مضار الخمر والتحذير منه


1) The need to be grateful to Allaah for what He made lawful, and how to show this
2) Evidences from the Qur’aan, Sunnah, and the consensus of Islaamic scholars for the prohibition of  Khamr, or intoxicants, and the curse of Allaah on those who consume them
3) Defining Khamr, and mentioning its harm in this life and the Hereafter:
    a. How it prevents one from the remembrance of Allaah and prayer
    b. The painful torment for one who drinks it
    c. How it damages the stomach, and causes many other diseases
    d. How it causes enmity and destroys morality
    e. How it squanders one's money
4) The punishment of those who consume Khamr, and the prohibition of Hashish.

O people! Be pious and conscious of Allaah and enjoy the good things that He has made lawful for you. Be grateful to Allaah by carrying out the duties that He has enjoined upon you. Gratitude is a necessary condition for the perpetuation and increase of the bounties of Allaah.

O people! Beware of making use of what Allaah has made unlawful unto you. He has only forbidden that which would harm you concerning your life and religion. Allaah is indeed the All-Compassionate, the Ever-Merciful.

One of the most harmful things that Allaah has forbidden, and the Muslim jurists have therefore reached a consensus on its unlawfulness, is Khamr, or alcohol and all other intoxicants. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam has described Khamr as: “The source of all abominable matters.” He sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam is also reported to have said: "It is the gate to all evils.” Concerning Khamr, the Glorious Qur’aan describes it to be that which means: “…Defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.” (Al-Maa'idah: 90).

There are many Ahadeeth forbidding the consumption of Khamr, of which some are:

Anas Ibn Maalik, may Allaah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam cursed ten categories of people in connection with Khamr: “The one who produces it, the one for whom it is produced, the one who drinks it, the one who carries it, the one to whom it is carried, the one who pours it, the one who sells it, the one who earns from the sale of it, the one who buys it and the one for whom it is bought.” All these categories have been cursed by the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.

The Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam is also reported to have said: “A person is not a (true) believer while he is engaged in drinking (alcohol)." It is also narrated that he said: “A alcohol-drinker will meet Allaah (on the Day of Judgment) as if he was an idol worshiper.” He also said: “Allaah has certainly made a covenant with those who drink Khamr that He will make them drink 'Teenat Al Khabaal'" so some of his companions asked: "What is 'Teenat Al Khabaal?’" and the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam replied: “It is the sweat or discharge (of cyst or blood) of the denizens of the Hellfire. Whoever drinks Khamr will have his prayers rejected for forty days.”

Khamr, in the Arabic language, is a general word signifying anything, regardless of type, that befogs the mind and causes intoxication. As far as its harms are concerned, Muslim jurists, physicians, psychologists as well as sociologists have mentioned many harmful effects resulting from the consumption of alcohol. Some of those effects may be outlined as follows:

    * Khamr hinders a person from the remembrance of Allaah and the performance of daily prayers. As an alcohol-drinker is very closely attached to his drink, he has great difficulty in attempting to leave it, and if he were to leave it, he would be extremely nervous, tense and irritable as a result.
    * It incurs severe punishment and painful chastisement in this live and the next.
    * It causes many physical diseases and ailments such as stomach ache, abdominal distension, abnormal protrusion of the eyes (exophthalmoses), disfigurement, pulmonary tuberculosis, intestinal ulceration, as well as cirrhosis of the liver. It also hastens senility, affects the mind and weakens one’s consciousness at the time of intoxication.  It can even lead one to lose his mind altogether.
    * It harbours hatred and kindles the fire of resentment and hostility among alcohol-drinkers and between them and their companions. Alcohol-drinkers always feel depressed and are never happy unless they are in the company of other drinkers. The smallest word can infuriate them and stir their blood.
    * It erases virtues and undermines one’s morality and chastity.
    * It incites one to commit adultery or fornication, practice sodomy, and perpetrate other heinous crimes. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam has therefore labelled Khamr as: “The source of all abominable matters and a gate to all evils.”
    * It depletes ones money and drains one’s wealth until it makes one destitute. It may even cause a person to sacrifice everything, even his/her honour to get it.

The non-Muslim countries, upon discovering the social, moral, and financial harms of alcohol, confronted and conducted serious attacks against it, as well as set up particular societies in order to warn people against it. However, Islaam was proactive in waging the war against alcohol; it prescribes severe penalties both in this world and in the Hereafter to warn people against its consumption. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: “Scourge whoever drinks alcohol; if he drinks it again, scourge him again, if he drinks it again, scourge him again - if he drinks it a fourth time, execute him.”

When Khamr was prohibited, the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam ordered people to pour it out in the market places and to break the bottles that it was stored in. Likewise, Caliph 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, who was the Commander of the Believers, burnt down the house of a man called Ruwayshid (i.e., guided) who used to trade in alcohol, and said him: "You are not guided, but a misguided transgressor."

Hashish falls under the category of Khamr, yet it is more detrimental than alcohol from the viewpoint of intoxication and befogging of the mind. It corrupts a man’s character, undermines his decent manners, erases his sense of modesty, and ultimately, causes his sexual desires to run out of control.

