Why Egyptian policemen arrest people not fasting in Ramadan


Thu, 17 May 2018 - 03:44 GMT

FILE -  An individual is handcuffed next to a car – Flickr/HoustounDWIAttorney

FILE - An individual is handcuffed next to a car – Flickr/HoustounDWIAttorney

CAIRO – 17 May 2018: For Muslims, It is sinful to eat during the day time in the holy month of Ramadan, unless one has an excuse such as illness. This led some Muslims along the years to strongly denounce Muslims eating in the streets during day time, considering such action as provocative, and apparently, policemen found themselves obliged to react properly in order to preserve security in the streets.

Since 2009, dozens of people were reportedly arrested by police officers, after being spotted eating during day time in Ramadan. However, Egypt Today could find no article in the Egyptian penal code that punishes those “violators”.

Security Perspective

Mohamed Nour al-Din, former assistant interior minister, said that the police’s decision to arrest some people who eat during day time in Ramadan was influenced by media pressures, adding that all those who were arrested nationwide were released after paying a fine of LE 50 (about $2.8).

Nour al-Din said that the arrestees were accused of violating the penal code, as eating in the day time in Ramadan may provoke some people and lead to fights among youth.

Nour al-Din explained that the arrests’ purpose is to limit the phenomenon in order to preserve security, adding that the police stopped arresting people eating during day time once the phenomenon became limited.

Legal perspective

Lawyer Hafez Abu Saada said that there is no article in the Egyptian penal code that stipulates that authorities have to take any measures against someone who eats in Ramadan during day time.

He added that no law can regulate such phenomenon, explaining that some persons who eat during day time are non-Muslims, or elderly Muslims who cannot abstain from food as they have health problems.

Religious Perspective

Islam considers that those who eat during day time in Ramada,n without an excuse such as travelling, commit at least two sins.

The first sin is disobeying Allah (God) by breaking their fast before dawn, and the second is doing this sin openly, as Prophet Muhammad warned: "Every one of my followers will be forgiven except those who expose (openly) their wrongdoings.”

Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Malek called for imposing a punishment on those who eat during the day time in Ramadan, claiming that it is not a matter of personal freedom. He added that incriminating such action will help protect the community from strife.



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