Sunday, 23 August 2009


We have the trial coming up in September of the Sudanese woman journalist who committed the so-called crime of wearing trousers in a restaurant in Khartoum. Penalty, if convicted, 40 lashes.

And now, the equally conservative government of Malaysia, is to cane a young model because she drank two beers. (Not to mention the unfortunate African-Canadian woman imprisoned by Kenyan authorities, because her lips did not match her passport photo).

Curious how I`ve seen so many Muslims enjoying a drink on my travels, yet one never hears of a man being whipped.

By contrast to these rabid decisions, I see where the forward thinking government of Sultan Qaboos, is to relax restrictions on hotels serving alcohol to non-Muslims, during the holy month of Ramadan.

Oman is not a wealthy country by Gulf states standards and with tourism becoming a significant contributor to the GDP, the move is to be applauded.

c.Christine Osborne
Image: Scene in a cafe in Cairo

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