Indonesian Islamic parties propose law to ban alcohol

2015-04-14 23:08:39 | Al Muslim News
Indonesian Islamic parties propose law to ban alcohol


Indonesia’s Islamic parties have proposed legislation that would ban all consumption of alcoholic drinks and bring jail terms of up to two years for offenders, the latest bid to crack down on drinking in the Muslim-majority nation in the world.
Consuming alcoholic beverages could land a person in jail as it will be treated similarly to drug trafficking, “Alcohol consumption is increasing, especially among young people and it threatens their future because it causes addiction and potentially damages their health,†lawmaker Muhammad Arwani Thomafi, from the United Development Party, one of the parties pushing for the ban, FMT reported
Under the proposed bill currently being discussed in parliament, the consumption, sale, production and distribution of all drinks containing more than one percent alcohol would be prohibited.
It is not the first time that Islamic parties in Indonesia — home to the world’s biggest Muslim population — have sought to ban alcohol. Previous attempts have not succeeded, and have been viewed as an attempt to pander to conservative voters and win support.
On Thursday a ban on the sale of alcohol at small retailers comes into force across the country, although supermarkets, bars and restaurants will not be affected.
The law has been proposed by the United Development Party and the Prosperous Justice Party, which could become law by the end of the year, proposes a jail term of between three months and two years for anyone caught drinking alcohol, while anyone caught producing or distributing alcoholic drinks could face between two and 10 years in jail.
The proposed legislation banning all alcohol consumption would exempt some locations to protect tourism such as five-star hotels, holiday hotspots like the Hindu-majority island Bali.
To become law it would have to be signed by President Joko Widodo, who has taken a hard line against drug offenders since he came into office last October.
The Indonesia is home to 250 million people and 88% of them are Muslims, and most do not drink. Drinking alcohol is forbidden under Islamic law. However, in major cities such as the capital Jakarta and areas popular with tourists, drinking is more common and alcohol is easily available.


Tags: #Indonesia #

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