Nigerian Muslims Outraged as Saudi Arabia Opens First Liquor Store in Riyadh’s Diplomatic Quarter


Habeeb Ibrahim 

Reports of Saudi Arabia’s opening of its first alcohol store in the diplomatic quarter of Riyadh, its capital, have sparked outrage among Nigerian Muslims.

The store, which is located in a supermarket in the Diplomatic Quarter, has been seen as a controversial move by the Saudi government, which has long been known for its strict adherence to Islamic law.

Many Nigerian Muslims have taken to social media to express their disbelief and anger at the news, with some calling it a “disgrace” and an “insult to the religion of peace”. Some have also expressed concern that this move marks a shift away from Saudi Arabia’s traditional values and towards a more Westernized culture.

@Waspapping_ writes on his X platform, “Disgraceful! They are slowly turning Saudi Arabia into Las Vegas, and it’s making me mad. At the rate they are going, very soon they will legalize prostitution and same-sex marriage in the most sacred city,” he writes.

Another Muslim, @Maxajee, writes, “It’s baffling and disgusting to see that Saudi Arabia has opened its first alcohol store in Riyadh. I wonder why the current crown prince is going against the teachings of the Holy Prophet by accommodating Western cultures in a country like Saudi Arabia, where the two holiest mosques are situated. This is an insult to the religion of peace and the entire Muslim Ummah. It’s disgraceful,” he noted.

According to Saudi Minister of Tourism, H.E. Ahmed Al-Khateeb, in a statement, he emphasized that alcohol is not important to Saudi Arabia, and non-Muslim visitors have never complained about its absence: “Alcohol is important, and we decided not to offer it, and we hope it will continue to this.

“People are coming to explore Saudi Arabia and its culture, and they are coming for business, leisure, hospitality, and religious reasons, and they haven’t complained at all,” he said.

It is worth noting, however, that the Saudi government has not officially confirmed the opening of the store, and some reports suggest that it may only be available to non-Muslim residents and visitors. Nevertheless, the news has sparked a heated debate among Muslims in Nigeria and beyond.


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