I responded to an article in the Daily Mirror of the 15th of December, 2011. I felt the article needlessly brought in Islam into the argument of seeking changes into Sri Lanka law which prohibits the sale of liquor to women. The article was titled ‘Welcome to the Islamic Republic of Sri Lanka’ written by a certain Ameena Hussain.
Unfortunately the Daily Mirror has to still carry the response ten days after I sent it by email.
Responding to ‘Welcome to the Islamic Republic of Sri Lanka’
Hameed Abdul Karim
So now we know. Women’s equality comes when they are allowed to buy a bottle of liquor at any public store according to Ms. Ameena Hussein (DM 15 Dec. 2011) and if that does not happen, along with other things less important we might ‘degenerate’ into an Islamic state. What inspiring logic!
Actually I am not surprised with what the writer has to say. What surprises me is the fact that the Daily Mirror thought it fit to carry this article with the provocative title ‘Welcome to the Islamic Republic of Sri Lanka’ along with a picture of Muslim women seated on the floor of some community centre somewhere in Sri Lanka probably waiting to be liberated with a shot of scotch on the rocks by already ‘liberated’ women.
Some of us may not like it. But there is a thing called rules of culture that people abide by in any society. Not selling liquor to women is one such culture rule here in Sri Lanka. In some counties in the state of Austin in the U.S. sale and consumption of liquor are strictly prohibited based on the teachings of the Church. These are jokingly called ‘dry zones’. Nobody calls them ‘Islamic Republics’.
Having a Muslim name does not give one a license to revile Islam or Muslims. Islam has strictly forbidden the consumption of liquor and to Muslims that is final. No apologies there. A Muslim is required by his or her faith to stop or at least speak out against social evils like the consumption of liquor. Obviously Ms. Hussain does not take this aspect of her faith too seriously, that is assuming she is Muslim.
The little Buddhism I know tells me the consumption of liquor is prohibited and if the ‘Mathata Thitha’ programme of the President were to take hold among Buddhists, would Ms. Hussain then classify our country as the ‘Buddhist Republic of Sri Lanka’? Or would she have reservations on that score? I would be the first to welcome any foreigner to the Buddhist Republic of Sri Lanka with open arms if liquor (and gambling) is strictly prohibited in Sri Lanka. It will make Buddhist women happy with the knowledge that the money their husbands save will go to feed and educate their children, resulting in the general well being of society at large. Not to mention the elimination of crimes like child abuse and deaths on the road caused by drunk drivers. Am I being a Muslim fundamentalist? Well, never mind.
The writer must seek the views of the Mahanayaka prelates on this subject of allowing women to by liquor. Let’s see what they have to say, shall we?
Hameed Abdul Karim