More than 150 people in Egypt have been arrested for eating during Ramadan, reports the US-based International Christian Concern.
However, it is not only Christians who are the focus of the new crackdown, they say that the authorities are arresting anyone, Muslims, foreigners and non-Muslims for breaking the Islamic fast.
The arrests were made in the southern governate of Aswan, in addition to many more in the Red Sea resort town of Hurghada. According to Al-Arabia, the authorities are targeting people who are found drinking, eating or smoking during the fasting hours.
International Christian Concern says that this is the first time that Egyptian officials are taking such drastic action. And it is another indication of further Islamization in the country’s public life.
Egypt now seems to be following the practices of the conservative Gulf States, where eating, drinking or smoking during Ramadan results in imprisonment for a month or a fine of $350.
“This is against basic human rights of citizens. We (the Christians) are not Muslims and don’t believe in Islamic fasting. We have our faith and our own fasting. Even for Muslims, the decision to fast or not to fast is a personal issue,” said Magdhi Kalil in interview with ICC. Mr Kalil is the director of the Middle East Freedom Forum.
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