Some starting news out of northern Nigeria:
Alcohol is banned under sharia (Islamic law) in Kano and several other mostly Muslim northern states, although it is consumed in some areas especially the Sabon Gari district housing mostly Christian ethnic Igbo traders from the southeast. “We thank God that our command has successfully destroyed about 244,151 bottles of beer of different sorts. We hope (this) will help restore the tarnished image of Kano,” said Sheikh Aminu Daurawa, head of the Hisbah uniformed Islamic squad at the site where the truck crushed the bottles at the city’s edge.
One has to be careful when commenting on this sort of story. Who wants their blog post thumb tacked to the bulletin board in the coffee room of the Hisbah uniformed Islamic squad HQ? Yet... one ought to comment once in a while on the way, as the sermon closes every Sunday, the world works. This article on the event points out that 24 have died in bar bombings due to deadly militancy reacting to the lack of state enforcement of sharia law. I have written before about how peace is required for beer. From our research on Albany ale and Ontario brewing history it's quite clear that the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 were hugely disruptive to brewing in this region. Beer likes peace.
But beer requires liberty and security, too. Beer is a multi-party process including farmers, carters, wholesalers and retailers as well as the brewers. We really should be more grateful about when and where we have found ourselves in life and history. In the late 1300s, Piers bargains with Hunger to let the starving Wasters have "beans and bran baked up together / Or else milk and mean ale..." Today, we may remember how good it is that no one blows up our taverns for us wanting not much more.