Rabat – Moroccan police detained several people in a Casablanca cafe Wednesday for allegedly breaking the dawn to dusk fast observed by Muslim faithful during the holy month of Ramadan, local media reported.
“Clients and employees of the cafe in the centre of Casablanca were arrested in the middle of a large public gathering,” the Hespress news site said, without specifying how many people were detained.
The police did not immediately provide further information on the operation.
Chouf TV web broadcaster published a video showing officers leading young men and women one by one from the cafe towards a police van.
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Hespress said most of the crowd at the scene “welcomed the police intervention in respect for Moroccans’ faith, while others denounced the intervention”.
During Ramadan, observant Muslims refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours, and traditionally gather with family and friends to break their fast in the evening.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five “pillars” of Islam, which is the state religion in Morocco.
Article 222 of the North African country’s penal code states that anyone breaking the fast in public can be imprisoned for up to six months.
Some activists defend the right not to fast.