Bahrain is looking to outlaw pork. All pork. Get caught with pork and you'll be fined 300BD, which is 3000SR [$804.28] and thrown in jail for two months. Whatever. Not something I eat much of anyway, but DH sure does enjoy it. The move to ban pork is being supported by a group of MP's [Ministers of Parliament?], one of which says the move "was in line with the country's National Constitution, as well as religious beliefs." It is "haram." Very, very bad. Apparently there are "recent studies" which "have found that pork has a huge negative impact on people's health - among other complications." Really? I must have missed those "recent studies" and that would surprise me because I spend quite a bit of time reading news and information on the internet. So, then, eating barbarically slaughtered sheep, goats and cows is much, much healthier and causes less complications? Whatever those complications may be - the article doesn't tell us.
Interesting that alcohol and cigarettes are not being outlawed. Those are against the beliefs of the religion predominantly practiced in this part of the world, too, aren't they? Why, yes. Yes, they are. Everyone knows that alcohol is not allowed! Must be that booze isn't quite as "haram," as pork, though. I have never seen a "local" eating a ham sandwich, but I have seen a lot - and I mean a lot - of them drinking alcohol [and smoking, too!]. Walk into any bar in Bahrain or five-star restaurant and count the men sitting in their "national" dress [yes, dress!] holding onto mugs filled with beer, or a high-ball glass filled with scotch, or with a wine bottle on their table. Money. It all comes down to money.
They cannot outlaw booze in Bahrain. It would severely disrupt the economy. And it would have an effect on Saudi Arabia, as well. Restaurants and bars in Bahrain would suffer tremendously. And the Causeway - the bridge that separates Saudi Arabia and Bahrain - would loose substantial revenue. What is it 20SR to cross - both ways? It isn't much, but it doesn't have to be. Didn't one of the most recent studies say something like 40,000 vehicles a day - during the weekend - cross? What's that come out to - almost a quarter of a million dollars for each side. Or is it 40,000 during the weekdays and 100,000 on weekends? No matter. Eliminating alcohol in Bahrain sure would make crossing a whole lot easier - there would be no traffic sitting on the bridge to go over to Bahrain. [During Ramadan, there is no alcohol allowed to be served or sold in Bahrain. Crossing the Causeway takes all of fifteen minutes. When there are no restrictions as to alcohol being served or sold - crossing can take hours!] Oh, I know. I know. A lot of Saudi's go to Bahrain to shop and be able to spend time as couples without fear of the religious police carting them off to jail. But, come on. We all know the reason most of the people are traveling across the Causeway to Bahrain, and it is not to shop!
Someone in some high-up place is making sure that alcohol doesn't get outlawed. It has been tossed around for years - that it shouldn't be allowed - and nothing happens. How many of the MP's that are so worried about pork being so harmful are sitting in one of the bars or restaurants at night with a cigarette in one hand [lots and lots of smokers in the Middle East - LOTS!] and a glass of scotch in the other? And, if they are not imbibing in public, then they are doing so in the privacy of their own homes. Maybe not all, but...