If you can't handle me eating before sunset, don't fast

The infirmity of your faith is not my problem, nor anybody else’s, and does not deserve to be protected by law.

Farooq Tirmizi August 06, 2011
If you are one of the spineless, weak-willed people who cannot handle seeing other people eating and drinking while you fast, you should probably not be fasting.

The infirmity of your faith is not my problem, nor anybody else’s, and does not deserve to be protected by the law.

Under the Ihtaram Ramazan Ordinance of 1981, two men were arrested in Sargodha on charges of eating in public. Yes, you read that correctly: eating in public – for the month of Ramazan at least – is a crime in Pakistan.

To those that support this law, I would like to pose the following question: how immature do you have to be to require me or anybody else by law to respect your fasting?

I have fasted every year for the entirety of Ramazan since I was 11 years old and never once have I had a problem with anybody eating in front of me. I am fasting this year as well, driving around all day and feeling thirsty and I still don’t have a problem with people drinking water in front of me while I am parched. My faith is not stronger than anybody else’s. I am just an adult who realises that not everybody lives the same kind of life I do and that not everybody has the same circumstances.

That this law is without logic should be self-evident to anyone willing to step out of their conspiracy theory cocoon for a minute. For instance, why is this law applied only during Ramazan and not during any other time when a large number of people are fasting, for example, the 10th of Muharram? Does the government keep track of how many people fast every day? And does it have a cut-off percentage before this law will be invoked?

Oh, and have we considered the fact that a very large percentage of this nation’s women don’t fast at least some days every year because of their menstrual cycles? Should none of them be allowed to buy food during the day?

I would, however, like to defend the right of people not to fast without any excuse. Why should the government have any right to tell me to fast or not to fast? And if I am not fasting, why should any private business be prevented from selling me food while others fast? Because some hypocritical bigot can’t handle it? I am sorry, but that is not a good enough excuse.

So to those who don’t fast, please eat as much as you want, drink as much as you want during the day. I, and the rest of this country’s adults, have no problem with it. It’s time we did away with this nonsensical legacy of the Zia era.

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Farooq Tirmizi The author is an investment analyst. He tweets as @FarooqTirmizi (https://twitter.com/FarooqTirmizi)
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Abigal Adam | 12 years ago | Reply That's true and amazing. domestic violence defense attorney orange county
Ali Salman | 12 years ago | Reply @ excalibur im quite amused by your post. but i must say.. you are talking no sense. you said comparing public sex to a person eating alu samosa makes no sense.. well yes it doesnt generally.. but in this situation it does.. breaking a law.. is breaking a law.. whether u stab a person to death or steal a roti from a nan shop. the point your missing to understand is.. punishment for open sex is quite severe as compared for eating an alu samosa.. so your argument is void. Eating openly in ramzan is against the law and it is punished.. but are the eaters stoned to death ? no.. crime is minimal punishment is small... if you anything about law.. youd know that "common" law exists in every society. and it differs from country to country. people to people... in our country this falls under common and shariat law. and in our country shariat court is even above high court. why is it so hard to respect the rozay dar and eat in private? why is it so hard to be called a muslim and not fast in the first place ? why make such a big fuss out of it.. its like women asking for equal rights.. when in this modern world they have more rights than men.. like in urdu we say "chori upar se sena zori" so let this topic rest in peace.. learn to respect customs and laws..
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