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Expats in Saudi Arabia told to ‘respect fasting’ or face possible deportation

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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Interior urged non-Muslims residing in the kingdom to respect Muslims, who are fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, by not eating openly or else face serious consequences that include deportation.

“The non-Muslim expatriates in this country should respect the sentiments of Muslims by not eating, drinking and smoking in public places, including roads and workplaces,” stated an Interior Ministry statement issued by the Saudi Press Agency, adding that violators will be either deported or sacked.

The ministry said that eating and drinking openly are seen as an embarrassment to Muslims, as abstaining from food and drinks from sunrise till sunset are one of the visible features of Ramadan that must be respected.

“Being a non-believer of Islam does not exempt an expatriate from being inconsiderate of the feelings of Muslims and the Islamic symbols of this country.”

The ban on public food consumption will last until August 18, the last day of fasting if this year’s Ramadan is 30 days long.