These foregoing dangers, whether obvious or not, and regardless of whether they appear quickly or otherwise, are the grave consequences of alcohol and intoxicants in this world; but the punishment of the Hereafter is more severe and strict, since no one can escape unless he or she regrets and turns repentant to Allaah; may Allaah save us from undergoing such affliction.

Allaah says that which means: “O you who have believed! Indeed Intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allaah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful. Satan only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allaah and from prayer. So will you not desist? And obey Allaah and obey the Messenger and beware. And if you turn away – then know that upon our Messenger is only [the responsibility for] clear notification.” (Al-Maa'idah: 90-92).


Intoxicants were forbidden in the Qur'an through several separate verses revealed at different times over a period of years. At first, it was forbidden for Muslims to attend to prayers while intoxicated (4:43). Then a later verse was revealed which said that alcohol contains some good and some evil, but the evil is greater than the good (2:219). This was the next step in turning people away from consumption of it. Finally, "intoxicants and games of chance" were called "abominations of Satan's handiwork," intended to turn people away from God and forget about prayer, and Muslims were ordered to abstain (5:90-91). (Note - the Qur'an is not arranged chronologically, so later verses of the book were not necessarily revealed after earlier verses.)

In the first verse cited above, the word for "intoxicated" is sukara which is derived from the word "sugar" and means drunk or intoxicated. That verse doesn't mention the drink which makes one so. In the next verses cited, the word which is often translated as "wine" or "intoxicants" is al-khamr, which is related to the verb "to ferment." This word could be used to describe other intoxicants such as beer, although wine is the most common understanding of the word.

Muslims interpret these verses in total to forbid any intoxicating substance -- whether it be wine, beer, gin, whiskey, or whatever. The result is the same, and the Qur'an outlines that it is the intoxication, which makes one forgetful of God and prayer, which is harmful. Over the years, the list of intoxicating substances has come to include more modern street drugs and the like.

The Prophet MO-HAM-MAD also instructed his followers, at the time, to avoid any intoxicating substances -- (paraphrased) "if it intoxicates in a large amount, it is forbidden even in a small amount." For this reason, most observant Muslims avoid alcohol in any form, even small amounts that are sometimes used in cooking.

Timbuktu bars smashed by Muslim protesters in Mali


Bamako - Dozens of young Muslims opposed to alcoholic beverages smashed bars and liquor stalls in the northern Malian city of Timbuktu on Saturday, saying they were "places of depravity", local sources said.

"The youngsters were very organised, having targeted what to destroy," said a resident reached by phone who asked not to be identified. "Beer bottles were smashed and bags containing alcohol were destroyed."

Several dozen youths were involved in the protest, a police source said, adding that at least five bars and stalls had been ransacked in the city more than 900km north of the capital Bamako.

An army source said no one had been injured in the protests.

Fabled Timbuktu has been dubbed "the city of 333 saints" for the number of Muslim sages buried there and was revered as a centre of Islamic learning during its golden age in the 15th and 16th centuries.

But in 2012 jihadists who swept across Mali's remote north demolished many centuries-old earthen shrines.

One of the organisers of Saturday's anti-liquor drive, Ousmane Maiga, said the protesters belonged to youth groups and Muslim organisations in Timbuktu.

"Alcohol consumption has increased recently and as we are on Muslim land we do not to see this any longer," he said.

The protests recalled similar events after the north of Mali fell under the control of Tuareg-led rebels and jihadist groups linked to al-Qaeda in 2012.

They were largely ousted by a French-led military operation in January 2013, but the implementation of a 2015 peace accord has been piecemeal, with insurgents still active across large parts of the nation.

Iraq alcohol: Parliament imposes ban in a surprise move

23 October 2016


Parliament in Iraq has voted to ban the sale, import and production of alcohol, with backers of the move arguing that its availability contradicts Islam and is unconstitutional.

Opponents argue that the vote infringes constitutional guarantees of freedom of religious belief for minority groups such as Christians.

They say they will appeal against the surprise decision in the courts.

An official said that the ban was a last-minute move by conservatives.

Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, activities perceived to be contrary to the moral code of Islam have come under repeated attack, with alcohol shops targeted in Baghdad and other cities.

While alcohol is not commonly found in restaurants and hotels in Iraq, correspondents say its consumption is relatively widespread in the scores of small shops and bars in Baghdad.

Correspondents say the new law has been passed at a time when attention is focused on the battle to wrest control of Mosul from the militant group known as Islamic State.

Ammar Toma, an MP who supported the ban, argued that it was justified because the constitution stipulates that "no law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established".

Jerusalem Wine Festival - 'An affront to Islam'

A PA official claimed that the upcoming Jerusalem Wine Festival is offensive and provocative to Muslims.

Dalit Halevi, 31/08/16

Murad Al-Sudani, the Registrar for the National Palestinian Committee for Education, Culture and Science, lashed out at the upcoming annual Jerusalem Wine Festival, which is set to have a branch at the upscale Mamilla (Alrov) open-air mall near the Old City.

Since the mall rests partly on an old Muslim cemetery called "Maman Allah;" Al-Sudani claims that the festival manifests an affront to Islam.

