‘Number of alcohol arrests still a cause of concern’

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THE number of alcohol-related arrests remained a cause of concern, said imams giving the Friday sermon.

Imams said even though Brunei has been successful in implementing its anti-alcohol laws, there are some who failed to adhere to the regulation.

The sermon did not provide figures of people caught for alcohol intake.

It warned against the detrimental effects of alcohol consumption and reminded Muslims to comply with the country’s law prohibiting the consumption and selling of any alcoholic beverages.

The Friday sermon said alcohol mars sound judgement and rational thinking.

Imams explained that besides losing all sense of thought and reasons, alcoholic drinks can also cause hardship and chaos not only to drinkers themselves, but also to peace, security and health.

“Evidently, ulamas (religious scholars) are undivided in their stand where they concluded that drinking alcohol is haram (unlawful), irrespective of the name or type or label given to it; and it is still _haram _even if taken in very small amounts,” they said.

Consuming alcohol is considered an act against the foundation of Islamic law; preservation of religious belief, life, rational intellect, lineage and one’s good name and property, said the imams.

“This is because when under the influence of alcohol, the purity of religion is tainted, lineage for future generations sullied, property damaged and our good name, honour, dignity and life are jeopardised,” the sermon read.

As a supporting fact, imams also cited a World Health Organisation study that found alcohol consumption as the primary cause of diseases, causing about 2.5 million deaths per year; 320,000 of them were persons between the ages 15 and 29.

“The study also stated that (alcoholic drinks) is also linked with the prevalence of serious social ills (including) violence, child neglect and abuse as well as tardiness at workplaces.

“Those who consume alcoholic drinks are also more prone to acts of aggression, becoming a threat to others,” the sermon added.

In view of these detrimental effects, imams said various government and health organisations including non-Islamic groups worldwide have initiated measures to reduce the risks and impact of alcohol consumption.

“Needless to say, there is no positive impact or whatsoever to be had; for either the drinker or those around them,” said imams.

They added that one way to deal with the prevalence of alcohol drinking offenders was to continue propagating towards doing good and refrain from evil deeds.

This includes those who have individual responsibilities to others, including parents and teachers, it added.

The Brunei Times