Iraqi parliament bans alcoholic beverages

Baghdad – The Iraqi Parliament voted to ban the sale, import and production of alcoholic beverages, while the supporters of the decree said that availability of alcohols contradicts Islam and is unconstitutional, media outlets reported on Sunday.
On the other hand, opponents argue that the vote violates constitutional guarantees of freedom of religious belief for minority groups such as Christians, and emphasized that they will appeal against the surprise decision in the courts.
The ban was a last-minute move by conservative members of parliament, and those who will violate the decree will be fined between 10 million and 25 million dinars.
Veteran Christian MP, Yonadam Kanna, said, “This decree goes against the constitution, which guarantees the freedoms of minorities.”
Meanwhile, Ammar Toma, an MP who voted in support of the ban, declared, “The constitution says you cannot approve a law that goes against Islam.”
Alcoholic beverages are rarely served in restaurants and hotels in Iraq, but consumption is relatively widespread, where small shops selling alcoholic beverages can be found in Baghdad and other cities.