Monday, September 24, 2007

Muslim Winoism

... can have repercussions.

Islamabad - 'Doctors say my eyesight is gone, totally, irreversibly gone. Allah has punished me because I did not respect the holy month of Ramadan,' Mohammad Jamil says from his hospital bed in Pakistani port city of Karachi after a drinking experience that has scarred him for life.

Jamil, 22, may consider himself lucky to have been only blinded. More than 40 people who partook from the same batch of home-made hard liquor died hours after they were admitted to hospital suffering from nausea, severe cramps, shaking and blurred eyesight.

Police on Saturday arrested six people for selling Kuppi or Tharra, a cheap methyl-based alcohol intended for industrial use but which is a standard ingredient in illegal moonshine that is easily obtained across the predominantly Muslim country.

With only three per cent of Pakistan's population of 160 million are entitled to buy and consume alcohol, quality-controlled liquor produced by the country's monopoly brewery is pricey and restricted to the black market.

'A Muslim has to pay 650 rupees (11 US dollars), almost double the price a Christian pays at a liquor shop, to buy a one litre vodka bottle from an illegal supplier,' said Chaudhry Tariq, head of Islamabad's Excise Department which issues alcohol permits to non- Muslims.

These guys were drinking methyl alcohol, the stuff that's in aftershave. You need ID to prove that you are an infidel to buy booze - talk about getting carded.

When I was in Air Force boot camp we were forbidden to consume adult beverages and since we had no hair or stripes no one on Lackland would serve us. On Christmas Eve I woke up to go to the latrine and found some of my fellow boots in the dayroom drinking Lectric Shave. Thankfully none of them woke up on Christmas morn blind.

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