However it boils down to one simple test: A moderate Muslim is one who drinks in moderation.
Veteran columnist Daniel Cigars welcomed the announcement and said it would help root out intolerance. “Alcohol is a symbol of everything that is good about the West,” he wrote. “The Muslims who hate it do so because they hate the West. They have no right to live here and enjoy our freedoms.”
However the president of “Very Good Muslims of America” dismissed this objection. “The health argument is simply a ploy,” he said. “Somewhere in the back of their mind is the idea that Islam prohibits alcohol. And that is not true. According to our ijtihad, Islam does not forbid alcohol.”
Another community activist said on the condition of anonymity that the decision would increase the number of conversions to Islam. There are thousands of Americans who have not converted to Islam simply because of the harsh ban on alcohol. With that gone, “conversion floodgates could open.”
In Pakistan, the government immediately announced opening of 1000 bars throughout the country. These will be modern facilities where people could relax and enjoy a happy hour.
Musharraf said that the step was necessary to bring Pakistan into the fold of the civilized world. Mullas made Islam a dry and austere religion, he noted. The Muslim world banned alcohol while the Western world permitted it freely. “Andyou can see the difference,” he beamed. He also dismissed concerns that alcohol could be bad for health. “I can speak from experience that it is not true,” he said.
The announcement from Pakistan was immediately welcomed by the international community. Japan and Germany also announced one million dollar aid to train bar tenders in Pakistan. Bush and Blair called Musharraf and appreciated his services for the cause of moderate Islam. Colin Powell declared him man of the (happy) hour and said that in the end the bold action would help Pakistan.
Internal Minister Moeen Haider laughed at the ignorant Mullas “who do not know what 86 proof means and who never stepped inside a modern brewery.” He asked, “How can they say something is bad when they have never tasted it?” “We won’t let such ignorant people dictate to us what is halal and what is haram,” he thundered.
An NGO in Pakistan, Promoting Alcohol In Defiance (PAID) reported that the opening of bars serving high quality alcoholic beverages would save thousands of lives. Last year alone 5000 people had died drinking homemade liquor. “Saving lives is very important to us,” it declared. “Islam also teaches us to save human lives.”