Friday, August 1, 2008

Prohibition in Sudan

In a scene reminiscent of America during the days of Prohibition, women in Sudan have taken to making illegal alcohol from their homes in order to merely sustain themselves. Why is this so newsworthy - alcohol is banned under Sharia Law - and these women face imprisonment if caught.

From the Turkish Daily News:
"It is a simple recipe and one cooked up by thousands of women in the squalid camps and impoverished neighborhoods of those who fled years of war across southern, western and eastern Sudan.

But it's a dangerous business. Police raids are frequent. Around 90 percent of inmates in the women's prison were arrested on suspicion of selling aragi. They complain of beatings, fines, ransacked homes and confiscated booze.

Community workers say police hide behind the cloak of Islam, running alcohol rackets with what they confiscate to supplement poor pay. They talk about women sinking into prostitution and sexual favors in return for protection."

The biggest country in Africa, Sudan is run by an Arab elite looking to the culture and Islam of the Arab world. But most Sudanese see themselves as African, from a tribal culture in which fermented, or alcohol drinks, are perfectly acceptable."

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