By Courtney Trenwith
MPs approve controversial bill that could see consumers, importers jailed for two years
Some Bahrainis are publicly criticising a decision to ban pork in the country after MPs approved a law that could see consumers and importers jailed for two years.
The controversial ill approved last month allows sentences of up to two years and fines of up to BD300 ($795) for anyone who imports, sells or possesses pork or pork products, which is forbidden in Islam.
The same Bill also includes stiffer penalties for gambling and could lead to a ban on alcohol, which are also both condemned in Islam, according to local daily Gulf News.
The proposal is yet to be approved by the Shura Council or King Hamad.
Bahrainis have spoken out about the move, claiming it would make the island country too Islamist and would impact on international business.
Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry food and agriculture committee chairman Ebrahim Al Daisi told Gulf Daily News that people had a choice whether to eat pork.
"The MPs argue we're an Islamic country, but we can't just ban something because we don't want to consume it,” he said.
"There are residents who do consume these products and we have to consider them too.
"You can't force other people to follow what you believe is right."For all the latest gourmet news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
I love how an article as biased as this one could make it into news websites.
Before Courtney Trenwith presses the 'send' key on her laptop, she should know that to get a full story out in a proper manner, she needs to interview people on BOTH sides of an argument.
Regardless of what the Gulf Daily News has written, she should have taken the extra step to talk to those supporting the Bill (and the ban) and incorporate their view within her submitted article.
Her biased view remains evident in this article, which renders her reporting behavior to be unprofessional, and limited reporting skills.
Imagine if any country banned halal meat.
Oh the outrage from RAH and his ilk would have raised many roofs.
I dont see bias. I see a story with a line you dont like. That is your bias.
The more I read all of these ridiculous stories about what neighboring Gulf countries are up to, the happier I am that I live in the UAE. They're not perfect here, obviously--nobody is--but they seem to have gotten the balance right between protecting their heritage and culture and being open and welcoming to others'.
I'm a Muslim and I live on top of a supermarket that has a pork section ("FOR NON-MUSLIMS ONLY"!!!!) and I could not care less. Nor does the majority of the population. Live and let live, people.
Bahrainis have lived in a vibrant multicultural society for thousands of years - Bahrain was the first country in the Gulf to allow alcohol, and the building of churches/temples has been allowed for decades. We are proud of our diversity and acceptance of cultures other than our own - tolerance is a key part of Bahraini identity. This is the first step down a slippery slope of intolerance - I am saddened, and I feel confident that most Bahrainis would agree with me.