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Bahrainis Slam Proposed Pork Ban, Penalties

01 May 2013

BAHRAIN - Some Bahrainis are publicly criticising the decision to ban pork in the country after MPs approved a law that could see consumers and importers jailed for two years.

According to Arabian Business, the controversial bill 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."

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