That old devil moonshine circulates in Qom. This AFP report (thanks to Sr. Soph) matter-of-factly notes that alcohol is legal only for Iranian Christians, as long as they’re discreet about it — in line with ancient Sharia provisions that dhimmis must not “openly display” wine or pork (cf. Umdat al-Salik o11.5(6)).
TEHERAN – Ten people have died after drinking homemade hooch in a holy city in Iran, where the consumption of all alcohol is banned, the Kayhan newspaper reported on Sunday.
“On April 2, a large quantity of bootlegged alcohol was distributed in Qom,” Iran’s clerical capital and the home of many religious seminaries, south of Teheran, it said.
“A number of the drinkers were hospitalised and according to the inhabitants of Qom, 10 people have died,” the ultra-conservative daily added.
It said that local officials had yet to confirm the death toll.
It is not the first time that toxic moonshine has claimed lives in Iran, an Islamic country where the production and consumption of alcohol is generally strictly prohibited.
In May 2006, 15 people died from alcohol poisoning in the southern city of Sirjan, while in June 2004 it was reported that 22 Iranians died of the same cause in the southern city of Shiraz.
Only recognised Christian minorities in Iran, such as the Armenians, are allowed to produce and consume alcohol, discreetly and behind closed doors so as not to offend Islamic sensibilities.