MANAMA, Bahrain — Personnel of the U.S. 5th Fleet and their families may have to tweak their daily routines during the holy month of Ramadan but will have more liberal clothing policies than in years past.
During Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which is slated to begin on or about Monday, Muslims don’t eat, drink or smoke from dawn to sunset. The holiday lasts about 30 days and is slated to end about July 5.
U.S. personnel will be restricted from eating, drinking and smoking in public, including while driving, during daylight hours. However, those restrictions will not apply on base or in their private residences. Some restaurants in international hotels catering to foreigners may have certain areas where eating and drinking is allowed during the day.
"One of the myths out there is we are trying to impose religion on our service members," said U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Force and Fleet Chaplain Capt. Steven Moses. "We are not trying to impose a religious view, but we are trying to be respectful of their [host nations’] religious views. We do it because we support religious freedom, it is a local law, and we do it because we want to be good neighbors and good ambassadors."