Al-Sudani emphasized, the festival is "a dangerous escalating step" on the part of Israel in Jerusalem in its continual damage to historically and religiously significant Muslim holy sites.

He accused Israel of trying to "bury" the Arab and Muslim history of Jerusalem, asserting that the relevant Muslim cemetery is a historically significant Muslim site that spans the largest Waqf-controlled area in Jerusalem, and that the remains of Mohammad's comrades are said to be buried there.

The wine festival, according to Al-Sudani, violates the cemetery and manifests a provocation against the feelings of the Arab Palestinians and Muslims world-wide.

The main center of the Jerusalem Wine Festival is to take place on September 5 in "Gan Haomanut," the Art Garden of the Israel Museum. The well-attended event that first took place over a decade ago includes tastings from leading Israeli wineries and music.

Wine dealers keeping a close eye on security matters

August 13, 2013
International Herald Tribune


With an armed man by his side, Anil sits alert outside his liquor shop near Sea View, staring at every person entering the street. “Of course we are afraid to work now. What if a suicide bomber blows up the shop?” asks the troubled dealer.

Amidst fear and anxiety, four liquor shops, three in DHA and one in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, which were targeted a week ago, have reopened, but shopkeepers continue to complain about declining business and police negligence.

“The buyers are just as much scared. If we had 100 customers coming in regularly before, there are less than 50 turning up now,” he said.

Boosting security

Fearing more deadly attacks, wine dealers have started taking precautions for their safety.

At Shaheen Corporation’s wine shop near Village Restaurant on Sea View, where Anil works, he is telling people to park their vehicles far away from the shop.

“We can’t turn customers away or decide which one to sell to. At the moment, we are just asking them to park their cars at a distance in case any vehicle is laden with explosives.”

Anil, who has been working at the shop since its inception two years ago, says the claims of police patrol around wine shops are untrue. “We were shocked when our shop was targeted as we have never faced any difficulty selling alcohol. The police should provide us with security and track down miscreants involved in these attacks.”

In the absence of police patrol near Ittehad Traders and Wine Shop located near Sea View McDonalds, which was also attacked a week back, the owners have hired two private guards.

As labourers put cement on the steps damaged by the explosion, a worker at the shop said that they had also planned to install doors with grills.

In Karachi, there are up to 50 wine shops, which were closed down in the month of Ramazan. After the holy month ended, wine dealers were reluctant, however, to immediately open their shops.

“Every year after the one-month closure, we open up shops on chand raat, but this time we decided to delay their opening,” said a supplier and member of the wine association of the city.

Extortion – struck out

Wine suppliers and owners denied that the shops were being attacked over extortion threats as claimed by the police initially.

Requesting anonymity, an owner of the targeted shop denied that he got any extortion parchis or threatening phone calls.

“I have not received any calls or threats by extortionists, else I would have informed the police. These attacks seem to be made by religious extremists.”

Darakshan SHO Ahsan Zulfiqar did not want to discuss the matter unless investigations were complete, but said that he was not aware of any extortion threats made to the owners of these shops.

Egypt moves to ban alcohol, belly dancing

February 18, 2013
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

CAIRO: Two years after the Egyptian revolution that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, liberals are increasingly concerned that the ruling Islamists are out to curb personal freedoms and build a society in their own image. Nabil Abbas, the vice president of the New Urban Communities Authorities, told Reuters Sunday that the government would no longer issue licenses for the sale of alcohol in new residential settlements on the outskirts of Cairo, Alexandria and other big cities.

“NUCA has stopped renewing licenses to sell alcohol but the current ones will continue until they expire,” Abbas said.

“Representatives of the residents in new suburbs complained that the sale of alcohol leads to problems including attacking women and randomly ringing doorbells of people’s homes.”

Islamist President Mohammad Mursi’s government increased taxes on alcoholic beverages in December but then backed down after the move was criticized.

Earlier this month, an Egyptian court ordered the suspension of YouTube for a month for broadcasting a film insulting the Prophet Mohammad.

And a court in Egypt Sunday ordered a TV channel that airs belly dancing clips off the air for showing “sexually explicit” content and operating without a broadcast license. The judge Saturday said that ElTet airs ads that are “offensive” and can “arouse” viewers. The station carries advertisements for sexual enhancement products and matchmaking services.

A satirical poster circulated online Sunday in response to the alcohol curb. It listed some of Egypt’s main problems including road accidents, police brutality and poverty then showed a cartoon of Mursi dressed as Superman and that says “Must save Egypt from porn, alcohol and YouTube.”

Separately Sunday, thousands of demonstratorsblocked access to the harbor and rallied outside state buildings in Port Said Sunday, to demand justice over the deaths of dozens of people killed in anti-government riots last month.

About 60 people have been killed since late January in protests that erupted after the second anniversary of the uprising that overthrew Mubarak.

Port Said was one of three provinces where Mursi declared a 30-day state of emergency.

Opposition groups have criticized Mursi’s perceived drift toward authoritarianism, which they say fueled this year’s unrest.

