Saudi Arabia: Increasing the Frontiers of Tolerance for Non-Muslims, By Zekeri Idakwo

Saudi Arabia: Increasing the Frontiers of Tolerance for Non-Muslims, By Zekeri Idakwo
Saudi Arabia Map
Saudi Arabia Map


Saudi Arabia: Increasing the Frontiers of Tolerance for Non-Muslims

By Zekeri Idakwo

Saudi Arabia is ready to make a historic shift in its alcohol coverage, opening a store that can promote alcohol to non-Muslim diplomats for the primary time in over 70 years. This transfer is a part of the bold Imaginative and prescient 2030 plan to diversify the financial system and modernise society. It marks a serious change for a nation that has traditionally been characterised by its strict Islamic legal guidelines and conservative tradition.

A brand new retailer, situated within the Diplomatic Quarter of Riyadh, is now open for diplomatic workers who’ve registered through a cell app and acquired clearance from the overseas ministry. In response to Saudi’s officers, prospects might want to comply with sure guidelines, reminiscent of sporting correct apparel, respecting month-to-month quotas, and never sending proxies to buy alcohol on their behalf.

The choice to permit alcohol gross sales to diplomats is seen as a method to curb the illicit commerce of alcohol that has been smuggled into the nation by way of diplomatic pouches and the black market. It’s also seen as a gesture of goodwill in the direction of the worldwide neighborhood, as Saudi Arabia seems to spice up its picture and entice overseas investments and tourism. Nevertheless, alcohol consumption and possession stay unlawful for most of the people, with extreme punishments for unauthorised foreigners. This won’t change with the opening of the brand new retailer.

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Saudi Arabia’s prohibition on alcohol may be traced again to an incident in 1952, involving a member of the royal household, when one in every of King Abdulaziz’s sons, whereas drunk, shot a British diplomat. This incident, mixed with the Islamic prohibition of intoxicants, was the catalyst for the nation’s ban on alcohol.

Nevertheless, it’s vital to notice that some historians and students have argued that the ban on alcohol was not absolute in pre-Islamic Arabia or early Islamic instances, and that it was a gradual course of imposed by later rulers and jurists.

The opening of the alcohol retailer is the most recent in a collection of social and cultural reforms carried out in recent times. Underneath the management of the crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has lifted the ban on ladies driving, allowed cinemas and concert events, and relaxed gender segregation guidelines. These reforms have been widespread amongst many younger Saudis, who see them as a step in the direction of better freedom and alternative. Nevertheless, there has additionally been resistance from some conservative clerics and residents who view these modifications as a risk to the nation’s Islamic identification and values.

The way forward for alcohol coverage in Saudi Arabia stays unsure, with some speculating that the shop might result in extra liberalisation, whereas others warning that that is unlikely resulting from spiritual and authorized restrictions.

The opening of the shop is symbolic and controversial, reflecting the complexity of Saudi Arabia’s ongoing transformation.

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