Islamists Attack Hotel Bar In Tunisia

Tunisia has long been a favorite North African destination for its beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, and relatively tolerant atmosphere. That tolerance, however, may be changing.

The BBC reports that a group of Salafists, Muslim hardliners who have been gaining in influence in recent months, stormed into a hotel bar in Sidi Bouzid. The Salafists had warned the Horchani hotel management to stop serving alcohol and when they didn’t comply, dozens of Islamists entered the hotel bar, chased away the customers, and smashed the bottles. They also entered rooms in search of alcohol and turned their wrath on the furniture.

There were no reported injuries.

Sidi Bouzid was the birthplace of the Arab Spring. It was here in 2010 that a fruit seller set himself on fire to protest government corruption and oppression. This set off a chain of events that toppled governments in several Arab nations. While the Arab Spring has opened up the possibility of democracy, it has also encouraged Islamist groups that were generally suppressed by the old-style military dictators.

[Photo courtesy Flickr user spDuchamp. This is not a photo of the Tunisian hotel and is used for illustrative purposes only.]

To be banned: Drinking of alcohol on London’s transport

Now there is a progressive plan coming out of London.

London’s brand new mayor, Boris “the Eccentric” Johnson, unveiled the timeline for bringing in the new alcohol ban. The ban, starting on June 1, on the Tube (subway), buses, trams and Docklands Light Railway is one of his election pledges. According to the BBC, the ban is part of Mr Johnson’s wider strategy to tackle “anti-social behavior” and he also believes driving out so-called minor crime will be the first step before getting a “firm grip on more serious crime”.

But the Rail Maritime and Transport Union said the policy appeared “not to have been thought through very well” and could make matters worse.

Worse? As in people will drink more just for the excitement of doing something illegal?