Newsbrief: Alcohol Prohibition Coming to Nigerian State 5/14/04

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Lawmakers in the mostly Islamic northern Nigerian state of Kano have voted for a law that would impose whipping for Moslems and jail time for Christians caught drinking alcohol, the Associated Press reported Saturday. The bill stand must be signed by the governor before becoming law.

Kano Central Mosque
The move has stirred fears it will stir ethnic and religious violence in Kano, which, along with other Muslim-dominated Nigerian states, has seen waves of conflict as local authorities have attempted to impose sharia, or Islamic law, since the overthrow of the military dictatorship five years ago. Tensions are high this week after the killing of an estimated 500 Moslems by Christian mobs in the central state of Plateau, the AP reported. More rioting broke out in Kano City itself this week, leaving at least 30 dead in Muslim-Christian strife, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation Thursday.

Muslims who get caught drinking alcohol will be whipped with "80 strokes of the cane," while Christians face a one-year jail sentence, a $380 fine, or both, Kano legislative speaker Saidu Balarabe Gani said in local radio broadcasts Saturday.

That is a tougher policy than instituted in other Muslim-dominated states with sharia laws. According to the AP, in those states, the ban against Muslims drinking is rarely enforced, and Christians are allowed to drink at federal military and police establishments. [!]

The radio announcement didn't go over well with at least one central Kano City listener consulted by the AP. "This is an attempt to cause bloodshed," shouted Adams Yakubu, who said he was Christian. If authorities try to enforce the alcohol ban on Christians and animists, "only God knows what will follow," he warned.

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Issue #337, 5/14/04 Editorial: Always Another Angle | Russia Enacts Sweeping Reforms in Drug Laws: No Jail for Possession | Maryland Treatment Not Jail Bill Signed Into Law | Canada Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Dying as Government Prepares to Call Elections, Few Mourners | Calls for Sentencing Reform Grow in Arizona | Announcing: "The New Prohibition: Voices of Dissent Challenge the Drug War" -- New Compendium by Sheriff Masters Features David Borden and Numerous Other Thinkers on Drug Policy | Newsbrief: Local Prosecutor Tries to Block Atlantic City Needle Exchange, Would Be New Jersey's First | Newsbrief: Pennsylvania Attorney General Hops on Prescription Drug Abuse Bandwagon | Newsbrief: Ohio Appeals Court Upholds City's Harsh Marijuana Penalties | Newsbrief: Congress Defeats Effort to Abolish Cap on US Troops in Colombia | Newsbrief: Anti-Drug Ads Pique Curiosity, Researcher Finds | Newsbrief: Alcohol Prohibition Coming to Nigerian State | Newsbrief: Study Finds "No Increased Risk" for Marijuana-Using Drivers | Newsbrief: Hip-Hop Summit Announces Mass Rally Against Drug War at GOP Convention | Newsbrief: Finnish Green MP Causes Flap with Admission of Cannabis Use | Newsbrief: Million Marijuana Marches, Continued -- Rocking in Rosario, Repression in Russia and Israel | This Week in History | Job Opportunity: Program Coordinator, International Harm Reduction Development Program, OSI | The Reformer's Calendar
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