Algeria’s highest court (in a country supposedly committed to secular values) has imposed prison sentences on three men caught smoking during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. In a purported triumph of the rule of law, the Algiers appeals court reduced the prison sentence from three years to two months. However, the men were still convicted for “offending religion.”
The men were construction workers and have been detained since Sept. 21 for lighting up.
No law in Algeria explicitly bars people from eating, drinking, smoking or otherwise breaking the daytime fast during Islam’s holy month.
One can only imagine if they were Virginia Slims with the added offense of a slogan like “It’s a Woman’s Thing: You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby” — though “I’d walk a mile for a Camel” might be more appealing in the desert region.
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