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Non-Muslims Warned to Respect Ramadan or Face Expulsion in Saudi Arabia

Officials in Saudi Arabia warned non-Muslin expatriates that they cannot eat, drink or smoke in public until Ramadan ends. If they do not follow these warnings they will be expelled from the kingdom. Expatriates were warned by the Interior Ministry to “show consideration for feelings of Muslims and preserve the sacred Islamic rituals.” Violators of the warnings will have their work contracts canceled and they will be expelled from the kingdom.

Government figures show that Saudi Arabia has a population of 27 million, with 8 million being expatriates. Those expatriates are Arabs, Asians and Westerners. The government issues the same warning at the start of Ramadan each year. The kingdom has tried to change its image recently. Some examples include women being sent to the Olympics for the first time this year, women being permitted to vote and take part in elections beginning in 2015 and controlling the feared morality police.

Prior to becoming Interior Minister, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz was the governor of Mecca. He is now in charge of handling law enforcement. He also follows religious rules strictly. The country recently pledged $120 billion for the kingdom’s lowest income groups. The kingdom has also started to get tougher regarding protests in eastern regions with high populations of Shiites.

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