Feel a fatwa coming on (alcohol in the classroom?)


One of my "standard"courses has a cultural-contrast theme. Usual end-of-term includes me doing a presentation on whisky (I’m Scottish), students take notes then (optionally) blind-taste or smell a single malt and a blend, guess which is which, then write a compare-and-contrast paragraph on the two.

The smell/taste thing is a bit of a inessential gimmick, but it lightens the mood.

Snag this time is there are quite a lot of Muslim students so it might not be prudent.

Dont have an imam handy. Are Muslims allowed to smell alcohol?


Drinking, touching, smelling, holding or looking at alcohol are all haram.
Maybe you should have a haggis based project.


Yeah, if you want to avoid awkwardness I’d ditch the booze.

Keep things interesting. Make a homemade haggis.

EDIT: @Dasarbule beat me to it, the bloody sod. :wink:

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And if you’re in America it gets REALLY complicated because alcohol seems to be one of those sensitive topics there. If you serve alcohol to underaged people it’s actually illegal, as in you can get in some serious trouble. Drinking alcohol in public is also illegal without a permit. Normally if you’d do anything like this you’d clear it with your boss.

In Taiwan it’s way more lax as people drink sitting outside all the time and restaurants can serve alcohol anytime they want without having to get some permit for it. Political correctness is also not really a consideration here but to be prudent you can inform any Muslim student of this and allow them to not participate.


I’d switch to the green stuff. Hydroponic home grown vs Nepalese hash vs synthetic.

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English breakfast vs Irish breakfast?

Or masala chai vs Russian caravan?

this should have been informed before they decided which courses they took.


Just drink the scotch for the Muslim students.

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Good example of cultural sensitivity gone right I think, well done. Maybe just don’t let them sniff/taste then, since it’s not essential to the main topic. I think talking about alcohol should not be Haram.

PS: Can’t believe this topic hasn’t been illustrated yet:


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Why not just prepare another contrasting items and let the students choose which one they want to do? For those who wants to compare single malt v.s. blend, let them to that. For students who mind not want to do it, Muslim or not, they can write about the new items. Say… real baguette and fake Taiwanese limp baguette?

As for as I know it’s not haram to eat leavened bread


Not if he has Mormon or JW students :no_no:

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Then, Islam vs Judaism, or Catholic vs Church of England?

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People who put their money in the 7-11 clerk’s hand vs giant screaming assholes?


Bringing alcohol into the classroom is a bit risky, even with university students.

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Normally I don’t tell or ask my boss anything at all about anything.

Best for all concerned.

I am slightly surprised I’ve got away with this one for a few years though. Speaks well for the students, since it would have been rather easy for someone to drop me in it, and the institution would probably have taken punitive action.


In Taiwan you would be able to get away with things like this. They’re not so rigid about rules here and a lot of things here don’t abide by rules, if they did nothing would get done (if you made all of Taiwan follow all laws the LY passed, this island would be completely different).

If you were doing this back in the US, particularly the US you would have to clear it with your boss if any alcohol is involved, because odds are a good portion of your students are under 21, not to mention rules on alcohol there are rigidly adhered to and are rather strict. You would be fired if your boss even hears a rumor that you had alcohol in the classroom.


You might want to drop the booze for reasons others have mentioned here, but don’t do it because some Muslim guys show up in your class. Why should you have to change your behaviour(or class) because they got some weird diet ?


Most universities are beginning to feel the squeeze with student numbers. Thus the increase in overseas students (I assume this accounts for the Muslims).

Normally, the university would turn a blind eye to a foreign teacher doing something inappropriate like giving the students alcohol. However, if they are looking for an excuse to cut headcount to save costs…

You wouldn’t want to hand them your head on a plate.

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Are they devout? I knew one Muslim who owned a liquor store. Saudis and Iranians smuggle alcohol in all the time to their countries. So quite a few don’t really care. Probably best to feel for that first.


Speaking of that, I am noticing a LOT more foreigners in Taiwan than there used to. In 2003 if I saw anyone who doesn’t look Asian chances are I knew him/her.

Now it seems half the people I see on the MRT don’t look Asian. Same with universities too. Taiwan must be giving out scholarship or something.


Perhaps try alcohol -free drinks as an alternative . If you can find any that don’t taste like gnats piss :smirk:
Wait …Edit I didn’t mean it .