A Facebook Protest Against Ramadan Fasting in Tunisia

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…

Adel Almi

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.

Holy shit, that’s brave. Check out some of the pics!

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!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Funny you never see Joe Klein speaking out for the rights of the religiously oppressed.

    • Mackinz

      Funny how you don’t see Joe Klein reporting on this topic.

      • Joe Klein

        What!?!? I like to read.

        • Mackinz

          Funny how you don’t see Joe Klein reading the reports of atheists who helped out with tornado relief in Oklahoma, while claiming the ability to read.

    • CultOfReason

      Funny how you never see Joe Klein responding to the Joe Klein meme.

      • GubbaBumpkin

        Funny how you never see Joe Klein eating pizza on a Tunisian beach while giving the finger to the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

      • Joe Klein

        Alright already, it’s funny, I get it.

        • GubbaBumpkin

          Funny how you never see Joe Klein trolling the Internet, posting under someone else’s name.

          • Eric González

            Funny how I don’t know who Joe Klein is. I will ask the duck later.

  • Morva Ádám


  • Gunner Miller

    From what I have heard, the fundamentalists are not getting the welcome in Tunisia that they thought they would…I’ll shed a tear for them.

    • 3lemenope

      The Tunisian population is (compared to the region generally) pretty wealthy, pretty educated, and yet pretty young. It’s no mystery why the fundies are slip-sliding away.

    • Intelligent Donkey

      I’ll tear down a shed, but I’ll never shed a tear for the fundamentalists.

  • David

    hmmm pizza, it certainly looks good, I wonder what all the toppings are.

    • CultOfReason

      I think I saw some shrimp on there. Mmmmmmmm.

    • GubbaBumpkin

      most likely pork sausage.

      • Michael W Busch

        That would be the scallops.

    • Artor

      I noticed that; I see shrimp, mussels, and I think scallops. Yumm!

      • Stev84

        Though serving the mussels with the shell is a bit weird on pizza.

    • Michael W Busch

      The pizza ai frutti di mare that I’ve eaten has included a wide range of things. This one looks like shrimp, mussels, scallops, and squid.

      I need to work on my pizza crust recipes…

      • Pseudonym

        …which means it’s arguably not halal, either.

        • Michael W Busch

          If I remember correctly, it would be halal by most Sunni rules (except for the Hanafi) but haram by Shia rules.

  • The Other Weirdo

    Why do these guys never run the Commission for the Promotion of Vice and the Prevention of Virtue? Many problems could thus be avoided.

  • onamission5

    I could be wrong, but I swear that one of the photos on the FB page is of two cans of beer and two blunts with the Turkish flag on the monitor behind.

    • Intelligent Donkey

      They’re being rather blunt about it.

  • Rain

    Woah what the hell kind of pizza is that? They must really live it up over there. WOW.

    • Mario Strada

      That kind of pizza is actually pretty traditional. It was just never imported to the states. “Pizza ai frutti di mare” . It’s delicious, as long as you like shellfish. Which now that I think of it, could it be prohibited as well? It is in the OT.

      • Michael W Busch

        Shellfish is usually halal, although it varies a bit from one Muslim sect to another (the Shia rules are more restrictive than the Sunni ones, if I remember correctly).

        And seeing pizza ai frutti di mare makes me simultaneously hungry and nostalgic for the Mediterranean coast.

  • Rain

    and he has threatened to photograph

    I’m surprised he believes in photographs. I guess that’s progress.

    • Mario Strada

      Maybe he meant to send a sketch artist.

      • Rain

        He probably means “photograph” literally. And he would probably “post” them on literal “posts”. (I don’t think they’re allowed to sketch people, BTW. Most notably, can’t draw Muhammad.)

  • Pseudonym

    While I wholeheartedly support protests of this variety, I have to admit that I turned off at the mention of MEMRI.

    • Randay

      You are right. MEMRI is based in the U.S. but was started by an ex-Israeli intelligence officer and Meyrav Wurmser, the wife of neocon David Wurmser who was an advisor to Dick Cheney. The board is full of neocons and rightwingers close to the Likud Party.

      Their translations have been challenged as incorrect and giving a false meaning to statements and articles. It is not an unbiased site I posted this earlier but it didn’t appear. Why?


      • GubbaBumpkin

        Misty, water-coloured MEMRI…

  • Emily Ravich

    Was that a mussel pizza? Ooh, getting culinary ideas…

  • Lock n’ Load

    Funny how Joe Klein dosen’t get tired of this fucking meme.