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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.

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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.

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.’’

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