Tripoli Cafe Hit by Grenade for Operating 'during Fasting Hours'

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A grenade thrown into a cafe hurt four people on Wednesday in the northern city of Tripoli, security officials said.

The motive for the attack was not immediately clear, but there were suspicions the cafe was targeted for opening its doors during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

"Four people, including two Syrian nationals, were injured when unknown assailants threw a grenade into a cafe in the Bab al-Tabbaneh district" in Tripoli, a security official told Agence France Presse.

The assailants approached the cafe on a motorbike and tossed the device in before escaping.

The official pointed out that "the cafe sells coffee during the day in Ramadan, when most residents are fasting," without stating definitely whether that was why the establishment was targeted.

Bab al-Tabbaneh is a Sunni Muslim district in Tripoli that has frequently been involved in violence with the residents of neighboring Jabal Mohsen district, whose residents are Alawites -- a Shiite Muslim splinter sect.

The city as a whole has been affected by the growing presence of religious extremists, especially after the outbreak of conflict in neighboring Syria, with Bab al-Tabbaneh particularly affected.

Wednesday's attack comes after cafes and restaurants were warned against opening during daylight fasting hours in Ramadan in text messages and on social media in recent days.

One such message names establishments staying open, and says "these pigs are selling food and drink during the day and in view of everyone."

It advises people "to deal with them in an appropriate manner," without specifying further.

Last month, Tripoli municipal chief Nader Ghazal called on cafes and eateries in the city to "respect the sanctity of the holy month of Ramadan and particularly fasting Muslims."

The call caused controversy, with activists saying it was a breach of personal freedom.

But Ghazal said it was a voluntary request, and that those who did not comply would not face punishment.

Lebanon is regarded as one of the most liberal countries in the Middle East, and even during Ramadan many cafes and restaurants remain open throughout the country to serve non-Muslims or those choosing not to fast.

Comments 25
Default-user-icon simon (Guest) 02 July 2014, 18:00

What a country....

Default-user-icon Al (Guest) 02 July 2014, 18:41

I fast religiously during lent. Does the rest of the country stop eating and drinking in front of me for 40 days? A dear friend of mine when we lived in the UK used to keep his fast for up to 15hrs a day and he would do it with conviction and never heard him ever complain and would tell ppl not to change their behavior bcs he was fasting. Your religion and beliefs are your own, imposing others not to eat bcs you are fasting goes against the principle of the fast. If your not up to it and cant handle the temptations then don't do it. Who are you impressing? To each his own.

Thumb lebanesenationalist 02 July 2014, 18:44

Of course businesses should be allowed to open during fasting. It's freedom of belief and religion at play. I don't care if a city is 100% muslim; what if someone is born muslim but doesn't really practice or believe. What, this person can't get a bite to eat?

Default-user-icon hanoun (Guest) 02 July 2014, 19:00

any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both (Benjamin Franklin)
we live in a state of rule of law we do not live in a religious state so far so faith is personal everything else is public ie under the law
god bless democracy and secularism

Missing imagine_1979 02 July 2014, 19:13

Every country needs law,
For my part, secular state, laic civil code, all under the same law and having the same rights
And chupachups for all....

Missing imagine_1979 02 July 2014, 19:15

U know gabby christians are not always better, go see central affrica, south soudan.. They can even teach da3ech... Europe and the occident chose a secular system, so in france u r not judged by ur religion, color but by ur acts so not really christian as in kanoun el orthodoxi style....

Default-user-icon Tony (Guest) 02 July 2014, 19:31

7ello 3ana ba2a... rou7o, bejjo rasskon add ma badkon WA FEKO 3ANA !!! mlaz2in 3ana hel jame3a...

Thumb _mowaten_ 02 July 2014, 20:21

for once i approve of your comment. it's nice to see you not being sectarian and condemning an entire sect for the actions of a few.
i just hope this is not due to double standards :)

Thumb _mowaten_ 02 July 2014, 21:23

oh jerry my dear jerry, you sound so bitter with that aggressive tone and petty insult, i love it :)

anonyme: bedda sou2al!? of course not! i don't tell religious people how and when they should fast, they have no business telling me when or where i shouldnt

Thumb _mowaten_ 02 July 2014, 21:27

...when or where i shouldnt *eat

Missing saudi 03 July 2014, 01:25

Isn't the same group had targeted the Christian Library in Tripoli few months ago?
Is anyone surprise of this terror act? except Kerry and Geagea

Thumb _mowaten_ 02 July 2014, 20:23

partition is not a solution, jihadis have been coming from all over the world to syria and lebanon, you think another border, which they would certainly not recognize, would stop them?

Thumb mobious125 02 July 2014, 21:15

This is just Lebanon taking one step closer to becoming an Islamic state, it's going to happen weather you like it or not.

Thumb FlameCatcher 02 July 2014, 23:56

It should be illegal to close shop during Ramadan and not to sell alcohol in restaurants and super/mini markets.

Put an end to extremism, islamism, christianism in public !

Thumb scorpyonn 03 July 2014, 00:07

I am so sick of Islamic lunatics running roughshod over everyone.

Thumb kanaandian 03 July 2014, 00:33

primitive savages.

Thumb Thunderbaby 03 July 2014, 01:11

Why can't these guys get create their own terrorists act instead of copying us in the Resistance's. I remember my youth in the 1980 when we used to blow up establishments that served liquor, liquor stores and throw acid on scantily dressed sluts. By the way don't let me catch any of you with a beer or any other alcoholic beverage in Nabatieh I swear I'll stick it in your person where the sun don't shine!!

Missing forces 03 July 2014, 02:17

Flame you make a good point. Recently my 85 year old father came to lebanon and was renovating the old house in the village. One of the tradesman he used was a Moslem guy who replaced the steel doors and windows, this young guy came to the house and was accompanied by an old man, immediately when he saw my father they both hugged and I could see a tear in their eyes. After several moments of them leaving I asked my father who that man was and how he knew him. My father proceeded to tell me that he had grown up with this man and lived in the neighbouring Moslem village. He told me as a boy the old mans mother had raised him and it wasn't until the age of 12 that my grandparents had explained to him who she was. Point is coexistence is possible with mutual respect.

Missing forces 03 July 2014, 02:18

Religion never got in the way in fact both families were devoted to their religions but religion had its place and both religions taught respect so this made it easier to implement. Nowadays religion is not so simple and people have destroyed the true meaning.

Missing karim.. 03 July 2014, 02:29

Extremism/terrorism in Tripoli? No way!

Missing karim- 03 July 2014, 03:35

Woopsy my bad I forgot who actually sent the Tripoli extremism/terrorists filthy extremist/terrorist Syrian regime

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_2013_Tripoli_bombing

Missing cedars 03 July 2014, 04:37

Same fanatics bombed the liquor stores in syr. There are fanatics at both sides of the isle. Let us put it this way, Isis and tawheed are among those extremists that bomb and kill in the name of god, but consume more alcohol thank anyone on earth during the night.

Missing cedars 03 July 2014, 04:38

Than=thank

Missing 7alesh 03 July 2014, 05:50

Just like how alcohol selling stores and restaurants were forcefully being shut down or bombed in SOUR and NABATIEH....the radicalism virus is surrounding us from the south and the north.
Canada here I come.

Thumb lebpatriot2333 04 July 2014, 06:25

Sunnis are the cancer of the world