Ramadan prayers in Jerusalem (illustrative)
Ramadan prayers in Jerusalem (illustrative) Reuters

Saudi Arabia on Thursday threatened to expel non-Muslim foreigners who eat, drink or smoke in public during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins this weekend, AFP reports.

The interior ministry urged non-Muslims to "respect the feelings of Muslims by refraining from eating, drinking or smoking in public places, streets and at work."

"They are not excused for being non-Muslim," said the statement, which was carried by the SPA state news agency.

"Labor contracts stipulate respect for Muslim rites,” the statement added.

"Those who violate (that)... will face the necessary measures, including terminating work contracts and being deported," it said.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which applies a strict version of Sharia Islamic law, hosts more than nine million foreigners, mostly Asians.

Saudi Arabia is notorious for its crackdown on anything it perceives as being anti-Islamic, including social media posts and websites.

The Kingdom recently introduced a series of new laws which define atheists as terrorists.

Lashes are a common punishment in the kingdom for offenses such as insulting the King, blasphemy, or even insulting members of one’s own tribe.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)