Muslims angry at alleged vodka blasphemy

2012-04-04 14:06
Almaty - Muslims in the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan are up in arms at a vodka producer for including the word "Allah" on its liquor bottles.

Privately owned Channel 31 cited Bekzat Boranbaiuly, head imam at a mosque in the city of Semey, as saying the vodka maker should seek forgiveness for the blasphemous use of the sentence "The Power of Allah Suffices for All".

Islam strictly forbids drinking alcohol.

Channel 31 said in its report on Tuesday evening the vodka brand is available in most shops in the northern Kazakhstan city of Semey at an average price of $4.40.

Ethnic Kazakhs are mainly Sunni Muslim, but religious attitudes are generally fairly relaxed. The country has a large Slavic minority and the consumption of alcohol is popular across the board.

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