How much of a cultural obstacle is it that Muslims don't drink Alcohol

Alcohol, for all its problems, is a major way of social bonding amongst different people, now I’m thinking, due to Muslims not drinking, does this escalate the divide between us and them, or has it always been a minor issue. Painting this in broad strokes, but it was on my mind today.

Most of the Muslims I know do drink alcohol. The rest simply say ‘No thanks’. I don’t see how this can be a divide any more than the Baptists who don’t drink, former drinkers who don’t drink, or people who just don’t drink for some undisclosed reason. If there’s a toast they can drink something non-alcoholic.

I did meet one Muslin man who wouldn’t eat anything with vinegar in it because vinegar is made from alcoholic beverages, but then his wife clarified that by explaining that he was crazy.

No more so than any Christian denomination that prohibits it.

Lots of people don’t drink alcohol. More than you think, probably.

See this article on the Washington Times.

Fully 30% of adult Americans consume 0 alcoholic drinks per week. Another 10% have about one drink a year, and another 10% who have about one a month. By most measures of socializing, that’s 50% of the country that effectively doesn’t drink alcohol at all.

So, I doubt it’s as much of a cultural obstacle as you think.

Also, the top decile of that chart is terrifying. 10% of Americans drink approximately 10 drinks a day.

Ever work with a Mormon? Or a Baptist? Really doesn’t tend to hold people back at all.

Yup. I can’t remember the last time I drank any sort of booze. I haven’t found it a social hindrance.

I don’t abstain from alcohol out of any religious, health, or addiction reason - I just don’t like the taste.

From my experience.
(These are for people who avoid alcohol consumption obviously, MMV for others).
Yes it can be an issue. Especially when you are in a place where (like the UK) where so much socialising is done in pubs or bars. Even if you do go to a pub, there is only so much coke or orange juice you can drink before you are running around like a sugar-high toddler.
Also sometimes there is awkwardness as people you socialise with might find it difficult what exactly is the role alcohol shall play; some of them to avoid giving (in their view) offence might not serve alcohol; which IME tends to backfire since everyone there (it seems) subconsciously blames you for the “dry” dinner. Others ignore it completely; and serve openly which I frankly prefer.

Nothing I have said should be construed as meaning that the obstacles are insurmountable or even major or more than an irritant. Just giving the sum of my (and my friend) experience.

I’ve been in five Islamic countries in the past month, and as far as I know, the public sale of alcoholic beverages is illegal in all of them (Brunei, Qatar, Bahrain, Djibouti, Somalia) I did not observe any indication that anyone was drinking alcohol, nor did I see any offered for sale or advertised.

When I lived in Jordan, the sale of alcohol was permitted, and in fact, there is a distillery in Jordan that makes cognac, which is sold in grocery stores, and as far as I could tell, used only for cooking. There were a couple of entertainment establishments in the country even then (40 years ago) so I assume it is now more widespread. I never saw anybody that I suspected was under the influence, except in the disco where alcohol was served.

Muslims take their religion fairly seriously, and obey its commandments in their daily personal lives. Which is a concept that visiting Christians need to acclimate themselves to.

actually its strange …as a kid there were 2 Arabian guys that owned my favorite liquor store (note in ca most liquor stores are just convience stores with hard booze shelved behind the counter and a locked fridge for chilled stuff)

And when I needed a report for school id interview them for the muslim "view " on things and a lot of it is as long as you don’t do it at home its “don’t ask don’t tell” hence all the business trips and vacations and some of them have a deal where around 18 you get to “sow wild oats” til about 25 or so aka going to college
as for why don’t we get booze store bombings and such ? three reasons they said 1 they own a lot of them and 2 "this is America and 3 they’ve given up reforming it "

reason 2 and 3 are why said store had an extensive porn section but reason 1 for that was “it makes money” and a sister was going to school but she was overly pious and never set foot in the place

I’m not religious and I only occasionaly enjoy beer in the summer and don’t really drink at all in winter. Sometimes yes, sometimes no, it comes in waves for some reason. I could go six months and not drink. I doubt anyone would notice. Like others have said, I simply don’t enjoy it. A cold beer on a hot day is okay, but liquor and wine turn my stomach.