Amidst the continuing violence, Egypt’s chief of staff said Sunday that the country’s armed forces, which has for decades been at the center of power, will avoid involvement in politics but could still have a role if things became “complicated.”

Speaking at an industry event in Abu Dhabi, Maj. Gen. Sedki Sobhi said that in a week or 15 days some kind of national dialogue would take shape between the ruling Muslim Brotherhood and oppositiongroups.

The army would not back any political party, he said.

“We are not political, we don’t want to participate in the political situation because we suffered a lot because of this in the last six months,” he said.

“But sometimes we can help in this problem, we can play this role if the situation became more complicated,” he said without elaborating.

Liberal and Islamist political leaders met privately Saturday to try to ease the latest tensions.

Politicians said Mohamed ElBaradei, a prominent liberal activist and leader of the National Salvation Front, met Saad el-Katatni, head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s ruling Freedom and Justice Party. Another leader of the NSF, Sayed el-Badawi, also took part in the talks.

'Bikinis and booze caused bombings'

Simon Kearney in Surabaya

AUSTRALIANS had declared a moral war on Muslims in Indonesia with their drinking and skimpy clothes in Bali, the eldest brother of three of those responsible for the 2002 attacks said yesterday.

Muhammed Khozin told The Australian at his home in Tenggulun, East Java, that his community didn't care about the October 1 Bali bombings because they were not linked to people from his village.

Mr Khozin's younger brothers Amrozi and Mukhlas were sentenced to death and Ali Imron to life imprisonment for their roles in the attacks on the Sari Club and Paddy's bar, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

Mr Khozin said the behaviour of Westerners in his country was to blame for the radicalism adopted by his brothers.

"Alcohol, bikinis, that kind of thing makes Muslims angry. Don't do that when visiting a country with a Muslim majority," he said. "I'm sorry, Australian culture makes war on morality. They come to Bali with bikinis, they make war on morality. Not physical war, morality war. Respect the culture and religion of Indonesia."

His son, 19-year-old university student Afif, said there would be no end to terrorism while Australians continued going to Bali and behaving without respect for Muslim culture.

He believed the first Bali bombing committed by his uncles was justified because it discouraged tourists in Bali. "If Muslims died in that action, the Muslims will go to heaven," he said.

Afif said Muslims and Christians would only live side by side when Christians learned to respect Muslim culture.

Mr Khozin runs the Al-Islaman boarding school in the village that he founded with his late father 30 years ago. Such schools, known as pesantren, are seen as a breeding ground for terrorists.

He said if Canberra wanted to stop radicalism in Indonesia, it should teach Australians to be more respectful of Islam.

Moreover, Australia could help fund facilities at Islamic schools like his, which are mainly in poor areas and are under-resourced, to help better educate Muslims in Indonesia.

"Please give to us because maybe that's the way to make the relationship with Indonesia and Australia better," he said.

He taught his students the concept of "dakwah", which means to confront people who do things that are wrong and tell them to stop.

But he did not subscribe to the view of radicals that they should act to physically erase something they did not agree with.

His brothers had a different view of Islam to his but he believed they were still good people. He called on the Indonesian Government to return them to their community, where they could be rehabilitated.

"The community have a dream. If Amrozi came back here, he will do things like that."


End of the vine

The Islamic revolution abolished Iran's ancient tradition of wine-making but the residents of Khollar are showing some bottle, writes Robert Tait

Wednesday October 12, 2005

The desolate vista resembles an archaeological ruin, or the shattered aftermath of a devastating military bombardment. Once-proud mud-brick homes are uninhabited and partially reduced to rubble. The streets, mere dirt tracks, are potholed and rutted. Identifiable signs of human activity are - for the most part - absent. And even among the dead in the local graveyard, many headstones, bearing elaborate carvings that hint at a long-gone affluence, are damaged or visibly uncared for.

But this is not a war zone. And the life that bustled here disappeared, not thousands of years ago, but within the last generation, shrivelled almost out of existence under the stern new order of Iran's Islamic revolution. This is Khollar, an isolated, once-thriving small town set in a valley amid the Zagros mountains. It stands - though only just - as a salutary example of a world disappeared, swept out of existence by an oceanic wave of political and social change.

Despite the aura of abandonment, around 250 people still live here, somehow squeezing an income from sources such as sheep farming. Before the revolution in 1979, there were several thousand. They were sustained by Iran's long-defunct wine industry.

A verdant landscape of grape plants dominating the surrounding hillsides was picked assiduously and its fruit loaded onto trucks to be transported to a refinery in Shiraz, about 40 miles away, where it was turned into wine. The refinery's Jewish owners sold their produce on the domestic market and abroad, where it gained an international reputation.

"Ten to 20 trucks a day would come in seven days a week during the summer months. It was a very busy town," said Ravanbakhsh Vaseghi, 37, whose father and grandfather earned their living selling grapes to the Shiraz wine merchants. "Before the revolution, I remember friends coming back from Dubai with a bottle of wine. The label was marked 'Khollar, Shiraz, Iran.' Red and white wines were produced from here. It was part of life. The change was sudden."

