The Iraqi Parliament on Saturday, 22 October, passed a law prohibiting the import, manufacture and sale of alcohol throughout the country. For violators a penalty of up to 25 million Iraqi dinars (about 21 thousand dollars).

As reported by the American edition of ABCNews, anti-alcohol law was supported by representatives of the Shiite parties who are in Parliament belongs to the most places. The legislature announced the introduction of the ban on its website, without specifying the details of the vote.

In Iraq, where the majority of the population is Muslim, consumption of alcohol and so negative, however, during the reign of Saddam Hussein, the trade was officially permitted. It can be purchased and consumed in designated areas in bars, hotels, shops. After the fall of Saddam’s regime in the country intensified the radical Islamists, with the result that stores with alcoholic beverages often become targets of attacks. Most of these institutions belongs to Christians. And in their opinion, the new bill only reinforces the sectarian strife in the country.

As stated by Christian MP Yousef of Slaiva, originally it was only about the new tax for shops and restaurants where alcohol is implemented, but in the end, a law was passed prohibiting its sale. According to Sleepy, it is “unconstitutional” because the main law of the country “recognizes the rights of non-Muslim minorities and ethnic groups that live in Iraq side by side with the Muslims”.

In turn, the author of the bill, MP from the coalition of Shia parties, the “State of law”, the Chairman of the legal Committee in the Iraqi Parliament Mahmoud al-Hassan insists on the constitutionality of the adopted law, citing article 2 of the Iraqi Constitution, which States that any taken in the country the law can not go against the rules of Islam. “The Constitution ensures democracy and supports the rights of non-Muslim groups, but nevertheless, these rights must not violate the norms of Islam,” he said.

Iraq Daily journal writes that now, under the ban can be not only imported into Iraq for alcoholic drinks, but also local traditional, such as the Arak – aniseed alcoholic drink with a strength up to 60 degrees. According to one version of Arak, widespread in the middle East, Central Asia and the Balkans, came up in the Iraq, several hundred years ago. This drink is also called “lion milk” because it is usually diluted with cold water, which reacts with essential oils of anise, beverage stains white.

Meanwhile, the ban on the sale of alcohol will not affect Autonomous Kurdistan, which has its own Parliament. In particular, the Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah is the most secular in Iraq, “an Iraqi in Paris”. Kurdish broadcaster NRT already noted that the ban on the sale to Iraq of alcohol will contribute to the economic growth of Kurdistan, and the involvement in the autonomy of tourists.

Iraqi social networks reacted with a storm of discussion on the adoption of anti-alcohol law. His supporters Express solidarity with the Parliament. Opponents criticized the deputies for ignoring more pressing issues such as the war with ISIS (“Islamic state” banned terrorist group), the economic crisis caused by low oil prices, and corruption of the government.

The adopted law may be cancelled by the Executive or the Supreme court on procedural or other grounds. According to “Al Arabiya”, the MP from the Christian party Yonadam Kanna has already declared intention to appeal the law.

We will remind, restrictions on the sale of alcohol exist in 16 countries, however, a complete ban on alcohol is only in Saudi Arabia, Libya and Kuwait.

The Iraqi Parliament has banned alcohol in the country. In the Autonomous Kurdistan are preparing for the “alcoholic” tourism 24.10.2016

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