Thursday, August 12, 2010

Muslim Tents vs. "Diabolical" Tents

Asia News has an interesting little piece on two different kinds of tents that are prevalent in the emirate during Ramadan.

Excerpt (emphasis mine):

"Muslim tents" are erected in all cities during Ramadan by Muslim charitable institutions and public entities, to offer believers, especially those who are not wealthy, a measure of comfort, cultural activities and religious homilies. Food and drinks, obviously non-alcoholic, are offered only during iftar time, that is, the "breaking of the fast", which allows Muslim believers to replenish after dawn, or during suhur, breakfast before the sun rises. According to official data, during the month of Ramadan, 126,000 people use the services of "Muslim tents".

The "diabolical tents" are entirely different. In these, big hotels offer a luxurious environment for food, music and entertainment, including belly dancers and fortune tellers to predict the future.

One preacher said: "They are places of depravation, worse than heresy", and those who run them "even if they earn good money, are doomed to perish." He added: "These tents are a phenomenon foreign to Qatar's tradition. The true representatives of our legacy are cultural and preaching ones that try to resist this foreign invasion." However he admits that sometimes, religious homilies are "boring", so that they end up by pushing people towards "diabolical tents".

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