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NY Times “Muslim Deli Owners Must Choose Koran or Customers”

Beverage News
01.04.2010

Koran and Alcohol

Fine beverage is a very complex subject, especially when religion is concerned. The New York Times published a fascinating piece yesterday on the cultural catch-22 for Muslims operating deli/grocery stores in New York and having to sell forbidden items, or “haram items” such as lotto tickets, pork, and ALCOHOLIC FINE BEVERAGE.

Mr. Kabir, 49, an immigrant from Bangladesh and a Muslim, is chagrined because he sells pork and alcohol, which are prohibited by the Koran. Mr. Kabir’s dilemma is widespread among Muslim immigrants in New York and other American cities, where religious beliefs, the pursuit of prosperity and pressures to assimilate are often in conflict.

Opinions regarding the sale of haram items are as diverse as the people who form the Muslim community in America, but Mr. Kabir is unequivocal about his distaste for the practice.

“Selling haram is the same as eating haram,” he said, glancing at the beer-filled coolers that line the grocery’s back wall. “I feel guilty, totally guilty. I want to sell the business and go home and not sell haram. Every day I’m thinking I should do that.”

Read the full article at New York Times, Muslim Deli Owners Must Choose Koran or Customers



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