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Non-Muslim Expats Who 'Disrespect' Ramadan Threatened With Expulsion From Saudi Arabia

27/06/2014 16:39 BST | Updated 27/06/2014 16:59 BST

Non-Muslim expatriates are being threatened with expulsion from Saudi Arabia if they eat, smoke or drink in public during the holy month of Ramadan.

The ruling comes from the interior ministry and urges respect during the fasting month, which begins this weekend.

The AFP cites a statement carried by the SPA state news agency which says: “They are not excused for being non-Muslim”, adding that “labour contracts stipulate respect for Muslim rites.”

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An Egyptian looks at traditional Ramadan lanterns at a market in Cairo on 26 June

“Those who violate [that]… will face the necessary measures, including terminating work contracts and being deported.”

The practice of fasting during Ramadan is intended to teach Muslims “self-discipline, self-restraint and generosity”, and takes place during the daylight hours.

Sexual intercourse and profanity are also banned for the 30 day period, in a bid to become closer to Allah.

The Gulf Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is governed by Sharia Law. There are believed to be around nine million foreigners living there.

How Twitter will be celebrating Ramadan

1. Special 'Hashflags'

When you hashtag your tweets with #Ramadan or #Eid, a small crescent moon or Eid icon will appear after the words. World Cup fans will recognize this feature, which has places country flags after tweets hashtagged with participating teams.

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2. Personalized Iftar Times

Al Arabiya has partnered with Twitter to offer a location-specific service that tells you when you can break your fast each day. By tweeting @AlArabiya with the hashtag #iftar followed by the hashtagged name of your city (ie #London), you will get a reply with the correct iftar time. This also works for the beginning of the fast, with the hashtag #imsak instead of #iftar.

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3. Tweet Map

Ramadan will be celebrated by millions of people across the globe, and now you can see exactly where people are talking and tweeting about it with an interactive map made by Simon Rogers. The map also tracks common Ramadan greetings, plans, and feelings. Click below to explore.

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4. Special Ramadan TV Content

Some TV shows have been created just for Ramadan, with corresponding Twitter accounts for the characters.

Response to Twitter's holiday gesture has been positive so far.

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#RamadanKareem from @HuffPostRelig :) :)

Islamic Inventions