The ‘brain-dead’ Western politicians and writers never miss a chance to demonize Islam and its scholars. Traditionally, in all Muslim-majority countries pubs, liquor stores and most restaurants are closed during Ramazan: The month of fasting. However, non-Muslim minorities are not forced to close their food or liquor business during the month of fasting – but many of them restrain their business as token of respect to Muslims even in some most secularist ruled nations like Tunisia, Albania, Bangladesh, Algeria, Nigeria, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, etc. Even in India where Muslims have been hatched to death for consuming cow meat, Ramazan is respected in several states.
It may come as a surprise to some readers that the most conservative Saudi Arabia also allows ‘business as usual’ within the ARAMCO compound during the month of fasting. Many Saudi ‘royals’ spent their Ramazan in Dubai, UK, US or Monte Carlo.
Tunisia is an African country. It has never been occupied by Persians and country’s official language is French and not Arabic or Persian. However, there are several restaurants and pubs in the country named after Persian poet and science and literature scholar Hakim Omar Khayyam Naishaboori (here).
Now, I would like my readers to enjoy Tlaxcala (named after Mexico’s smallest state) rant below:
Foued is a Canadian journalist born in Tunisia. He recently visited Tunisia. While in a Khayyam pub in Tunis city, he returned waiter’s greetings in Arabic, but as soon as he stretched his hand towards a cocktail, a waiter suddenly grabbed the glass and said: “You are not supposed to drink alcohol, sir. It’s Ramazan.”
Foued asked: “Would you please give me a beer, sir?”
“I am awfully sorry, sir, but we are not supposed to serve alcohol to Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan,” said the bartender.
“But I am not Muslim, sir,” Foued enlightened the bartender.
“How come? You speak Arabic fluently and you look like a Tunisian! Are you a Jew? If you are one, you have to show me your identity card, sir,” said the puzzled bartender.
“I am neither Muslim nor Christian nor Jewish nor Baha’i. I’m atheist, Foued clarified.
“I don’t understand what you are talking about. All I know is that I am not supposed to sell Alcohol to Tunisians,” said the puzzled bartender.
“Eureka! I am Canadian. I can show you my passport, if you want,” Foued boasted.
“I fear this wouldn’t change anything,” insisted the bartender.
“Well, I have a brilliant idea: let’s call the Mufti of the Republic. I will abide by his fatwa. Will you?,” Foued try to play Netanyahu’s game.
So Foued called the Mufti on his cellphone.
“Hello, I am at the pub of Khayyam hotel in Hammamet and the bartender refused to serve me a beer alleging that I was a Muslim, but I am not. I am an atheist,” Foued tell s the Mufti.
“Is this a joke? I don’t have time for jokes, my son,” Mufti replies.
“It’s not a joke. I swear by God that I am and have always been an atheist. I’ve never entered a mosque nor fasted in Ramadan. I even believe that pilgrimage to Mecca is a kind of paganism,” Foued tells the Mufti.
Notice Foued the “atheist” swears on “God”, and not his Lucifer in order to insult Islam.
“I’ve got it. Can I speak to the bartender?,” replies the Mufti.
Foued gives his cellphone to the bartender.
“Happy Ramadan, my son. Don’t worry! I’ll solve the conflict in less than a minute. Just put a bottle of beer in front of your client and then ask him to put his hand on the bottle and swear: “I swear by this sin that I am not a Muslim.” As soon as he does, you may serve him as much beer – or whatever – as he wants. May Allah let us enjoy the drinks of the Paradise after the Apocalypse! Have a nice evening!,” Mufti tells the bartender.
If my memory serves me right, Italian Jewish translator, writer and art restorer, Mary Rizzo, was one of the co-founders of Tlaxcala. Before that she also founded and edited the Peacepalestine blog where Gilad Atzmon used to post.