During Ramadan, Muslims are not supposed to eat or drink from dawn to sunset (with some exceptions). In Tunisia, the laws don’t prohibit eating during the day, though some restaurants are closed during normal business hours because of the religious holiday.
Adel Almi is a Tunisian preacher who runs the “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice,” and he has threatened to photograph and publicly shame anyone who eats during the daytime. Ditto with anyone who goes to the beach, which he says is also forbidden. He’s even gone to the Tunisian Interior Minister, asking him to enforce penalties in the case of any fasting violations. Given the religious extremism some people hold, you wouldn’t want to be “caught in the act,” or else you might face some really awful consequences…
But here’s the amazing part: There’s a Facebook campaign called “Photos Taken During The Ramadan Chmeta Fi Adel Almi” and it’s a collection of people postings images of them at the beach and/or eating out! It’s basically a giant middle finger to Almi and his supporters.
Here’s the report from the Middle East Media Research Institute:
The Facebook page’s “About” page says that “This page is open to all people that defiantly challenge Adel Almi, in this case, we will go to the beach and will photograph ourselves.” The page features photos submitted by Tunisian readers, living either in Tunisia or abroad, of themselves eating, drinking, smoking, or violating other Ramadan prohibitions. Many of the photos show the subjects’ faces, and also include their names, to show that they fully support this demand for tolerance and freedom.
This is probably my favorite:
The page has more than 12,000 likes and looks like it gets updated frequently.
In the country where the Arab Spring began, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that there are courageous people like this taking a religious leader’s edict and throwing it right back in his face. It’s like Boobquake 2.0.
(Thanks to Richard for the link!)