Washing of bodies suggested to punish Muslim violators of Ramadan rule

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Ramadan is likely to begin Sunday (June 29) as astronomers have ruled out the possibility of sighting the new crescent on Friday. “Moon will disappear before sun in most regions of the Kingdom on Friday,” said Mulhem Hindi of King Abdulaziz University’s Department of Astronomy and Space Science.
Meanwhile, the Labor Ministry said employees in the private sector are required to work six hours, instead of eight, during Ramadan. “The working hours in Ramadan will be six daily and 36 weekly as per Article 98 of the Labor Law,” said Taiseer Al-Mufrej, the ministry’s spokesman.

Authorities have warned Muslims and non-Muslims against publicly eating or drinking during the fasting period, saying they would be punished in accordance with the law. Violators face imprisonment and lashes.

But Abdul Rahman Al-Abdullatif, a legal consultant, proposed washing of bodies, cleaning of mosques and participation in charitable activities as alternative punishment for Muslim violators. “Some non-Muslim expats may eat or drink in public without knowing the Kingdom’s law and they should be given a warning that they should not repeat the offense,” he said.

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