My mother, also not religious, does not drink. In her retirement she has tried wine a little, but for most of my life she literally did not have a single alcoholic drink of any sort. She simply didn’t enjoy the taste. Again, I don’t think anyone took any notice.

It’s not really a big deal.

I don’t drink at all, not for religious reasons, and not because I am a recovering alcoholic. I just philosophically and morally dislike the idea of intoxication as a social lubricant. I quite like the taste of certain beers and wines, so I’d probably enjoy drinking just fine, if alcohol wasn’t an intoxicant.

I don’t object to others around me drinking and I am often in their company. Usually it doesn’t hinder me socially, but I find I do get bored as people get more intoxicated, so I usually am among the first to leave.

It probably does affect my social life in significant ways that are less visible though, because I don’t like bars and dance clubs and so I am avoiding a lot of social occasions that are mainly focused on drinking. But I’m also very introverted, so what part of introversion and what part of being a teetotaler is more influential in my life is hard to judge.

I think it’s worth noting that a lot of American Muslims, especially 2nd gen, take their faith about as seriously as a lot of Christians do.

By that, I mean the extent to which they practice their faith is basically, when asked: “What religion are you?” They say “Muslim”.

That and maybe sharing some “faith” posts on FB.

I don’t drink because I don’t enjoy it, and I can tell you that the only people who are flabbergasted/upset/puzzled by people who don’t drink are heavy drinkers.

I come from a family of Catholics that except for coffee would have been OK as Mormons. None of us drink to any extent (mom and bro was/is teetotaler, dad, sis and I have a glass of wine once in a blue moon). No smoking or drugs, and I am the only coffee drinker.

My mon and dad remained religious, all three kids are agnostic to atheist. Not drinking has not impeded our social life, except that we all dislike intoxicated people.

My office administrator is Muslim–an American married to a gentleman from overseas. She’s organized several happy hours–say, for an employee who is leaving. And participates quite well, laughing, talking, having a (non-pork) snack & drinking ice tea.

Then there was the Pakistani co-worker who explained that most local Indian restaurants serve food from the North–much like Pakistani food. The only Pakistani restaurant was, alas, dry. (Was this at that Holiday Party–where he drank a beer & his wife gave him the side-eye?)

In any social event, it’s uncool to pay overmuch attention to what someone else is eating or drinking. (For whatever reason.) Unless they get so snockered that you need to call them a cab.

Lots of people don’t drink.

(bolding mine)

This seems strange since citizens of Saudi Arabia specifically go to Bahrain in order to drink and partake in other enticements available in Bahrain.

Nitpick: brandy. Cognac can only be made in the Cognac region of France, even if it is made elsewhere using the same grapes and in the same manner.

Turkey has breweriesand Lebanon is known for its winemaking, granted many people in the latter a Christian but not all and many Muslims drink. There isn’t anything explicitly prohibiting alcohol, but different sects/belief systems may be more or less strict about it. And some might justify it like Catholics do: it’s fine just don’t go crazy.

Why is alcohol illegal in Saudi Arabia?

I don’t drink by choice. Not aware of any instance where it has been much of a social/work hindrance. Well, there was a local beerfest I didn’t attend, but no one asked me if I wanted to, and I didn’t miss it. But I often go to bars either for socializing of to see music. I can nurse a tonic water and lime for quite some time.

Don’t know if there are any professions or social groups where hard drinking is expected. Don’t know if it was “expected” back when I was drinking - but the fact that I WAS drinking made me think it at least acceptable.

The main hindrance is that you might mess up and observe how stupid the folk who are drinking are, when they think they are being clever! :wink:

Probably a slight cultural barrier. I do most of my hanging out in the local bar and back when I was a Muslim (I’m Lutheran now) I likely wouldn’t be there, even though I could nurse a coke or something. I just wouldn’t have thought to go. I find it has been my greatest contact with local events. My folks don’t drink and they do have non-Muslim friends, but they tend to spend most of their time at home and with other extended family (including my brother’s family).