Murphy's Law: The Underground Alcohol Menace


January 28, 2015:   Although alcoholic beverages are forbidden (according to Islamic scripture) to Moslems a recent UN survey of alcohol consumption found some Moslem nations have higher per-capita consumption than Western nations with a long history of heavy drinking. Thus Tunisians consume almost twice as much as Germans (drink 14.7 liters/15 quarts) and UAE residents drink about as much as Tunisians. Chad, a Moslem nation in Africa, has a rate of 34 liters a year. Iran is 24.8 liters, Jordan is 15.2 liters and Iraq (currently beset by many Islamic terrorists) is 9.1 liters. Russia, long identified as a heavy alcohol consumer averaged only 22.3 liters.

The WHO (World Health Organization) survey found that the main reason for the heavy alcohol consumption was often that Moslem states with lots of oil import lots of foreign workers who, being largely non-Moslem, drink a lot. But a lot of alcohol gets to the Moslem population even though this is illegal in many Moslem states. These states officially declared themselves largely alcohol free, but the reality is (and has been for centuries) quite different. Digging up the real numbers takes a lot of work, but there’s a lot more data to go after these days and you don’t move large quantities of alcoholic beverages internationally without leaving a paper trail. Then there’s illegal local production.

Early Islam banned alcohol because at that time many in Arabia saw alcoholic drink (mainly wine made from grapes or dates) as a social problem. But as has been rediscovered many times since, banning alcohol does not stop people from obtaining and enjoying it. Much of the alcoholic beverages consumed in Moslem countries is still made there, as it has been for thousands of years. This is a tradition that goes back to the very origins of these beverages. The ancient Egyptians are believed to be among the first to brew beer and wine was developed in the Middle East and China over 6,000 years ago. For thousands of years Iran was famous for its wines, and still is although all of the wine produced there now is done so in secret and for illegal local consumption, not export.

Local Islamic clerics often try to blame the evil West for supplying alcoholic beverages to tempt Moslems away from a righteous and sober life. But the booze if often native to the Moslem nation with the strictest prohibitions and in antiquity those nations were where many types of alcoholic drink were invented. So who corrupted who?



Article Archive

Murphy's Law: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close