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New call to ban pork products in Bahrain

MANAMA, March 24, 2015

Fresh calls to ban pork products in Bahrain and criminalise their sale have gone out by a senior member of parliament (MP).

Abdulla Bin Howail wants Cabinet to place a ban on the sale, import, export, production and possession of pork products, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

He sent the urgent proposal to parliament chairman Ahmed Al Mulla yesterday (March 23) to be scheduled for discussion in their session today or next week.

In December, the Shura Council shelved amendments to the Penal Code to criminalise dealings with pork.

Some members welcomed the move, but others said it breached non-Muslim residents' human rights and the principle of religious tolerance.

Under the shelved proposal, offenders could have faced up to two months in jail and a fine of up to BD300 ($789) or both.

"It is against our religion to deal with pork or related products, and Bahrain is a Muslim country that adheres to Sharia principles and rulings," said Bin Howail, who is parliament's foreign affairs, defence and national security committee chairman.

"When the ban came into effect in the first days of Islam, Muslims were not aware of the reasons but recent scientific revelations have shown it contributes to major illnesses and harmful germs."

However, Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Ministry legal adviser Dr Saeed Abdulmotalib said in December that the government had objections against criminalising pork.

He said the ban on pork would be a clear violation of human rights and had no relation to the Islamic religion.

Meanwhile, parliament's meat probe committee met yesterday with representatives from the Works, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry to discuss issues related to monitoring imported livestock and chilled meat.

Committee spokesman Jamal Dawood said discussions focused on the validity of monitoring procedures.

"We are questioning monitoring procedures especially those on Bahrain Livestock Company's work and reasons behind it monopolising the market," he said.

"The committee is also looking at Halal accreditations from the countries of origin and the hay being imported to Bahrain."

An urgent proposal to halt issuing permits to sheesha cafes in residential areas and closing down existing ones was also submitted by parliament's services committee vice-chairman Mohammed Al Maarafee to Al Mulla.

"Sheesha cafes are a source of chaos, noise and nuisance and have to be away from residential areas," he said.

"We can tackle this by either stop issuing permits to new outlets and/or closing existing ones.

"There are calls to have more sheesha cafes licensed which is unacceptable." - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Ban | product | call | Pork |

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