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Iraqi alcohol ban targets Christians and minorities, lawmakers argue

Christian and minority lawmakers in Iraq are pushing again on a 2016 alcohol ban that has formally gone into full impact, arguing it discriminates in opposition to non-Muslim communities. 

The legislation, handed over half a decade in the past, obtained renewed pushback this week after customs officers ordered a ban on alcohol merchandise Saturday, reported the BBC. 

A shopkeeper displays a selection of Turkish alcoholic drinks to a Kurdish man at a store in Arbil, north of Baghdad, Dec. 8, 2010.

A shopkeeper shows a choice of Turkish alcoholic drinks to a Kurdish man at a retailer in Arbil, north of Baghdad, Dec. 8, 2010. (Reuters/Azad Lashkari )


Christian lawmakers in Iraq’s parliament – who solely maintain a reported 5 of the 329 seats – have filed a lawsuit claiming the ban is undemocratic and targets minority teams who don’t adhere to Muslim practices in addition to companies that depend on the sale of alcohol. 

Iraq, a predominantly Muslim nation, handed the legislation after a former decide and lawmaker within the Iraqi State of Law Coalition, Mahmoud al-Hassan, argued that allowing alcohol consumption and gross sales violated Article 2 of the Iraqi structure, which bars laws that runs counter to Muslim teachings.

Islam forbids the consumption of alcohol, however some minority teams have argued it is a private choice that violates the rules of the nation’s democratic parliamentary republic outlined by the 2005 structure.

Steve Ibrahim, an alcohol shop owner, smokes in the town of Qaraqosh, south of Mosul, Iraq, April 13, 2017.

Steve Ibrahim, an alcohol store proprietor, smokes within the city of Qaraqosh, south of Mosul, Iraq, April 13, 2017. (Reuters/Marko Djurica)


Despite the 2016 ban, alcohol may nonetheless be bought in Iraq in liquor shops or licensed bars till final month. 

It now seems that Iraqi officers will begin implementing the legislation that prohibits the sale, import or manufacturing of alcohol and slaps offenders with a fantastic of as much as 25 Iraqi dinars, which is roughly $17,000, reported the BBC.

Some are involved that the ban will solely improve alcohol gross sales on the black markets.

An alcohol smuggling operation at the border near Sulaimaniya, 160 miles northeast of Baghdad, on March 20, 2010. 

An alcohol smuggling operation on the border close to Sulaimaniya, 160 miles northeast of Baghdad, on March 20, 2010.  (Reuters/Jamal Penjweny )

Christian lawmakers, dubbed the Babylon Movement, have argued that not solely is the coverage unconstitutional, however they’ve claimed it contradicts a February decree that positioned a 200% obligation on all imported alcoholic drinks for a four-year interval. 

It is unclear what the subsequent steps will likely be in curbing the Iraqi alcohol ban or if Baghdad’s Supreme Court will push again on the not too long ago enforced coverage. 

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