Jordan: Restaurants forced to close for Ramadan

Amman, 18 Sept. (AKI) - Jordan has forced several restaurants with international links to close for Ramadan because it would "violate the sanctity" of the month.

Authorities said serving daily meals is contrary to a directive from the interior ministry that has blocked the opening of restaurants during daylight hours during the month of fasting.

Even though Jordan has a Christian minority of around 5 per cent and Ramadan coincides with the beginning of the autumn tourism season, the interior ministry has decided to close restaurants such as McDonald's and Burger King.

Authorities in Amman have made it known that no-one will be permitted to violate the sanctity of the month.

Jordanian laws only allow those restaurants that cater for tourists to supply their services during Ramadan since they are under the supervision of the tourism ministry and not the province.

While the government of Amman initially decided to authorise hotels - with a three to five star classification - to sell alcoholic beverages and to permit pubs and discotecques to open nightly during Ramadan while in the past it was banned.

But this decision has provoked an outcry from Islamist organisations and they have pressed the interior ministry to cancel the new decree and renew the old one.


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