“Ramadan dodgers” are in today’s news. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar; on its 17th day, according to Muslim tradition, Muhammad received his first “revelation” from the angel Gabriel. Millions of faithful Muslims are observing the month by abstaining from food, drink and tobacco from sunup to sundown.
But not all can keep the fast. Some sneak sandwiches or cigarettes in their cars or behind closed doors. Others are openly defiant of the Ramadan regulations. In Malaysia they are fined; repeat offenders can get a year in prison. Saudi Arabia threatens to expel any expatriates who violate the fast, including non-Muslims. But such legalism doesn’t keep everyone in line.