17 October 2007
A story in today's edition of the Daily Mail (1st October 2007) quotes me as saying:
'By selling alcohol you are not committing a sin.'
This is not what I said to your reporter Steve Doughty. I explained to him that there is a well known saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad in which he said that those who make alcohol, those who sell it and those who drink it are all committing a sin against God. Some Muslims adopt a strict interpretation of this saying and believe that even checkout staff at a superstore should not help pass alcohol through their checkouts. Others believe that Islamic law has allowances for people in such a situation and that checkout staff cannot be held to be sinning in such a situation. I added that Sainsbury's should be commended for adopting a tolerant approach. As you can see, my actual answer was rather more nuanced than the version as reported in your paper.
Mr Inayat Bunglawala,
Muslim Council of Britain
PO Box 57330,