It was wrought by the revolution, with its strict injunctions against alcohol. The Shiraz refinery was closed. Where it once stood, a sports centre is now being built for employees of the local telecommunications company. The lorries that had guaranteed Khollar a basic level of prosperity stopped coming when the refinery shut. Gradually, the population drifted away in search of new livelihoods.

Today the dead buried in the dilapidated cemetery outnumber by several times those still living in Khollar. The hillsides, once green and fertile with grape plant, are now largely brown and barren. In the old days, the only irrigation was provided by the region's modest rainfall, whereby local farmers believed they produced a distinctively rich grape ripe for wine-making. The grapes produced here now are used for fruit juice or sold to local fruit markets.

Many believe this rugged area of southern Iran was the original source of the grape used to create the world-famous Shiraz wine - today produced in vineyards in California, Australia, France and South Africa. The claim is disputed by some experts, who believe the grape to have originated in France. What is not in doubt, however, is the central place of wine in an ancient Persian culture held dear by many Iranians.

Iran's most revered poet, Hafez, wrote voluminously on wine's virtues, as did several of the nation's other prominent bards. Even Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the famously ascetic father of the revolution - and an amateur poet in his spare time - composed verse praising "wine bearers and wine shops", although it is widely assumed his references were allegory for the spiritual joy of religious belief.

According to legend, the roots of wine's hallowed status lie in Khollar. Credit is given to one of Iran's ancient mythical kings, Jamshid, who is said to have discovered its medicinal qualities after his wife became gravely ill but later made a spectacular recovery. This was attributed to the fermented liquid she had drunk from grapes blown into ditches during a storm. Convinced of its benefits, Jamshid brought settlers to the area, who, the story goes, established the town of Khollar.

Scientists have provided a more precise explanation. They analysed six containers discovered more than two decades ago in Hajji Firuz Tepe, a Neolithic village in the Zagros mountains, and concluded that wine was being made in Iran as far back as 7,000 years ago - 2,000 years earlier than previously thought. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, the ancient practice is forbidden by the strictures of Islamic rule.

Ever resourceful and independent of mind, Khollar's few remaining denizens have nonetheless found a way to continue their proud tradition. They do so by pouring freshly squeezed grape juice into clay pots, which are then placed in freshly dug ditches before being covered with sheep droppings to aid fermentation and, coincidentally, escape the eyes of any law enforcement authorities who might have occasion to visit. If they ever do, their detection skills might not stretch to unearthing the illicit alcohol. But they may observe that, shorn of its previous inhabitants and cut off from its time-honoured source of income, Khollar lacks something generally deemed essential in contemporary Iran - a proper mosque.


Fire hits liquor store days after trashed by vandals

Associated Press

A liquor store was heavily damaged by an apparent arson fire Monday, just days after it was trashed by well-dressed vandals who told the owners to stop selling alcohol to black people, authorities said.

Police had no suspects in the fire, which was reported about 1 a.m. They refused to say whether they believed the blaze at New York Market was connected to vandalism last week at the store and the nearby San Pablo Market and Liquor in West Oakland.

A police news conference was set for Monday afternoon.

Workers at both stores said that a group of about a dozen men dressed in suits and bow ties stormed into the shops, smashed liquor bottles and knocked over racks of food. The attack at San Pablo Market and Liquor was captured on a video surveillance camera, showing several men smashing glass display windows.

"In both incidents, the suspects entered the store and questioned why a Mulsim-owned store would sell alcoholic beverages when it is against the Muslim religion," police said in a statement Monday.

The suspects, who were black, also ordered the clerks to stop selling alcohol to blacks. A shotgun was also stolen from one of the stores, police said.

Investigators were looking into the incidents as hate crimes because the stores' owners are of Middle Eastern descent and are Muslims, Deputy Police Chief Howard Jordan said Monday.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was assisting police with the investigation.

Minister Tony Muhammad, West Coast leader for the Nation of Islam, has spoken out against allegations the group was connected to the vandalism and condemned the acts. Oakland police said the group's members, known for wearing suits and bow ties, were not under investigation.

Muhammad said that although Islam forbids the use of alcohol, he denounced the violence, saying the vandalism was the wrong approach.

"Our job is to kill the appetite (for alcohol) in the black community," Muhammad told the San Francisco Chronicle.

He did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment Monday.

Jordan has declined, however, to say whether a separate black Muslim group, which operates the Your Black Muslim Bakery store chain and whose members also wear suits and bow ties, was under investigation.

In January 1993, Muslims affiliated with the bakery were involved in a similar incident at a North Richmond store, police said.

Yusuf Bey IV, a bakery official, said last week that he only learned of the incidents in media reports.

"I have no idea who could have done this because there are a whole lot of Muslims around here," Bey told the Oakland Tribune.

Officials with Your Black Muslim Bakery refused comment Monday.





The Alameda County district attorney's office today filed felony hate crime, vandalism and false imprisonment charges against two men for vandalism incidents at two West Oakland liquor stores last week.

Defendants Yusuf Bey IV, 19, the son of Your Black Muslim Bakery founder Yusuf Bey, and 73-year-old Donald Eugene Cunningham are scheduled to be arraigned on the charges at 2 p.m. today.

