-based 7DAYS newspaper.

“But we don’t give any chance to Muslims. They know the law - that’s different.”

The Holy Month of Ramadan is expected to start this year on August 1, with all Muslim adults expected to observe a fasting period during daylight hours, while non-Muslims must refrain from eating or drinking in public.

Those flouting the law can be fined up to AED2,000 or face jail time and Al Jallaf said the law was very clear on the matter.

“The law does not allow anybody to eat during the day in public in Ramadan. We should obey this to respect the culture and the Islamic people.

“If they [police] see someone is refusing to respect the culture or the people, after being told, then they will have a police case against them in court,” he said in the report.

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