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The municipality of Abra has retracted a memo that urged non-Muslim citizens to abstain from eating in public during Ramadan, after officials condemned the mayor of the Sidon suburb for violating citizens' freedom of belief.The original memo, released by Abra Mayor Walid Nicolas al-Mchantaf last Wednesday following a request from Sidon Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Nassar, called on residents to be considerate of fasting Muslims and refrain from dining at restaurants and cafes during the holy month of Ramadan.But a municipality statement released Monday retracted the request and said that it was no longer valid.The U-turn came after Abra's mayor came under fire for releasing the memo, with politicians saying Lebanon's diversity needed to be protected rather than reined in.The Kataeb Party last week called on the Abra municipality to retract this "major mistake against Muslims and Christians," while the Popular Nasserite Organization's secretary-general, MP Osama Saad, said the memo contravened Lebanese laws and the Human Rights Charter.Regardless of the scandal over the municipality's statement, Abra was bustling with activity Wednesday, with World Cup flags hanging from balconies and preparations for Ramadan decorations underway.
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