Bey and Cunningham, who are both associated with Your Black Muslim Bakery, are being held at the Alameda County Jail in Dublin in lieu of $200,000 bail each.

The charges stem from incidents late the night of Nov. 23 in which the New York Market at 3446 Market St. and the nearby San Pablo Liquor Store at 2363 San Pablo Ave. were vandalized by a group of about 11 black men dressed in business suits and bow ties who asked why a Muslim-owned store would sell liquor when it's against the teachings of Islam to do so.

Arrest warrants also have been issued for four other suspects who police believe participated in the vandalism, but those men remain at large.

In addition to being vandalized, the New York Market has also been hit by an arson fire, the kidnapping of a clerk and looting.

Assistant District Attorney Tom Rogers said he charged Cunningham with four counts of false imprisonment, two hate crime counts and two counts of vandalism.

Hate crime enhancement clauses are included in the false imprisonment and vandalism counts against Cunningham, Rogers said.

Bey is charged with one hate crime count, one vandalism count and three counts of false imprisonment, according to Rogers.

He also faces hate crime enhancement clauses for the vandalism and false imprisonment charges against him.

Rogers said Cunningham is charged in connection with the incidents at both markets but Bey is only charged in connection with the San Pablo Liquor Store incident.

Rogers said hate crime can be an underlying crime, as it is in two of the eight total counts filed in this case, or as an enhancement clause for another crime, such as vandalism or false imprisonment.

Rogers said he filed hate crime charges against Cunningham and Bey "because of their actions and what they said'' but declined to be more specific.

According to Oakland Deputy Police Chief Howard Jordan, police haven't yet determined if there is a connection between the vandalism incidents and the arson fire and kidnapping incidents at the New York Market.


8th vandalism suspect jailed in Oakland

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

(02-21) 09:53 PST OAKLAND -- An eighth suspect affiliated with Your Black Muslim Bakery was in jail this morning in connection with the November vandalism of two Oakland markets that sold alcohol, authorities said.

Elijah Allen, 33, also known as James Watts, is expected to be charged as early as today with vandalism, false imprisonment and hate-crime and civil rights violations.

The attacks happened Nov. 23 at San Pablo Liquor and New York Market in West Oakland. During the incidents, a group of men in suits and bow ties demanded that the outlets -- whose owners are Muslims -- stop selling liquor to African Americans. The San Pablo store's security camera captured the trashing.

Allen was being held without bail today at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on a probation violation.

The other suspects are Tamon Oshun Halfin, 19; Dyamen Namer Williams, 19; Demetrius Lamar Harvey, 20; Kahlil Raheem, 24; Yasir Hakeem Azzem, 19; Yusuf Bey IV, 19, the son of the late Black Muslim leader Yusuf Bey; and Donald Cunningham, 73.

Allen is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland. The other seven suspects have pleaded not guilty.

If convicted, the men face hate-crime clauses that could add up to four years to their sentences.

On the night of the attacks, about a dozen men in suits and bow ties walked into San Pablo Liquor at 2363 San Pablo Ave. A man wearing a hat, whom police believe to be Cunningham, "identified himself as a Muslim, asked why another Muslim would sell alcoholic beverages," and told employees they didn't want merchants selling alcohol in the black community, according to a statement by Oakland police Sgt. Dom Arotzarena.

Bey, whose father died of colon cancer in 2003, then prompted the group to hold the store's three employees against their will and smash liquor bottles and displays, police said.

The same group, armed with metal pipes, knives and guns, showed up minutes later at New York Market at 3446 Market St. about 12 blocks away, trashing the store and taking the employees' shotgun, police said.

"This crime appears to be motivated by religious beliefs and possibly race," Arotzarena wrote in his statement.

Muslims use violence to stop U.S. liquor sales

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

By JUSTIN M. NORTON Associated Press Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. - They weren’t your ordinary thugs.

Dressed in bow ties and dark suits, nearly a dozen men carrying metal pipes entered a corner store, shattered refrigerator cases and smashed bottles of liquor, wine and beer, terrifying the clerk but stealing nothing.

They just wanted to leave a message: Stop selling alcohol to fellow Muslims.

In urban America, friction between poor residents and immigrant store owners is nothing new. Nor are complaints that inner-city neighborhoods are glutted with markets that sell alcohol and contribute to violent crime, vagrancy and other social ills.

But the recent attack at San Pablo Liquor — and an identical vandalism spree at another West Oakland store later that evening, along with an arson fire there and the kidnapping of the owner a few days later — have injected religion into the debate.

The two episodes highlighted tensions — and different interpretations of the Quran — between black Muslims in this struggling, crime-ridden city of 400,000 and Middle Eastern shop owners, many of them also Muslims.

Six men connected to a bakery founded by a prominent black Muslim family have been arrested in the Nov. 23 attacks, which were caught on store security cameras. In both instances, the vandals asked store clerks why they were selling alcohol when it was against the Muslim faith.

San Pablo market owner Abdul Saleh, who has kept his store open following the attacks, said his decision to sell alcohol is “between me and God.”

