Egypt considers ban on sale of duty-free alcohol

CAIRO — Egypt’s Civil Aviation Ministry is considering a ban on the sale of alcohol in airport duty-free stores after it received complaints that it goes against the country’s Islamic principles, ministry officials and a senior lawmaker said Tuesday.

Officials said the ministry has been reviewing the policy for about four months after citizens and ministry officials complained.

Liberal and secular opponents of Egypt’s Islamist president, Mohammed Morsi, fear he and his supporters are seeking to slowly enshrine a more conservative system in Egypt based on Islamic law.


There are also concerns that steps such as banning alcohol would drive away tourists, a critical source of income for Egypt’s faltering economy.

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Civil Aviation Minister Wael el-Maadawi, a former general who is not affiliated with an Islamist party, raised the idea in a meeting Monday with members of the interim parliament’s transportation committee, said committee head Mohammed Sadeq.

Sadeq, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood political party, said he does not have an opinion on the matter because the committee he heads is grappling with ‘‘much bigger issues.’’