Saudi authorities warned non-Muslim emigrants on Friday, the first day of Ramzan, to avoid eating, drinking, or smoking in public until the end of the Muslim holy month’s sunrise-to-sunset fast or face expulsion, media reported on Friday.
According to reports, in a statement issued by the interior, the kingdom called on expatriates to “show consideration for feelings of Muslims” and “preserve the sacred Islamic rituals.”
“Otherwise, Saudi authorities will cancel violators’ work contracts and expel them,” it added.
Saudi Arabia’s population of 27 million includes some 8 million expatriates, including Asians, Arabs, and westerners, according to government figures.
The ultraconservative Sunni kingdom is the home of Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca and Madina. The warning – which is issued at the beginning of Ramzan every year – serve as a reminder that the western-allied monarchy must answer to a strict religious establishment that holds de facto veto power over many of its policies.
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