“We’re just coming here to make a living like anyone else,” he said.

While black and Middle Eastern Muslims may pray at the same mosques on weekends, their worlds do not tend to overlap beyond that, said Hatem Bazian, professor of Near East and ethnic studies at the University of California at Berkeley.

The Middle Eastern store owners tend to live in the suburbs, the black Muslims in the cities, Bazian said. The immigrant shopkeepers also interpret Islam to allow the sale of alcohol.

The City Council president and the city attorney vowed to crack down on nuisance liquor stores, and recently forced a store to agree to a plan to curb drug activity on the property. Also, at a recent community meeting, Christians and Muslims pledged to work together to bring better businesses to their neighborhoods.


Beer bombers set tone for Islamist Baghdad


By Ibon Villelabeitia and Omar al-Ibadi

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Leaflets threaten women who do not wear veils. Militias bomb and burn beer shops and music stores at dawn. Rumors swirl of men shot... for wearing shorts.

Hopes for secular democracy in Iraq three years after U.S. forces invaded are being challenged by militants seeking to impose their own strict version of Islamic sharia law on the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities.

In the latest attack against alcohol sellers in Baghdad, bombs on Tuesday damaged three shops that sold beer and other liquor in the central commercial district of Karrada.

The explosions wrecked the stores' frontages and an advertising display for beer but killed no one. But for the shop keepers, from Iraq's Christian minority, the message was clear.

"I shut down the shop last year after I received threats by gunmen to stop selling alcohol and just reopened last week," Asaad Aziz, 56, owner of the Gazal liquor store told Reuters.

"Armed gangs are now ruling Iraq. There is no rule of law. I used to feed two families with this store. What am I going to do now?" Aziz said as he surveyed the destruction.

"Everybody is talking about banning alcohol sellers. The government doesn't say anything but clearly it is their militias who are playing a role in a secret way."

The increasing intimidation by militants seeking to impose Islamic customs in Iraq, a society with a liberal tradition, pose a particular dilemma for the ruling Islamist parties, engaged in forming a broad-based government Washington hopes will foster stability and help end sectarian strife.

Some of the militias suspected of being behind the attacks or the threats are linked to Shi'ite parties in power. Sunni militants have adopted similar stances in some areas -- barbers have been killed and men ordered not to shave in some towns.


A new, U.S.-sponsored constitution introduced last year makes Sharia, or Islamic law, a main source for legislation. But there are no laws banning alcohol or forcing women to wear veils as in other Muslim countries. It is unclear whether the new ministers will seek to impose stricter Muslim customs.

Salah Boshi, head of the non-government Human Rights Association, said competing militias were taking advantage of Iraq's security chaos to consolidate their political power and using Islam as an excuse.

"These activities are devastating human rights and will end up destabilizing democracy in Iraq," he said.

A 33-year-old woman who refused to be named for fear of retribution said she started wearing a veil last week when militants circulated leaflets warning women to wear an "Islamic dress" near her workplace in Amriya, a Sunni area in Baghdad.

"I started wearing a veil a week ago. I did not see the fliers myself. I wear the veil and a long coat to avoid any trouble. When I arrive at work, I take them off."

In Basra, Iraq's second city, militias have targeted music shops and harassed females students for refusing to cover themselves in the black abaya.

In Baghdad, known under the secular rule of Saddam Hussein for its nightlife and liberal social culture, unconfirmed tales circulate about young men who have been shot for wearing shorts.

Leaflets threatening punishment for such behavior -- and also ordering women not to drive cars -- circulated in Amriya this month. But police deny anyone has been killed as a result.

Whether stories of such killings are true or not, one thing is certain: Fear is driving many alcohol sellers to close and more women are following conservative dress codes.

Said Faris Shamoon, 49, whose beer shop was bombed on Tuesday: "I will shut the shop and leave the country to those who claim they are Islamists. Islam should not hurt others."

(Additional reporting by Aseel Kami in Baghdad and Abdel- Razzak Hameed in Basra)


Don't Bring That Booze into My Taxi

by Daniel Pipes
New York Sun
October 10, 2006

A minor issue at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) has potentially major implications for the future of Islam in the United States.

Starting about a decade ago, some Muslim taxi drivers serving the airport declared, that they would not transport passengers visibly carrying alcohol, in transparent duty-free shopping bags, for example. This stance stemmed from their understanding of the Koran's ban on alcohol. A driver named Fuad Omar explained: "This is our religion. We could be punished in the afterlife if we agree to [transport alcohol]. This is a Koran issue. This came from heaven." Another driver, Muhamed Mursal, echoed his words: "It is forbidden in Islam to carry alcohol."

The issue emerged publicly in 2000. On one occasion, 16 drivers in a row refused a passenger with bottles of alcohol. This left the passenger - who had done nothing legally wrong - feeling like a criminal. For their part, the 16 cabbies lost income. As Josh L. Dickey of the Associated Press put it, when drivers at MSP refuse a fare for any reason, "they go to the back of the line. Waaaay back. Past the terminal, down a long service road, and into a sprawling parking lot jammed with cabs in Bloomington, where drivers sit idle for hours, waiting to be called again."

