An Iranian man was allegedly sentenced by a judge to have his lips burned by a cigarette in a public square for eating during Ramadan.
The man, who was found failing to adhere to the practice of fasting during the Muslim holy month, succumbed to his punishment in front of a crowd in the city of Kermanshah. The man was found in violation of the country’s laws prohibiting public food consumption in daylight during the month, which is observed this year from July 10 to Aug. 8.
The punishment is a harsh reaction against what many have seen as a loosening of traditional religious values in Iran.
“Everything is different this year. In 1995, if someone had even a drop of water, everyone went and reported it and that person would get fired, or just scolded if they were lucky. Not any more, though. People are looking out for each other. I almost miss those days, though. It’s like people’s hearts just aren’t in religion anymore,” said Hamid, a Tehran telecommunications employee speaking with The Guardian.
According to The Inquistr, the man who received the punishment of cigarette burning was a Christian. The laws against eating during Ramadan do not typically apply to non-Muslims. Five other men were also given 70 lashes for not fasting during the month.