Iraq’s parliament has passed a law banning the sale, production, and purchase of alcohol which primarily affects the country’s Christian population.
ChristianToday.com reports that the new law was proposed by Mahmoud al-Hassan, who argued that the Iraqi constitution forbids any law against Islam.
Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol due to their religion.
Christian parliamentarian Joseph Slaiwa, however, argued that the constitution also protects the rights of religious groups to live freely.
"This ban is unconstitutional, as the constitution acknowledges the rights of non-Muslim minorities and ethnic groups who live alongside Muslims in Iraq," he said. "To those Muslim lawmakers I say: Take care of your religion and leave ours for us, we know how to deal with it."
Much of the alcohol consumed in Iraq is sold by Christian business owners, and the new alcohol law will have a negative impact on Christian livelihood and lifestyle.
Christians and other Iraqis also condemned the timing of the ban, saying that the Iraqi government should be focusing on the effort to retake Mosul from Islamic State militants.
One political cartoon even showed men with their backs turned on Mosul while they were shooting at a bottle of liquor.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: October 24, 2016