To avoid this predicament, Muslim taxi drivers asked the Metropolitan Airports Commission for permission to refuse passengers carrying liquor - or even suspected of carrying liquor - without being banished to the end of the line. MAC rejected this appeal, worried that drivers might offer religion as an excuse to refuse short-distance passengers.

The number of Muslim drivers has by now increased, to the point that they reportedly make up three-quarters of MSP's 900 cabdrivers. By September 2006, Muslims turned down an estimated three fares a day based on their religious objection to alcohol, an airport spokesman, Patrick Hogan, told the Associated Press, adding that this issue has "slowly grown over the years to the point that it's become a significant customer service issue."

"Travelers often feel surprised and insulted," Mr. Hogan told USA Today.

With this in mind, MAC proposed a pragmatic solution: drivers unwilling to carry alcohol could get a special color light on their car roofs, signaling their views on alcohol to taxi starters and customers alike. From the airport's point of view, this scheme offers a sensible and efficient mechanism to resolve a minor irritant, leaving no passenger insulted and no driver losing business. "Airport authorities are not in the business of interpreting sacred texts or dictating anyone's religious choices," Hogan points out. "Our goal is simply to ensure travelers at [the airport] are well served." Awaiting approval only from the airport's taxi advisory committee, the two-light proposal will likely be in operation by the end of 2006.

But on a societal level, the proposed solution has massive and worrisome implications. Namely, the two-light plan intrudes the Shari‘a, or Islamic law, with state sanction, into a mundane commercial transaction in Minnesota. A government authority thus sanctions a signal as to who does or does not follow Islamic law.

What of taxi drivers beyond those at MSP? Other Muslims in Minneapolis-St. Paul and across the country could well demand the same privilege. Bus conductors might follow suit. The whole transport system could be divided between those Islamically observant and those not so.

Why stop with alcohol? Muslim taxi drivers in several countries already balk at allowing seeing-eye dogs in their cars. Future demands could include not transporting women with exposed arms or hair, homosexuals, and unmarried couples. For that matter, they could ban men wearing kippas, as well as Hindus, atheists, bartenders, croupiers, astrologers, bankers, and quarterbacks.

MAC has consulted on the taxi issue with the Minnesota chapter of the Muslim American Society, an organization the Chicago Tribune has established is devoted to turning the United States into a country run be Islamic law. The wife of a former head of the organization, for example, has explained that its goal is "to educate everyone about Islam and to follow the teachings of Islam with the hope of establishing an Islamic state."

It is precisely the innocuous nature of the two-light taxi solution that makes it so insidious - and why the Metropolitan Airports Commission should reconsider its wrong-headed decision. Readers who wish to make their views known to the MAC can write it at


Finally, a reason to start drinking alcohol

Mar 8, 2008

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Editor

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People who do not drink alcohol may finally have a reason to start -- a study published on Friday shows non-drinkers who begin taking the occasional tipple live longer and are less likely to develop heart disease.

People who started drinking in middle age were 38 percent less likely to have a heart attack or other serious heart event than abstainers -- even if they were overweight, had diabetes, high blood pressure or other heart risks, Dr. Dana King of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and colleagues found.

Many studies have shown that light to moderate drinkers are healthier than teetotallers, but every time, the researchers have cautioned that there is no reason for the abstinent to start drinking.

Now there may be, said King.

"This study certainly shifts the balance a little bit," King said in a telephone interview.

King's team studied the medical records of 7,697 people between 45 and 64 who began as non-drinkers as part of a larger study. Over 10 years, 6 percent of these volunteers began drinking, King's team reported in the American Journal of Medicine.

King said he does not know why some of the volunteers started drinking. "This was a natural experiment," he said.

"Over the next four years we tracked the new drinkers and when we compared them to the persistent non-drinkers, there was a 38 percent drop in new cardiovascular disease."

The findings held even when the researchers factored in heart disease risks such as smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, race, education levels, exercise and cholesterol.

Several of the volunteers had more than one risk factor and still benefited from adding alcohol, King said.


Fewer than one percent of people in the study drank more than is recommended, King said. Recommended amounts equal a drink or two a day by most guidelines.

"Half of them were wine drinkers only. There was a much bigger benefit for wine-only drinkers," he added.

Now King's team has started a new study in which his team will randomly assign non-drinkers to start either having a glass of wine a day, a glass of grape juice, or grape juice spiked with antioxidents, compounds believed to help fight heart disease.

But the findings do not mean people should drink freely, King said. Another study published this week supports that advice. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health found that how much and how often people drink affects their risk of death from several causes.

Their study of 44,000 people showed that men who had five or more drinks on days they did drink were 30 percent more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than men who had just one drink a day -- regardless of what their average drinking intake was.

Writing in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, the team at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the National Cancer Institute found that regular, moderate drinking was healthier than having the occasional binge.

Even men who drank every single day of the year were 20 percent less likely to die of heart disease than men who drank just one to 36 days per year -- if they drank moderately.

"Taken together, our results reinforce the importance of drinking in moderation," the researchers wrote.

Let's have a toast to the destruction of Islam!