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Qatar imposes $275,000 fine for selling goods that violate Islamic values

DOHA, QATAR - JUNE 9 : Customers are seen shopping at Al Meera market in Doha, Qatar on June 9, 2017. People only rushed to markets and stocked food until the shelves were empty on the first day when the crisis broke out between Qatar and Gulf countries. Markets that sell Turkish products are available for shopping as the life turned back to normal in Doha. ( Mohamed Farag - Anadolu Agency )
Customers are seen shopping at Al Meera market in Doha, Qatar on June 9, 2017 [Mohamed Farag - Anadolu Agency]

Traders in Qatar can face a fine of up to $274,650 (one million Qatari riyals) if they are found selling or displaying goods that are deemed to be non-compliant with Islamic values, according to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI).

Other forms of punishment may include administrative closure for a period of three months or the revocation of commercial licences.

On Tuesday, a circular to suppliers and merchants was posted on Twitter by MOCI accompanied by an announcement calling on businesses not to "display any goods, images, or visual or audio materials that would violate Islamic values, public morals, customs and traditions."

The circular cited the fourth clause of Article No. 2 of Law No. 8 of 2008 on Consumer Protection which stipulates "The right to respect religious values, customs, and tradition."

The ministry also called on consumers to report any goods bearing slogans or designs contrary to customs and traditions and to specify their locations so that the ministry's inspectors can take necessary measures.

In December MOCI announced that it had "confiscated children's toys bearing slogans that go against Islamic values" in a tweet accompanied with an image of rainbow coloured pop-its.

In June a similar move was made by authorities in neighbouring Saudi Arabia who seized a number of rainbow-coloured toys and children's clothing, on the basis that it encourages homosexuality.

READ: Saudi Arabia calls on YouTube to remove 'offensive' ads 

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