Surely the Imam Rauf is on his way to Islamabad to explain to the Ramadan police all about Islamic tolerance. "Ramadan ‘police’ target Pakistan’s cafe society," from Guardian News & Media, August 7 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Islamabad: With its wooden floors, leather sofas and customers peering at their Apple laptops as they sip their coffees, Mocca Cafe is not the den of iniquity that might normally attract a police raid.
But Islamabad’s police have suddenly found cause to turn their attention to the capital’s poshest eateries in an effort to enforce a patchily applied, decades-old law forbidding people from eating or drinking in public during the fasting month of Ramadan.
Customers and proprietors were shocked on Saturday when, nearly halfway through the holy month, Mocca and at least two other popular eating spots in the well-heeled Kohsar market were visited by police officers cracking down on the illicit consumption of muffins and brownies.
Members of what pass for Islamabad’s cafe society said they could not remember anything like it. The manager of Gloria Jeans, a nearby restaurant, said he had never even read the Ramadan law until the police arrived. He has now placed a sign in the restaurant saying it is only “open to the communities not observing the fast of Ramadan”.
A message circulated on an expatriate email list by a customer who had been in the Gloria Jeans coffee shop at the time reported a “large commotion”.
“There was a lot of hostility in the air because foreigners were being served while others (Pakistanis) were being told to leave,” the email said, before going on to advise expats to give restaurants a wide berth until the end of Ramadan.
“Personally, I wouldn’t take the chance after the anger I felt while in the coffee shop.”
The raids, which police say were prompted by a complaint from a member of the public, followed last month’s police assault of a journalist who had the temerity to consume a soft drink in his car at a secluded hilltop beauty spot overlooking Islamabad.
He said he was beaten with belts by the officers, who threatened to charge him under the Ramadan Ordinance, a law passed in 1981 by General Zia-ul-Haq, the then military ruler who did much to make Pakistani society more Islamic....