PARIS – In an effort to fight alcohol addiction, French Muslim football player Franck Ribery has opened an alcohol-free bar that would serve fruit juices.
“I wanted a concept that’s a little different from the ordinary,” Ribery told French newspaper La Voix du Nord.
Called “O’Shahiz”, the bar takes its name from Ribery’s two daughters Shahinez and Hizya.
The Bayern Munich midfielder is believed to have reverted to Islam in 2006 after marrying a Muslim woman of Moroccan origin.
Though he rarely speaks about his faith, Ribery recently told Le Paris Match magazine that he felt “safe” with Islam.
Ribery says the free-alcohol bar in his home town of Boulogne-sur-Mer aims to encourage the French to abandon alcohol drinking by offering alternative alcohol-free atmosphere.
The new bar would also allocate an area for French Muslims who feel uncomfortable in bars that offer alcohol drinks.
Islam takes an uncompromising stand in prohibiting intoxicants. It forbids Muslims from drinking or even selling alcohol.
The general rule in Islam is that any beverage that get people intoxicated when taken is unlawful, both in small and large quantities, whether it is alcohol, drugs, fermented raisin drink or something else.
A British study found that alcohol is a more dangerous and lethal drug than heroin or crack cocaine.
Alcohol is blamed for the death of 195,000 people in the 27-nation European Union every year and more than 10,000 deaths were due to alcohol-related road accidents, with young people especially at risk.
It is also blamed for 7.4 percent of all ill-health and premature death in the EU, a 2006 EU-commissioned report said.